Berenson & Co., an independent merchant banking firm, announced today that Jeffrey Sechrest will join as president. Sechrest comes to Berenson from Lazard Freres, where he served as Co-Head of Lazard’s Media Group, prior to taking on a role as Senior Advisor. He will begin his new role in June, the firm said.
Berenson & Company, a leading independent merchant banking firm, announced today that Jeffrey Sechrest will join as President in June. Mr. Sechrest, a Wall Street veteran with an extensive 25-year career in senior investment banking roles, will take on a leading role at the Firm to further build its advisory and principal activities. In particular, Sechrest plans to focus on expanding Berenson’s existing capabilities and expertise across the converging technology, media, telecom, and entertainment space (TMTE).
Mr. Sechrest will also join the Firm’s Board of Directors, which includes Carl Ferenbach, a co-founder of Berkshire Partners, and Thomas J. Edelman, a founding partner of White Deer Energy.
“We are pleased to welcome Jeff Sechrest, a most highly-respected investment banker with an outstanding record of business success and leadership,” said Jeffrey L. Berenson, CEO. “Among the many assets Jeff brings to us are his deep experience and relationships across the entire TMTE spectrum. Those sectors represent a significant part of the global economy today and, as a result of a rapidly shifting landscape, are experiencing enormous opportunity and challenge.”
“Jeffrey Berenson has built a highly-regarded banking business with a sterling reputation for integrity and trusted and insightful advice, combined with superb execution by senior professionals,” said Sechrest. “The strength of Berenson’s existing business platform, which includes several colleagues with whom I have collaborated over the years, was a key factor in my commitment to join the Firm. I am confident that we can use our collective relationships, experience, and knowledge to dramatically expand Berenson’s advisory business. In addition, as a merchant banking firm, we intend to leverage both our intellectual and investment capital to create an investment platform complementary to our advisory business. The opportunity to take on a greater role as a principal, as well as an advisor, was one of the key aspects that attracted me to Berenson.”
Mr. Sechrest comes to Berenson from Lazard Freres, LLC where he served as Co-Head of Lazard’s Media Group, prior to taking on a role as Senior Advisor. Before Lazard, he held various senior positions on Wall Street, including Vice Chairman at Merrill Lynch, a senior partner at Evercore Partners and a Managing Director and Co-Head of Media/Telecom at Lehman Brothers.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Sechrest has worked with a diverse list of companies in the technology, media and telecom industries, including Amazon.com, BellSouth Corporation, Comcast, Cox Enterprises, Electronic Arts, Liberty Media, NBC, TCI and Viacom. He has been known as one of the preeminent investment bankers to companies in the media and technology industries and has participated in many of the most high profile transactions in those industries.
Lisbeth Barron, Managing Director and Head of Berenson’s Media, Entertainment and Leisure Advisory Practice noted, “Jeff’s significant industry expertise and knowledge in digital media, gaming, telecom and technology are a perfect fit and deepen our offerings in the media, entertainment and leisure space.”
Christopher Johnson, Vice Chairman of Berenson and head of its Capital Markets practice, also has deep TMTE experience; prior to joining the Firm in 2010, he was COO of Deutsche Bank’s Global TMT Group. As former Chairman of Merrill Lynch’s Global Leveraged Finance Group, Johnson’s role coincided with Sechrest’s tenure at Merrill Lynch as well.
Mr. Sechrest is actively involved in a variety of organizations focused on media arts and public policy. A past board member of National Public Radio, he currently serves on the Board of Emerging Pictures, a New York-based company involved in theatrical distribution for the visual arts and independent film. He is also a member of The New York Roundtable for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, and is active in a number of charitable organizations. Mr. Sechrest graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina and received his law degree from the University of Virginia where he was a Dillard Fellow.
# # #
About Berenson & Company (www.berensonco.com)
Founded in 1990, Berenson & Company is an independent investment banking firm that provides high quality financial advice to a broad range of public and private corporations, financial institutions, equity sponsors and entrepreneurs. The Firm’s investment banking capabilities include a comprehensive suite of mergers & acquisitions advisory services, public and private financings of debt and equity, and financial restructuring and recapitalizations. Its business philosophy is characterized by an objective, client-focused approach toward developing long-term relationships and creative problem-solving. The Firm also has a long-standing principal investment business, an affiliate in Dubai and a stake in a leading investment bank in India.