Castle Harlan hires DLJ vet as vice chair

New York-based Castle Harlan has appointed Gary Appel as its new vice chairman. Appel is part of the DLJ fraternity and had previously worked alongside John Castle for a roughly eight-year span.

Castle Harlan announced the hiring of Gary Appel to the position of vice chairman. Appel is coming to Castle Harlan from Chicago-based Glencoe Capital, where he served in the same role, but it was likely his service in the DLJ Merchant Banking fraternity that reunited him with Castle Harlan heads and former DLJ executives John Castle and Leonard Harlan.

John Castle, co-founder, Castle Harlan

Appel carries a long track record with him. Prior to his role at Glencoe, Appel had served as a senior managing director at Bear Stearns & Co., and before that he had spent 17 years at DLJ Merchant Banking, where he was a founding partner and managing director. There he worked alongside John Castle for roughly eight years, up until Castle left to co-launch Castle Harlan.

Appel is just the latest high profile exec with Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette DNA to make a major move in the past couple of years. Former DLJ head Lawrence Schloss left last year to form Diamond Castle Holdings, which earlier this month notched its first deal, while Thompson Dean left to launch Avista Capital Partners. DLJ has also endured defections from James Quella and Michael Dugan, who were lured to The Blackstone Group from former DLJ head and current Blackstone president Hamilton James.

In a statement, Castle Harlan said it expects Appel to broaden the firm’s capabilities by identifying and developing new business opportunities, in addition to working with its existing portfolio companies. The vice chairman role is a new position at Castle Harlan.

The New York-based firm is currently investing out of its fourth fund, which closed in 2003 with $1.16 billion and is roughly 40 percent invested. Also, earlier this year, the firm raised a $730 million (A$950 million) follow-up Australian fund, CHAMP II.