News - 2012
Veteran marketer joins growing placement agent
May 2012

Fast-growing placement agent First Avenue has given another indication of its global ambitions with the hire of former Mirabaud sales chief John Owens to a key position.

Owens is the new principal for UK coverage at the firm where he will raise capital for both funds and direct corporate transactions, sources familiar with the situation said.

Financial News reported in November that Owens was to leave his role as sales chief at Mirabaud Investment Management, the London-based subsidiary of Swiss private bank Mirabaud et Cie, after 10 years. Prior to that, he spearheaded global institutional sales at Aberdeen Asset Management, and was also responsible for developing new institutional business across the globe at Aegon Asset Management.

Financial News understands that Owens will be working with David Hunter, principal, responsible for consultancy relationships and UK and Ireland coverage. Hunter was previously an actuary at financial consultant Mercer.

In January, First Avenue appointed former co-head of Goldman Sachs' private equity team in Europe, Clive Norton, as a senior adviser to its buyout team.

The firm has grown strongly since launch in May 2006, diversifying into providing fund advisory services for a range of products, including private equity, hedge funds, UCITS commodities infrastructure funds and direct corporate fundraising.

Late last year it acquired the majority of US investment bank Madison Williams' placement agent team, giving it bases in New York, Cleveland and San Francisco.

Sophie Baker, Finanial News


Tavneet Bakshi appointed Global Head of Due Diligence
January 2012

First Avenue is pleased to announce the promotion of Tavneet Bakshi to Global Head of Due Diligence. Tavneet spent the majority of her career with Morgan Stanley in London and Hong Kong. Most recently, Tavneet worked with Pioneer Alternative Investments (Hong Kong) as a Senior Analyst in Fund of Hedge Funds business with responsibility for Asia Hedge Fund Managers. Tavneet's new responsibilities span all of First Avenue's focus asset classes.

Mei Niu joins First Avenue
January 2012

First Avenue is pleased to announce the appointment of Mei Niu to its Asian marketing team.  Mei will be jointly responsible with Vicky Lai for the coverage of investors in Greater China. 

Mei has extensive work experience both in China and the UK.  She joined First Avenue from the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association where she researched the investment performance of UK and Pan-European PE managers and led the organisation's engagement with the Chinese government, private equity managers and institutional investors. Mei also spent a period of time at Capital Dynamics, a Swiss-headquartered Fund of Funds, working on fund due diligence and their on-going engagement with private equity managers. 

Prior to moving to the UK, Mei worked as a business consultant for an
US-headquartered multinational firm in China and a business executive at China Import and Export Corporation.