KPMG recruits crop of energy bankers

KPMG Corporate Finance is expanding its energy M&A practice with the addition of Ewing Bemiss’ investment banking professionals.

KPMG Corporate Finance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Big Four accounting firm, has added a team of professionals from Ewing Bemiss, a Virginia-based mid-market boutique investment bank focusing on energy, utilities and industrial services.

“The professionals joining us from Ewing will be able to hit the ground running as we field an experienced and complete investment banking team in pursuit of opportunities within the energy sector,” head of KPMG Corporate Finance Phil Isom said in a statement.

“They have served as trusted advisors to middle-market energy and power generation companies worldwide, and have extensive expertise with alternative/renewable technologies, providers of equipment and services and traditional oil and gas sectors,” Isom added.

KPMG declined to disclose how many of Ewing Bemiss’ eight energy sector professionals are joining the firm. However, according to KPMG’s website, four of its seven energy and natural resources team members are from Ewing, including senior managing director Henry Berling and managing director Mary Bacon. The two other members to join KPMG from Ewing are Brent Belding and James McGrath, former director and managing director, respectively.

The transaction marks the end of Ewing Bemiss’ operations, which began in 1982, according to a message appearing on its website: “On July 31, 2015, Ewing Bemiss and KPMG Corporate Finance entered into a transaction through which the Richmond, VA based investment banking team of Ewing Bemiss has joined KPMG Corporate Finance to become its Energy Investment Banking group.”

According to KPMG’s statement, Ewing’s co-owner Tom Willingham is joining Turning Basin Capital Partners, an energy-focused private equity firm and Ewing affiliate, on a full-time basis. Turning Basin is not part of the KPMG transaction.

Gardner MacDonald, John Moorhead and Richard Petree, formerly managing directors at Ewing, have established Global Power Partners, a new investment bank targeting the renewable energy, clean technology and environmental services industries.

The Ewing Bemiss deal comes less than two months since KPMG CF acquired St. Charles Capital, another mid-market investment bank focusing on the energy sector.