Guggenheim hiring Peter Comisar from Goldman

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On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Guggenheim Partners’ executive chairman was Alan Schwartz. He hired Peter Comisar  from Goldman Sachs GS.N to join his team, taking care of investment banking. Comisar is expected to advise consumer and retail companies, and he just informed Goldman colleagues that he was leaving the firm after 20 years.

Peter Comisar

In June, Guggenheim Partners hired Schwartz, the former CEO of Bear Stearns, to transition Guggenheim’s existing broker-dealer into a full-service investment banking firm.

Guggenheim Partners (“Guggenheim”) stated that it had hired a five-person senior investment banking team from Barclays to focus on the retail, fashion, and restaurant sectors. Guggenheim Securities’ full-service investment banking activities targeted to the consumer retail sector have expanded with the inclusion.

Andrew Taussig and Spencer Hart and Matthew Pilla, and Ken Harada will join Guggenheim after working at Credit Suisse First Boston. Then they work together at Lehman Brothers, and then Barclays, which acquired Lehman Brothers’ North American investment bank in 2008. Ryan Mash, who previously worked at Bank of America and Barclays as the head of retail M&A, will also be joining the team.

“We were pleased by the team’s breadth and depth of relationships, as well as its client list, which includes many of America’s leading business names,” stated Alan D. Schwartz, Executive Chairman of Guggenheim Partners and head of the Securities. “The reputation for exceptional client care and high-quality execution is a perfect fit for our platform.”

Mr. Taussig went on to say, “After reviewing several options for our team, we decided that Guggenheim offered the best of both worlds: a distinctive and quickly developing franchise, a variety of client-friendly capital sources, and a focus on long-term partnerships. Guggenheim’s strategy is in keeping with our franchise’s solution-based, client-focused model, which has shown to be successful over time.”

Mr. Taussig joined The First Boston Corporation in 1982 and formed the Retail Group shortly after. CVS Caremark, Dollar General, Home Depot, Reebok, and Staples are just a few of Mr. Taussig’s clients. Among the notable transactions are Toys “R” Us’ $8 billion sales, Reebok’s $4 billion sales to Adidas, Dollar General’s $7 billion sales, CVS’ approximately combinations with Caremark Rx of $25 billion, and the acquisition of Longs Drugs of around $3 billion, and Cerberus’ $3 billion acquisition of New Albertsons Inc. from Supervalu.

Mr. Hart began his career at CS First Boston in 1991 and focused on the retail, garment, and restaurant industries, where he has advised and led over 100 deals. Among Mr. Hart’s clients are DineEquity, Dunkin’ Brands, Domino’s, G-III Apparel, Sonic Corp., and Yankee Candle, to name a few.

Mr. Mash has approximately 20 years of investment banking expertise and has spent most of his career in the retail industry, advising on over 40 retail-related deals. Mr. Mash has counselled several notable retail firms. Peter Comisar and the Guggenheim consumer/retail team recently advised on several significant transactions in the sector, PacSun’s minority stake sale to Golden Gate, Costco’s $3.5 billion special dividends, and related debt financing $600 million announced sales of Hot Topic to Sycamore Partners.