Douglas leaves Lehman Brothers for corporate job

The former investment banker takes on a new challenge as CFO of a French agricultural company focusing on Central and Eastern Europe.
Lehman Brothers investment banker David Douglas has retired from the firm and the industry to embark on a new career in the corporate world. According to sources, he has accepted a job as chief financial officer of Agrogeneration, a small French company that is involved in the redevelopment of agricultural land in Central and Eastern Europe.

Douglas joined Lehman Brothers in Europe in April 2002, working both in London and in France where he among other things advised France Telecom on its Ç1.44 billion initial public offering of Pages Jaunes. He transferred to Hong Kong just over three years ago to head up the firmÆs equity capital markets team in Asia ex-Japan. In late January this year he took on a new cross-divisional role where he was to provide leadership to both the investment banking and equity divisions, and handed over the role as head of ECM for the region to Geoffrey Feldkamp who moved out from New York.

Douglas has previously also worked as an ECM banker at Credit Suisse First Boston and BZW.

Douglas will have a lot of use for his extensive experience within the capital markets industry and his investor contacts in his new job. Agrogeneration will need to raise a significant amount of both equity and debt capital to make the most of the huge growth potential that it perceives within the agricultural sector in its targeted countries. Set up in January 2007 with a mission to play an active part in the long-term fight against global shortages in agricultural commodities, the company aims to have about 100 farms in four countries and an annual production of 1.5 million tonnes of grain and oilseed by 2013, according to its website.

At present, Agrogeneration focuses primarily on cereal farming in the Ukraine. Its business model is to lease agricultural land that is in a poor state of development and raise the crop yield by bringing in French agricultural expertise to improve the operating efficiency of the farms. Douglas started his new job on Monday this week, having left Lehman Brothers as recently as last Friday.

Lehman Brothers currently has 18 bankers in its ECM team in Asia ex-Japan under the leadership of Feldkamp, focusing on origination and execution of straight equity and equity-linked transactions. The firm ranked ninth last year in the Asia ex-Japan league tables for ECM overall and fifth for equity-linked issuance much thanks to a $1.5 billion CB it helped arrange for Sinopec. Earlier this year, the firm acted as one of two bookrunners on an upsized $350 million CB for US-listed Chinese solar cell manufacturer JA Solar, but has yet to make it into the top 10 in either the equity-linked or the overall tables.

Feldkamp has nine years of ECM experience from Lehman Brothers in New York with a particular focus on the financial institutions and real estate sectors. He has also worked extensively with companies in the technology and media sectors.
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