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Baker McKenzie Continues to Grow California Transactional Practice

Global law firm Baker McKenzie announced today that Aarthi Belani has joined the Transactional practice as a partner in the Firm’s Palo Alto office, bringing experience advising technology and life sciences companies on M&A and venture capital transactions. Aarthi joins the Firm from Jones Day, where she was a partner.

Aarthi represents strategic acquirers, especially in cross-border deals, emerging growth technology companies, venture capital funds, and corporate venture capital. She has also represented the sell-side and advised on digital health, financial services, and impact investment deals. Recent major transactions she has worked on include representing Uniphore Technologies in its Series D fundraising, acquisitions for Five9, a provider of cloud contact-centre solutions, AbbVie in its acquisition of Mavupharma, SAP in its $8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics, and Oclaro in its $1.8 billion sale to Lumentum.

Previously, Aarthi was on the in-house strategy M&A legal team at Credit Suisse in New York, where she was also a member of the Sustainability Network, a Credit Suisse OneBank (cross-divisional) initiative to develop impact investment products. She started her legal career at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York, where she worked on complex strategic M&A, especially cross-border M&A. In 2018, she was recognised as a “40 Under 40” honouree by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

“The addition of Aarthi to our California Transactional Team demonstrates our commitment to building a destination practice for technology M&A. Aarthi is well-known as a trusted business adviser to leading Silicon Valley companies and is sought after for her deal-making advice, particularly for cross-border transactions,” said Leif King, head of Baker McKenzie’s California Transactional practice.

“Aarthi is another excellent addition to our growing California team, bringing outstanding credentials and advising on transformative deals in Silicon Valley. Since Leif King joined us in 2019, we’ve added 11 market-leading transactional lawyers, and we are delighted to add Aarthi to the team,” said Colin Murray, Baker McKenzie’s North America chief executive officer. “Not only is Aarthi a star M&A practitioner, she also brings a commitment to furthering diversity and inclusion efforts in the industry — which is core to our Firm’s strategy and a key objective for us in North America.”

She is a mentor for the Unreasonable Group (a program for entrepreneurs) and a Leadership Committee member of How Women Lead, which is part of the campaign to increase the representation of women on corporate boards.

Our California M&A team has advised on some of the largest and most complex transactions in Silicon Valley, helping clients seize opportunities, mitigate risk, make judgment calls and achieve their goals. With locally trained lawyers around the globe, we serve as a “one-stop shop” for acquisitions, providing a consistent approach and quality, supported by in-depth local knowledge and a global perspective.

“I’m excited to join the Baker McKenzie team. I look forward to working with my new colleagues as we build something enduring here,” Aarthi said.

Aarthi received her LL.M. and J.D. from New York University and her B.A. from Stanford University.

Who’s switching jobs? People moves for October 12th

The latest news for People on the Move, including insights and opinions from employment experts around the globe.

Octopus Property

Specialist property lender Octopus Property, part of the Octopus Group, announced the appointment of Paula Purdy as business development manager (BDM), north of England, reporting directly to D’mitri Zaprzala, Head of Sales. Paula’s appointment follows on from the three regional BDM hires announced last month, with representatives now established across the UK. Paula brings over 17 years of residential, commercial, buy-to-let and bridging lending experience. She joins Octopus Property from Shawbrook Bank, where she was head of sales, residential mortgages, increasing business and raising Shawbrook’s profile amongst intermediaries. Paula will be responsible for deepening relationships with introducers, alongside building new ones, in and around major North of England cities including Chester, Liverpool, Crewe and Warrington, leveraging Octopus Property’s residential, commercial and development product range.

White & Case LLP

Global law firm White & Case has expanded its global project finance practice with the addition of Simon Caridia as a new partner in London. Simon focuses his practice on debt financings for infrastructure M&A and private equity transactions. He advises industry sponsors, infrastructure and private equity funds, commercial bank lenders, multilateral agencies, institutional investors and host governments on brownfield transactions and greenfield projects, including acquisitions, refinancing’s, restructurings, project finance and public-private partnerships. He joins White & Case from Herbert Smith Freehills, where he was a partner. “There are very few lawyers in the London market who can match Simon’s reputation, experience and market knowledge in relation to advising clients on debt financing for infrastructure M&A and private equity deals,” said White & Case partner Mark Castillo-Bernaus.

