BlackRock Inc. — The New York asset manager has announced a slate of promotions. Geir Espeskog has been called up to be head of BlackRock's Asia Pacific distribution for exchange-traded funds unit iShares. He will be based in Hong Kong. Espeskog was most recently head of iShares for the Nordic region. Separately, the firm named Sean Cunningham as head of iShares capital markets for APAC, Jonathan Howie as head of iShares Australia and Jason Miller as head of iShares Japan.

First Reserve — The Greenwich, Connecticut-based private equity firm has promoted Eduard Ruijs and Mark Saxe to managing directors. The appointments become effective January 1, 2015. Prior to joining First Reserve, Ruijs was with NIBC Infrastructure Partners where he served as a investment director and partner. Saxe was a director in Loews Corp.’s corporate development department.

Morrison & Foerster — The San Francisco law firm has expanded its Tokyo branch by adding James Robinson as a corporate partner. He arrives from Herbert Smith Freehills, where he led the firm's M&A practices, also in Tokyo. Robinson specializes in advising companies in a variety of sectors, including technology, life sciences, financial services, manufacturing and media.

Pamlico Capital — The Charlotte, North Carolina-based private equity firm has promoted both Stuart Christhilf and Eric Wilkins (pictured, left) to partner. Christhilf joined Pamlico in 2003 after working at Wachovia Corp., where he was an associate and analyst for the leveraged capital and loan syndications groups, respectively. Wilkins joined the firm in 2006 from DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, where he was an Associate. Previously, Wilkins was an associate at McCown De Leeuw & Co. and an analyst at Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co.

Star Mountain Capital LLC — Diane Rinnovatore has joined the New York asset manager as a strategic investor and senior adviser. Most recently, Rinnovatore was co-head of U.S. securitized products origination at Barclays Capital where she oversaw more than 40 professionals focused bond transactions, loan products, asset valuation, whole loan sales, principal transactions and other advisory services. Prior to that, Rinnovatore held several leadership roles at Lehman Brothers including head of U.S. bank debt capital markets.

Stout Risius Ross Inc. (SRR) — Steve Sahara recently joined the Chicago private equity office as a director. In this role, he will be a part of SRR's valuation and financial opinions group, and assist in sourcing deals. Previously, Sahara was managing director at Crédit Agricole CIB.

Watermill Group — The Boston private equity firm has announced three new hires. Sarah Bowen was hired to oversee marketing and business development initiatives for Watermill, as well as marketing strategy for certain portfolio companies. Matt Bergin has been named director of transactions. He previously spent two and a half years with Watermill, but left the firm to work at Lazard. Kaari Purstell has also joined the team as an executive assistant and manager of administration.

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