Bear Stearns has brought on board former Morgan Stanley banker Morgan Edwards as a managing director in capital markets to focus specifically on new issue. This will reunite Edwards with Bram Smith, senior managing director, leveraged finance, whom he had worked under at Morgan Stanley. Edwards joined Morgan Stanley in June 1998, but left last March and has spent the last year taking time off.
"Keith Barnish [co-head leveraged products] and Bram Smith have been around since the beginnings of the leveraged loan market and were instrumental in its development," Edwards said. "Affiliating with them at a time when the new business pipeline at Bear Stearns is thriving indicated that this was the right time and the right place for me to jump back in."
Deals for Bear Stearns in March included financing for Kelso & Co.'s acquisition of Insurance Auto Auctions co-led with Deutsche Bank, a $275 million deal for Quadrangle Group's Protection One co-led with Lehman Brothers and Telcordia's loan with J.P. Morgan backing the $1.35 billion acquisition of the company by Providence Equity Partners and Warburg Pincus (LMW, 3/18).
"This is a big business and an important business for Bear," said Smith. "We don't have the number of people that J.P. Morgan or Bank of America have, we can't have that minute specialization. We are looking for people that have experience in many areas of the loan business. He can help out in new issue, in sales. He can call on buyers; he knows the hedge funds, the high-yield guys. When you have a small shop, but a busy shop, you're looking for the consummate player and that in my view is what Morgan brings to Bear Stearns." Edwards comes in as Rob Karen, managing director, moves from capital markets to the sales side. With Karen's move, the bank needed to add a member to the capital markets team and considered a number of candidates before deciding on Edwards, Smith said. The company will not be looking to hire anyone else for the loan desk.