RedBridge Grant Samuel officially opened its doors yesterday. The new firm set up by Andrew Low, former chief operating officer for Macquarie Capital Advisers, issued a press release naming its partners and advisory board members.
"We are getting great feedback from clients on our new partners and on the sector depth and execution quality of Grant Samuel's large team in Australia,” said Low in an interview yesterday. “We felt that Asia is now ready for a profitable, regional independent and all the early experience confirms it."
The new partners include two former Macquarie bankers. Mark Dorney was previously an executive director of Macquarie Group and CEO of Macquarie Media Group (now Southern Cross Media), an ASX 200-listed media enterprise, where he had responsibility for four media businesses across three countries.
Jae-hun (Jerry) Park has also joined as a partner. He was managing director of Hermes Partners, dealing in infrastructure special situations, distressed companies and hostile takeover defences. Before that, he directed principal investment in media and utilities at Macquarie Capital.
The third partner is Ross Grant, who established Grant Samuel in 1988 as a specialist corporate finance firm. He has long been one of Australia’s best-known corporate advisers and is regularly sought to provide high-level strategic advice to chairmen and CEOs.
“The new business will be an advisory and funds-focused independent,” Low told FinanceAsia in November, when we first reported the launch of RedBridge Grant Samuel. “It will focus on Asian investment into Australia and New Zealand and Australian/New Zealand investments into Asia.”
The advisory board is filled with powerhouse names from the region, including Tae-won (Tony) Chey, who is chairman of the SK Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Korea and ranked in the Fortune Global 100. He was the working group convener at the G20 Business Summit in Korea and a member of Brookings’ International Advisory Council.
Also on the board is Mark Johnson, chairman of the Australian Financial Centre Forum and principal author of the Johnson Report on Australia’s financial sector. He was previously deputy chairman of Macquarie Bank, former chairman of AGL, Macquarie Infrastructure Group and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
And the third advisory board member is Simon Murray, an independent director of Cheung Kong, Sinoforest and Richemont, and chairman of Asian private equity fund, Gems. He was group chief executive at Hutchison Whampoa, executive chairman of Deutsche Bank (Asia Pacific) and a director of Vodafone.
The boutique will offer mergers and acquisitions advisory, as well as equity and debt capital markets, and strategic as well as investment advice. Low said the partners are focusing on sectors that reflect their belief in the continued growth and dynamism of the region, including natural resources industries such as metals and mining, agriculture and forestry; as well as energy and infrastructure; media and entertainment sectors, including telecoms and tech; and consumer markets such as food and beverages, healthcare, financials and real estate.