Affinity Equity hires Credit Suisse’s Asia M&A co-head, say sources-Reuters

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners has hired Ronnie Behar, a senior Asia-Pacific M&A executive at Credit Suisse, as its Southeast Asia head, sources said, highlighting a flurry of changes at major investment banks.

Behar, who has been the Swiss bank’s co-head of M&A in the region since 2011, has worked on several major Southeast Asian deals in the past, such as the power asset sales of Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings.

Behar’s move was announced in a Credit Suisse internal memo, according to people familiar with the matter. The sources declined to be identified because the hiring has not been made public.

Hong Kong-based Affinity Equity Partners is an Asia-focused private equity firm founded more than a decade ago by K.Y. Tang, a former chairman of UBS Capital in Asia-Pacific.

There was no immediate response from Tang’s office on the hiring of Behar, while a Credit Suisse spokeswoman declined comment.

Asian private equity firms have raised billions of dollars and have been actively hunting for M&A deals across various sectors.
The moves in M&A teams at investment banks come as dealmaking is faltering in Southeast Asia. The region’s deal value of M&As fell to a two-year low of $16.8 billion in the first quarter as acquisitive tycoons from Thailand paused after a deal-making rush.

The Southeast Asian M&A heads at UBS Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Bank of America Corp have left in recent months, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.