Cowen Group Inc. (Nasdaq: COWN) — The New York investment bank formed a real estate investment banking group. As part of the announcement, Cowen has also appointed Conrad Vlak as managing director. Vlak, an 18-year banking veteran specializing in real estate, was previously with Oppenheimer & Co., where he was a managing director and head of the real estate investment banking group. Before that, he co-founded boutique investment bank McNicoll Lewis & Vlak. Over the years, he has held positions at several other firms, including CIT Group, Icahn Associates Corp., Greenstreet Capital Partners and Rothschild Realty Inc.

GI Partners — The Menlo Park, California private equity firm tapped Travis Pearson to be a managing director. Pearson will oversee operational initiatives and source deals. Pearson joins GI after 15 years at Bain & Co., where he specialized in several sectors, namely consumer goods and retail, as well as technology, media and telecommunications.

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