Lexicon to open doors in New York next month

The UK-based advisory boutique has transferred Nico Master from London to New York, where he and newly hired Hal Clark will head up the firm’s infrastructure advisory practice in the US. Clark was previously the chairman of the global power group at Citigroup’s investment bank.

Boutique advisory firm Lexicon Partners is crossing the pond from the UK to US in hopes of making a splash in the infrastructure advisory sector, InfrastructureInvestor has learned.

The firm has transferred London-based managing director Nico Master to the US, where he will begin working in the firm’s newly established New York office at the beginning of September, according to a person familiar with the firm.

Nico Master

Master will be joined in New York by Hal Clark, who earlier last month agreed to join the firm as a senior advisor. Clark, who most recently served as chairman of the global power group at Citigroup’s investment bank, will also begin working at Lexicon in September, the person said.

Other members of its New York team are now being hired, the person added.

The New York office will be Lexicon’s third office. The UK firm, founded in 2000 by a team of professionals that had worked together at Phoenix Securities and DLJ, opened a Hong Kong office about two and a half years ago.

Originally focused on financial services, it added a second sector specialisation in 2004 with the addition of a utilities and infrastructure team that had previously worked together at Citigroup and UK asset management firm Schroders.

The two most senior members of Lexicon’s 20-person infrastructure and utilities team – Read Gomm and Chris Houston – are both ex-Schroders executives. They are both based in the UK, where in recent years they’ve advised on several high profile infrastructure deals.

Gomm advised the Saltaire Consortium on its £5.5 billion acquisition of UK water utility Kelda in 2007. That consortium included Citi Infrastructure Investors, HSBC, GIC Special Investments – the private equity arm of the Singapore government – and the Prudential Group’s Infracapital Partners.

Houston advised the UK government on its £15.9 billion Crossrail project, a new railway between London and the Southeast of England.

The staffing of the firm’s New York office represents the second major expansion for Lexicon this year. In March, Lexicon announced the recruitment of three senior professionals from UBS. David Waring, Martin Copeland and Dato Sandroshvili joined the firm to lead a new energy advisory practice.