Pritchard Capital Partners will expand its corporate finance division with the addition of an investment banking team to be headed by former Morgan Keegan pro Kevin Andrews.

Thomas Pritchard, managing partner and founder of the Louisiana-based energy investment bank, said the new team will join its equity research and institutional sales staff in serving clients in offices in Atlanta, Houston, New York and Washington.

Prior to joining Pritchard, Andrews since 2001 worked with Morgan Keegan and was its managing director overseeing energy investment banking and specializing in private equity. Andrews also worked, prior to Morgan Keegan, as finance chief of Denali Inc.

Joining Andrews in Houston will be David Hanse and Carlo Limchuatuan. Hanse is another Morgan Keegan vet experienced with PE transactions in the oilfield service sector; he also worked with Ernst & Young. Limchuatuan has 10 years accounting experience—he is another Morgan Keegan veteran—and has experience working also with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Marathon Oil.

Hanse will work as a senior vice president and Limchuatuan will be an associate vice president under Andrews.

Also joining the team is Brian McNiell. Another Morgan Keegan pro, McNiell served as a COO for a Memphis hedge fund and worked as principal of an investment bank focusing on energy transactions. As a senior vice president, he will be based in Tennessee.

Lately, private equity firms have successfully garnered investors to launch funds in the sector. NGP Energy Technology Partners, a Washington-based firm, closed its second fund at $348 million earlier this month.

Another, Tenaska Capital Management LLC, also succeeded in putting together a joint investment venture called Frontier Gas Services LLC with Dallas private equity group Energy Spectrum Partners. It will seek to acquire and operate midstream natural gas assets primarily in the Mid-Continent, Permian Basin, East Texas and other gas-filled shale areas in the US.

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