Alvarez & Marsal launches Asian advisory group

The US consultancy group has positioned itself in Asia with a new Shanghai-based Transaction Advisory practice.

New York-based global advisory group Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) – with activities spanning Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and India – is now turning towards Asia and South Asia with the launch of a transaction advisory group (TAG) practice operating from Shanghai and headed by managing director Xuong Liu, an ex-KPMG transaction advisory partner.

The group claims to be advising 300-plus mid and large-cap private equity firms, 99 percent of American law firms, 30 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and 18 of the US’s 20 largest banks.

It mobilises a large resource of due diligence, forensic services and accountancy experts alongside a variety of professionals with high-profile operational backgrounds representing a wide variety of industries, and is looking to develop a stronger presence in the region as it sees increasing opportunities due to growing competition in today’s low-growth environment.

“A&M’s end-to-end service offering helps clients, including private equity funds, corporates and state-owned enterprises, unlock the real potential of their businesses and fosters the creation of Asia’s next generation of game-changer companies,” explained Paul Aversano, managing director in A&M’s private equity services practice and global practice leader for TAG.

“We help clients solve their most challenging operational and balance sheet problems with hands-on leadership. As Asian investors increase in sophistication, China’s capital markets continue to evolve, and the ways to invest and divest become more diverse, it is a natural progression for our business to launch Transaction Advisory Group in Asia to meet these growing demands from our client base,” said Oliver Stratton, co-head of A&M Asia during the launch in Hong Kong yesterday.

To lead the transaction advisory business, A&M has hired Xuong Liu as a managing director. Liu was previously with KPMG where he was a transaction advisory partner and built up his knowledge of the issues facing inbound investments into the region as well as cross-border experience gained from working on high-profile transactions.

Another new recruit is Richard Chen, senior director, also from KPMG. Chen has more than a decade of transaction advisory experience advising private equity and corporate clients across a range of industries including consumer goods and retail, industrial products and services, transportation and logistics, energy and resources, software and services, media and semiconductors.

Liu said the focus industries for the group’s client base in the region are consumer goods/retail, manufacturing, commercial banking, enterprise software, transportation and energy.

A&M serves global, regional and local private equity firms investing in Asia, as well as US- and European-focused private equity firms with portfolio businesses operating in or sourcing from Asia.

A&M is also eyeing opportunities in industries that are undergoing transition as a result of the shift towards a domestic consumption-based economy. This applies to such traditional sectors, such as steel and shipbuilding, which are having to relocate to markets with lower manufacturing costs.