Cook M&A Advisory Services- The advisory firm hired Michael Olson (pictured right) as a vice president. Based in Chicago, Olson will execute acquisition strategies for Cook’s private equity and corporate clients. Previously, Olson was with Barclays Capital (LON: BARC) where he worked on originating investment banking and wealth management opportunities.


Franklin Square Capital Partners- Marc Yaklofsky was named senior vice president of corporate development at the alternative investment firm. In his role, Yaklofsky will be in responsible for developing Franklin Square’s stakeholder communication efforts. Yaklofsky was most recently the head of stakeholder relations at Nomura Holding America. Franklin Square funds are sub-advised by the Blackstone Group LP's (NYSE: BX) GSO Capital Partners. 


Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP- Brian Kniesly has joined the law firm as a tax partner. He comes over from Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson. Kniesly concentrates on real estate transactions. Separately, Gibson Dunn has promoted eight attorneys to partners. The list includes: Daniel Angel, Douglas Champion, Daniel Chang, Gabrielle Levin, John Patridge, Heather Richardson, Benyamin Ross, and Robert Vincent.


Houlihan Lokey Inc.- The investment bank hired Andrew Koecher (pictured below) as head of transaction advisory services. He comes over from KPMG and will be based in Dallas. Koecher has experience in the energy, industrials, consumer, media, technology and food sectors. In Addition, Houlihan (NYSE: HLI) has named Travis Pittman as markets leader in the transaction advisory services group where he will be in charge of client development and coordinating cross-border deals. 


Janney Montgomery Scott LLC- The financial services firm hired Debjit Chattopadhyay as a senior research ananlyst where he will cover the biotechnology sector. Chattopadhyay, based in Philadelphia, will focus on gene therapy, anti-infectives, oncology and rare diseases. He was most recently with Roth Capital Partners.


Piper Jaffray Cos.- The Minneapolis investment bank has reached a deal to acquire energy-focused investment bank Simmons & Co. International for $139 million. Simmons, led by CEO Michael Frazier, has done more than 830 strategic advisory deals since it was founded in 1974. Some of the firm’s recently advised transactions include USD Partners LP's (NYSE: USDP) $225 million agreement to buy Casper Crude to Rail LLC, and Pilot Thomas Logistics' deal for a majority stake in Economy Boat Store. Piper Jaffray (NYSE: PJC) was named Mergers & Acquistions M&A Mid-Market Investment Bank of the Year for 2014. 


Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP- James Thompson has joined Sheppard’s Los Angeles office as a partner in the corporate practice group. He focuses on M&A, joint ventures, private placements in the technology, health care, energy, retail, and financial services industries. Before coming over to Sheppard, Thompson was with Snell & Wilmer.  

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