Michael Axelrod has been named CEO at Swander Pace-backed Passport Food Group. He was most recently a president at TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE: THS). Swander Pace invested in Passport, a manufacturer of internationally flavored foods, in 2017.

Cheryl Carner has been promoted to senior managing director at Solar Capital-backed Crystal Financial. She focuses on business development and underwrites financing for midmarket companies that need capital for M&A.

Datuk Ben Chan joined Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan as a managing director to lead the firm’s deal activity in the Asia-Pacific region. Chan was previously with Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia.

Sarah Fitts has joined Schifff Hardin’s New York office as a partner. Previously with Debeboise & Plimpton, she focuses on M&A in the energy sector.

Ryan Flanders was hired by Monroe Capital as vice president, where he will serve on the firm’s investor relations team. Flanders was most recently the head of private debt products at Preqin.

Andrew Fulford has been named vice president of corporate development at St. Louis investment firm HBM Holdings. Fulford was most recently with Graybar Electric Co.

TJ Graham has joined Cooley as a partner in the firm’s technology group. He focuses on M&A and corporate divestitures that involve software with consumer products and digital media. He was previously with WIlson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Former Food Network CEO Erica Gruen joined Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips as a senior advisor. Gruen is known for introducing shows such as the Iron Chef and Emeril Live.

Li Han has joined O’Melveny’s Hong Kong office as a partner. Previously the general counsel of Shanda Group, Han focuses on private equity and M&A.

Wade Hansen has joined Los Angeles-based Intrepid Investment Bankers as a managing director where he will focus on M&A in the healthcare, technology and digital media sectors. He was previously the co-founder of MHT Partners and founder of Cabrillo Advisors.

Tyler Harrington has been promoted to managing director at Crystal FInancial. He concentrates on underwriting and portfolio management.

Scott Hauncher was hired by Huron Capital as a partner. Most recently with Superior Capital, Hauncher focuses on investments in the manufacturing and business services sectors.

Richard Hooper has been named CEO of SK Capital-backed Tri-Tex, a Saint-Eustache, Quebec-based producer of adhesives and sealants. He replaces Natalie Laham, who will stay with the company as a minority shareholder. Hooper was mostly the CEO of chemicals company SummitReheis, which was sold to Elementis Plc in 2017.

David Hunter joined Salt Lake City-based private equity firm the Cynosure Group as a managing director and head of investor relations. Hunter was previously with Partners Group.

Andy Hurd was hired by healthcare focused private equity firm Cressey & Co. as an operating partner in Chicago. Hurd mostly recently served as CEO of healthcare analytics company MedeAnalytics, which was acquired by Thoma Bravo in 2015.

Jim Hyatt has been named CEO at Golden Gate Capital-backed restaurant chain California Pizza Kitchen. Hyatt is the former CEO of Ruby Tuesday. Golden Gate acquired California Pizza in 2011.

Caroline Jury was hired by Morrison Foerster’s London office as a partner. Most recently with Clifford Chance, Jury represents financial institutions and private equity firms on cross border M&A and lending.

Karin Kovacic has joined Monroe Capital’s originations team as managing director, East Coast region. Prior positions included senior vice president at Alcentra Capital and roles at CBIZ Inc. and Fifth Street Capital.

Justin Lindsey was hired by General Atlantic as an operating partner, in New York. Lindsey is the former chief analytics officer of Bamtech Media, and he will help General Atlantic’s portfolio companies leverage data and analytics in order to help drive revenue growth and make operational improvements.

Alexis Maskell was hired by Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) to co-head the firm’s European, MIddle East and African (EMEA) alternatives assets group, including private equity, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and family offices. Based in London, Maskell was mostly the co-head of investment banking at HSBC, where he focused on private equity.

Ryan Mollett has joined Angelo, Gordon & Co. as global head of distressed debt. Mollett was previously with GSO Capital Partners, the global credit investment arm of Blackstone Group LP (NYSE: BX).

Wesley Nissen has been hired as a partner at Chicago-based Neal Gerber Eisenberg. Nissen works with family offices and asset managers on M&A and capital raising. He was previosuly with DLA Piper.

John Owen has been named chief financial officer at PDC Brands, which is backed by CVC Capital Partners and Leonard Green & Partners. Owen most recently served CFO of beverage company Beam Suntory.

Evren Ozargun has been promoted to senior managing director at Crystal Financial. He is responsible for managing a team of underwriters and portfolio managers, as well as working closely with Crystal’s business development officers in assessing and structuring new deal opportunities.

Stephen Paras has joined Star Mountain Capital as a managing director. He was previously the head of U.S. leveraged loan capital market at Merrill Lynch.

Jonathana Pearce has been promoted to partner at Austin, Texas-based private equity firm Blue Sage Capital. He is responsible for sourcing and executing investment opportunities, and portfolio company monitoring.

Debra Richman
Debra Richman

Debra Richman was hired by Alvarez & Marsal as a managing director in the firm’s healthcare group in New York. In her role, Richman, will advise payors and providers to hospital systems on revenue growth strategies. Richman was previously the vice president of healthcare business development and strategy for Nielson.

George Rupp was hired by JCR Capital as a managing director, where he will oversee the firm’s fundraising efforts. Rupp was most recently with Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors. Denver-based JCR is a real estate-focused alternative investment firm.

Nikhil Sathe has joined Milwaukee-based logistics-focused advisory and consulting firm Armstrong & Associates as a managing director where he will lead its M&A group. Sathe most recently served as CFO at transportation provider Genpro.

Elizabeth Kemery Sipes has joined Perkins Coie’s Denver office as a partner. Previously with Bryan Cave, Sipes advises private equity funds, private invvestment funds and hedge funds.

Kenny Smith has been promoted to managing director at Crystal Financial. He is responsible for sourcing and structuring new transactions from private equity sponsors.

Robert Stein has joined Akerman as a partner in New York where he will co-chair the firm’s corporate finance and lending practice. He focuses on leveraged buyouts and debt financing across the middle-market. Stein was most recently with Kirkland & Ellis.

Jason Urband was promoted from principal to partner at Denver private equity firm Lariat Partners. Urban focuses on investments in the consumer services, tech-enabled services and packaging sectors.

Mark Voccola was hired by Ardian as co-head of the firm’s U.S. infrastructure group in New York. He was previously with Ares EIF, which was part of Ares Private Equity.

Eric Weiner has been promoted to partner at Blue Sage Capital. He is responsible for sourcing and executing investment opportunities.

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