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New head of power and utilities at Evercore

Former BofA/Merrill Lynch managing director Laurie Coben joins the boutique investment bank in New York as senior managing director.

Laurie Coben, who most recently served as managing director and global co-head of the energy and power investment banking group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has joined investment banking advisory firm Evercore as senior managing director of its investment banking business and head of the firm's power and utilities division.

She will report to Ralph Schlosstein, Evercore's president and chief executive.

“We view the power and utilities industry as an important and evolving sector of our economy and as essential to the investor community,” Schlosstein said in a statement.

“We already have a strong franchise in this area in Europe and this appointment is a natural expansion of our preeminent energy and infrastructure investment banking practices in the US,” he added, citing the restructuring of its client Energy Future Holdings, as well as the advisory services Evercore provided to several publicly traded yieldcos as recent examples of the firm's growing business.

Coben brings more than 30 years of investment banking experience, the majority of which she spent focusing on the power sector, to the newly created position. According to the statement, Coben has worked on a number of notable transactions, including advising Pennsylvania utility PPL on the acquisition of E.ON's US power and natural gas business, energy producer AES on its acquisition of Ohio utility DPL and Duke Energy on the acquisition of Progress Energy.

In her new role, Coben will advise clients in the power and utilities sector on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings, financings, public offerings, private placements and other strategic transactions.

In addition to its investment banking business, Evercore's second principal business is investment management which comprises wealth management, institutional asset management and private equity investing.

The firm has 28 offices in North and South America, Europe and Asia.