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Jeffrey Altman has joined New York-based investment bank Houlihan Lokey as a managing director in the firm’s newly formed Real Estate Strategic Advisory Group. Altman spent the past 13 years at Lazard Ltd. In his new role, he will focus on merger and acquisition advisory, capital raising and other strategic advisory mandates for public and private real estate companies, lenders and investors, the firm said.

Wendel Barr has been named chief executive officer at Synteract Inc., a contract research organization backed by San Francisco-based private equity firm Gryphon Investors. Barr succeeds Ellen Morgan, who remains as chairwoman of the company. Barr most recently served as chief operating officer and executive vice president at Covance.

Justin Benshoof has joined Caltius Equity Partners as an associate. Benshoof was previously an analyst at Norwest Equity Partners where he focused on management buyouts, recapitalizations and growth investments across a range of industries. Caltius Equity Partners is based in Los Angeles and invests in consumer and business services, education, health care services and light manufacturing industries.

James Burgess has been named CEO of Advanced Health Media, which is backed by Arlington Capital Partners. The change is effective immediately, the company said. Burgess replaces Jeff Brady who had served as AHM’s chief executive officer since March 2010.

Doug Corbett has joined Moelis Capital Partners, the private equity business of Moelis & Co., as an operating partner. Corbett was most recently executive partner at Apta Capital. In his new role, he will focus on consumer-related investments. Moelis Capital is a mid-market private equity firm.

Middle market financing provider Crystal Financial has added Cheryl Carner, Mirko Andric and Jon Wyeth to its Boston office. Carner will be a managing director, Andric a vice president and Wyeth an associate. Carner comes with experience at GE Capital, Franchise Finance and CapitalSource.

Eaton Partners, the placement agent, has added staff in London, Shanghai, and in its Connecticut offices. Joseph Scanlon and Ajay Ahuja, based in Rowayton, Silvia Calvo-Alcala and Charles Vernudachi based in London, and Chris Lerner, based in Shanghai, have joined Eaton Partners to support the firm’s operations, and strengthen its global origination, execution and distribution capabilities.

Stephen Fredette will join Leeds Equity Partners as an operating partner. Most recently, Fredette served as CEO of Assessment Technology Institute, a private equity owned nursing education company. With Leeds Equity, Fredette will seek out new investment opportunities in the education and training sectors. Leeds is a New York-based private equity firm focused on investing in the education, training and information services industries.

Alex Geier has joined BMO Harris Bank as a managing director, leading a team focused on providing senior financing to private equity investors in the health care space. Geier was previously at UBS Investment Bank, where he served as a managing director of leveraged finance.

Michael Hewett will join Strategic Value Partners after a six-year run as managing director and head of investor relations with Terra Firma Capital Partners. He will be a managing director leading business development in Europe and the Middle East at SVP, working under Victor Khosla and Jean-Louis Lelogeais, co-founders of the firm.

Gordon “Rusty” Johnson has joined Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group, a unit of the investment bank Rodman & Renshaw, as a managing director in health care investment banking. Johnson was most recently a managing director in health care investment banking at Piper Jaffray.

Peter Kuo has been named a managing director at Lazard Ltd and its head of equity capital markets advisory in Asia. He will be based in Hong Kong. Kuo most recently served as a managing director of Cowen and Company, where he was responsible for the origination and execution of its capital raising transactions for Chinese companies, the company said in a release.

Kim Larsen, who served as head of business development and general counsel with Corvis Corp., will join the Alternative Asset Risk Management Corp.’s board of directors. Larsen is a member of Capital Creation LLC, an investor in AARM. Larsen will replace founding AARM board member Nitin Nohria, who stepped down to become dean at Harvard Business School.

Li Keping, vice chairman of China’s $130 billion national pension fund, has been named executive director and chief investment officer of the country’s $300 billion sovereign wealth fund, Reuters reported. He replaces Gao Xiqing, who remains president of the fund.

Christopher McFadden has been promoted to managing partner of Health Evolution Partners, a manager of health care investment funds. In the expanded role he will remain a member of the firm’s executive committee and will be responsible for the firm’s Spectrum Fund. McFadden joined the firm in 2008 as a managing director. He worked previously as a managing director at Goldman Sachs.

Elias Mendoza

has joined Union Square Advisors, a technology focused investment bank, as a partner in its New York office. Mendoza, most recently, was vice president and global head of corporate development at IBM.

Arthur Mok will head the new Shanghai office of the law firm Ropes & Gray, which is to serve clients in private equity, investment funds and life sciences, the firm announced. The Shanghai office is the firm’s third in Asia. Mok, who joined the firm in 2010, focuses on M&A and private equity transactions.

Marc Moyers has been named head of the U.S. private equity group at accounting firm KPMG, the company announced. He succeeds Shawn Hessing who is retiring from the firm. Moyers joined KPMG LLP in 1977 and became a partner in 1986.

Anand Philip has been promoted to managing director at New York-based Castle Harlan. Joyce Demonteverde joined the firm as a vice president. Demonteverde had previously been with Castle Harlan prior to going to the Harvard Business School. Philip has been with Castle Harlan since 2006 and was previously a vice president.

Tay Tong Poh, has joined Affinity Equity Partners as head of portfolio management, Reuters reported. He formerly was head of investment banking at Singapore’s United Overseas Bank, Reuters said.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Polypore International has added David Roberts to its board of directors. Roberts is president and chief executive of Carlisle Cos., a Charlotte-based, listed manufacturing company focused on construction materials. Roberts replaces David Barr, of Warburg Pincus, on the board. Additionally, Polypore Chief Executive Robert Toth replaces Michael Graff as chairman of the board. Graff is a managing director at Warburg Pincus. He remains on the board as “lead independent director.”

Zhongmin Shen has joined Teaneck, N.J.-based Hudson Clean Energy Partners as a partner who will oversee Hudson’s operations in China. Shen joins Hudson from Huaneng Invesco WLR Investment Consulting, where he was CEO. Previously, Shen was a managing director at CLP Holdings and the COO of China Resources Power Holdings Co.

David Solomon was named a managing director of Meritage Funds. Solomon was co-founder of Meritage and has served as an operating partner since the firm’s inception. Denver-based Meritage manages private investment funds.

Doug Stevenson will step down as CEO of Vibrant Media, the advertising company backed by ABS Capital Partners, and co-founder Craig Gooding was named non-executive chairman and will serve as strategic counsel. CFO Jeff Babka will run day-to-day operations as COO.

Paul Su has joined 3i Group as a senior partner in China, Reuters reported. Su is a former managing director and vice-chairman of Greater China investment banking at Credit Suisse. He will be based in Beijing.

Gary Talarico has been named president and chief executive officer at the advisory, restructuring and investment firm Gordon Brothers Group. Most recently, Talarico was a managing partner of Cora Street Partners, an advisory boutique. Earlier, he worked as a managing director for Sun Capital Partners, where he managed the New York and Tokyo offices.

Former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts will join Farragut Capital Partners as a senior partner and will work on the Farragut Mezzanine Partners III Fund. Watts will provide counsel to the firm’s investment principals. He also will contribute to Farragut’s marketing and fundraising efforts.