(In first paragraph of Oct 12 item, corrects Novak's title to
director from managing director)
By Lauren Hirsch and Michael Flaherty
Oct 12 UBS Group AG has hired Darren
Novak, a director at Houlihan Lokey Inc, in its New York
office to advise companies on how to defend themselves against
activist investors, a spokeswoman for UBS said on Wednesday.
UBS's hiring of Novak comes as the Swiss bank scales back
its traditional reliance on its balance sheet for investment
banking and focuses on fostering strong relationships with
companies and occasionally using lending to support deals.
This strategy has gradually been paying off, as UBS jumped
from twelfth to eighth in the global M&A league tables through
the first three quarters of the year, according to Thomson
Novak's new role represents a tactical switch after he
worked with activist investors at Houlihan, offering them advice
on pressuring companies. At UBS, he will focus on defending
companies from activist attacks.
Before joining Houlihan in 2011, Novak worked as an M&A
partner at Canadian law firm Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg
LLP. Before that, he worked at two other law firms, Simpson
Thacher & Bartlett LLP and White & Case LLP.
Among the situations he worked on, Novak advised P.
Schoenfeld Asset Management on its campaign against T-Mobile US
Inc's merger with MetroPCS Communications Inc, which
resulted in the terms of the deal being sweetened.
Novak is the second activist banker to have left Houlihan
Lokey this year. In June, his former colleague Geoffrey Sorbello
moved to Elliott Management Corp, a $27 billion activist hedge
(Reporting by Lauren Hirsch and Michael Flaherty in New York;
Editing by Andrew Hay)