Transitions: Chartwell Takes Exec From Merrill –

Merrill Lynch & Co. mergers and acquisitions specialist Michael Rolland will leave his post there to join private equity firm Chartwell Investments at the end of this month.

Rolland will retire from Merrill Lynch, where he is managing director and senior banker in the private sales and divestitures group, which he founded, to become senior managing director at Chartwell, and an adviser to the firm’s partners.

Rolland said this is a full-time commitment and a newly-created position. His duties as an adviser will remain separate from those of the firm’s advisory board, which includes many well-known business and political figures.

Rolland has been active in middle market M&A for 23 years. Starting in 1977, he specialized in international M&A at A.G. Becker in New York until the firm was acquired by Merrill Lynch in 1984.

For the past 15 years, Rolland said he has been advising private equity funds and entrepreneurs on the sale of their businesses and now feels that it is time for him to move on to being a principal. “It’s like, mission accomplished here,” he said.

Todd Berman, resident of Chartwell, called Rolland an unusually talented and experienced banker for which he has gained enormous respect in 10 years of knowing him. Rolland has assisted in the buying and selling of many Chartwell businesses, he said.

At Chartwell, Rolland will be a deal originator, as well as an adviser, and will sit on various boards, Berman said.

In the fall, Chartwell closed on a $300 million fund – its first raised from institutional limited partners – to compliment capital committed by a wealthy family that has backed the firm since its formation in 1993.

The firm will announce its first deal out of the fund before the end of the month, Berman said, declining to provide further information.