Fred Chang moves to Lovells

Lovells expands corporate and finance practices in China and Hong Kong.
Merchant banking and structured credit specialist Fred Chang will join Lovells' Asia corporate team as a partner in Beijing after the Chinese New Year. The firm will also add London-based leveraged and acquisition finance partner Gary Hamp to its Hong Kong team.

Chang, who has more than 20 years of experience representing financial institutions, advises on private equity and sophisticated debt and equity proprietary investments in China. He joins from White & Case in Beijing and is a former partner at King & Wood. He also previously worked at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, and is well known in the market as a fit athlete who competes in ultra marathons.

Chang particularly specialises in complex debt and equity structures used for pre-IPO investments by investment banks, private equity firms and hedge funds. This is a fit with Lovells, which enjoys close relationships with many leading investment banks, particularly in the equity capital markets sector. The firm advised on a number of the largest China-related Hong Kong IPOs in 2007, such as the $1.9 billion listing of real estate developer Country Garden.

"Our corporate practice has grown very significantly in Asia in recent years and expanding our relationships with the advisory arms of leading investment banks has been central to that growth," says Lovells' managing partner David Harris. "Fred's practice, which focuses on the banks' proprietary investment activities, adds a further dimension to these relationships. His skills are equally relevant for private equity and investment funds, which are also core to our corporate practice."

"The factors influencing my decision to join the team were: the close relationships that the firm enjoys with leading investment banks; the ample resources in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong supporting the corporate practice in Asia; the prospect of working with capital markets, complex finance and private equity specialist partners in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to deliver tested experience across the spectrum of financial institutionsÆ proprietary and intermediary and advisory products and activities in China; and the strong vision and commitment demonstrated by Lovells' leadership in Asia and China," says Chang.

Gary Hamp's move from Lovells' London office is part of a strategic re-alignment by the Hong Kong finance practice to focus on high-end leveraged and acquisition finance work for private equity firms and investment banks. Hamp advised on some of the largest deals in Europe. He acted for Mizuho on the Ç1.2 billion ($1.77 billion) acquisition of the Fitness First Group, for UBS and Mizuho on the financing of the Ç800 million acquisition of the AZ Materials Group by Vestar Capital Partners and The Carlyle Group and for the mandated lead arrangers (Barclays Capital, RBS and ABN AMRO) on the financing of the ú12 billion ($23.8 billion) acquisition of Scottish Power by Iberdrola Group.

"Over the past few years we have built a strong reputation in China and Hong Kong for advising leading financial institutions on high-end corporate and finance transactions. The addition of Fred and Gary re-inforces these capabilities and provides our key clients with the broader spectrum of corporate finance advice required for success in what is an increasingly sophisticated financial market," says Asia regional managing partner Crispin Rapinet.
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