Houlihan Lokey

Houlihan Lokey, the global investment bank, yesterday announced that David Brock had joined the firm as a managing director in its industrials group, focused on the building products sector. He is based in London. David joins from Jefferies, where he was a managing director and head of the construction and building materials group. Prior to Jefferies, he was also a managing director and head of the construction and building materials group at Deutsche Bank. David’s previous experience also includes equity research roles in the building products sector at Credit Suisse and HSBC. “I am excited for the opportunity to be part of this momentum and to be joining the market-leading Industrials team,” David said.

New CEO of the Single Financial Guidance Body appointed

John Govett is vastly experienced, having worked in leadership roles across the public, private and charitable sectors including as Group Chief Executive at Ixion Holdings, a not-for-profit skills and employment group of companies, Managing Director of Surrey County Council, Shaw Trust Charity Board Executive and P&O Ferries Commercial Board Director. He has a strong track record of driving transformational change, delivering outstanding services and leading successful growth.

A deputy chairman of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, he will take up his new post in October 2018. His appointment, for a four-and-a-half year term, follows an open and competitive recruitment process overseen by the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The government is bringing together 3 well known and respected organisations, the Money Advice Service, Pension Wise and the Pensions Advisory Service to create a new Single Financial Guidance Body offering UK-wide guidance on pensions and money, and debt advice in England.

SFGB is a fantastic opportunity to improve provision of free and impartial money and pensions guidance and debt advice so that people can make informed choices about their finances. This is a challenging but rewarding opportunity to lead on improving financial capability in the UK.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, said:

“I’m delighted to welcome John Govett as the first Chief Executive Officer of the Single Financial Guidance Body.”

“John has extensive experience and knowledge from across a range of public and private organisations which make him the ideal candidate to establish this crucial new body, heralding a new era of excellence for financial guidance and debt advice in the UK. I look forward to working with John.”

John Govett said:

“I am honoured to be appointed the Chief Executive of the Single Financial Guidance Body. The new organisation will become a leader in its field, where we will strive to equip those in need of help with the money and pensions guidance and debt advice that they need to engage confidently with financial services. The key for the SFGB will be to focus on those services our customers need, with a joined-up partnership approach with the wider industry.”

“I very much look forward to this exciting new combined service offer for the public and our staff.”

The chair of the Single Financial Guidance Body, Sir Hector Sants, said:

“The new organisation has a clear mission to help everyone manage their personal finances as well as their circumstances allow. My vision is of an organisation which is seen as transparent, accountable, effective and above all respected by all.”

“I am delighted that John is joining us and I look forward to supporting him over the coming years.”

More Information:

John’s most recent role was as Group CEO of Ixion Holdings. His career has been in transformational change, partnership working, delivering outstanding services and leading successful growth. John has worked in the public, private and charitable sectors, with previous posts including Managing Director at Surrey County Council, Shaw Trust Charity Board Executive and P&O Ferries Commercial Board Director. John is also Deputy Chairman/Non-Executive Director of an NHS Foundation Trust acute hospital.

The department announced Sir Hector Sants as the new chair of the SFGB in May 2018. Sir Hector spent his executive career in financial services and regulation, including as the Chief Executive of the Financial Services Authority, European CEO of Credit Suisse and a partner of stockbrokers Phillips & Drew. Since retiring from full time work, his focus has been helping people manage their money, and promoting a fairer financial system. Sir Hector is a trustee of Just Finance, a charity which collaborates with the Church of England to promote a fairer financial system, and a member of the UK’s Financial Capability Board. He is also chairman of StepChange Debt Charity, the UK’s biggest debt advice charity, but will step down before joining the SFGB.

The SFGB will replace the 3 existing providers of government-sponsored financial guidance – the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise – bringing together the provision of debt advice, money guidance and pensions guidance for the first time. A new, single body provides an opportunity to deliver a more streamlined service to members of the public providing easier access to the information and guidance people need to help them make effective financial decisions throughout their lives.

We expect the SFGB to be established as a legal entity in October 2018 and start preparing for its official launch in January 2019 when the body takes on its delivery functions and staff will transfer to the new organisation. It will have 5 core functions:

– the pensions guidance function – to provide information and guidance to the public on matters relating to occupational and personal pensions
– the money guidance function – to provide information and guidance designed to enhance people’s understanding and knowledge of financial matters and their ability to manage their own financial affairs
– the debt advice function – to provide members of the public in England with information and advice on debt
– the consumer protection function – enabling the SFGB to work with government and the Financial Conduct Authority in protecting consumers from detriment
– the strategic function – to work with others in the financial services industry, the devolved authorities, and the public and voluntary sectors to develop a national strategy to improve the financial capability of members of the public, the ability of members of the public to manage debt, and the provision of financial education to children and young people

The body will also provide advice to the Secretary of State on establishment of a debt respite scheme.