Noah Sakimura, Director, BlackRock Corporate Strategy and Development, supports BlackRock’s Global Executive Committee in defining and executing BlackRock’s strategic agenda, and partners with business leads across BlackRock to drive cross-functional business initiatives. Noah focuses on identifying and executing corporate transactions including acquisitions, divestitures and strategic partnerships across the traditional and alternative asset management and financial technology sectors.
Prior to joining BlackRock in 2010, Mr. Sakimura was a member of the Financial Institutions Investment Banking Group of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he executed a variety of M&A and financing assignments for companies in the asset management and financial technology sectors.
Mr. Sakimura earned a BSE, summa cum laude, in mechanical engineering and economics from Duke University.
Zinovy is responsible for business development and acquisition activities focused on identifying high-quality RIAs to join the Focus partnership. Zinovy also works closely with several Focus partner firms providing strategic guidance and support on organic and acquisition-based growth initiatives.
Prior to joining Focus, Zinovy was a Vice President with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. (KBW), a top-ranked M&A boutique focused on financial institutions. At KBW, Zinovy worked in the investment banking division where he executed numerous M&A, equity and debt transactions. Additionally, Zinovy worked in KBW’s private equity arm where he focused on identifying, structuring and executing growth capital investments for financial services firms. Prior to KBW, Zinovy was an Analyst in the investment banking division of UBS covering financial institutions and began his career in a corporate rotation program with Bank One (a predecessor of JPMorgan Chase) having worked in various functions including corporate development, finance and marketing.
Zinovy received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS from Lehigh University. Zinovy lives in New York City with his wife and enjoys skiing, traveling and cooking.
Focus at KBW
Wesley Fox is a Managing Director in the Insurance & Asset/Wealth Management Investment Banking Group. Mr. Fox’s transaction experience spans merger and acquisition, public and private capital raising and general strategic advisory assignments. He leads the Group’s effort in the insurance distribution, traditional and alternative asset management, and wealth management sectors.
Mr. Fox joined KBW, a Stifel Company in 2004 as an analyst in the Insurance & Asset/Wealth Management Investment Banking Group. He has been with the firm for his entire professional career.
B.A., cum laude, in Economics from Williams College
Selected Asset and Wealth Management M&A Transaction Experience
§ Securian Financial Group pending sale of H. Beck to Kestra Financial
§ SCS Financial sale to Focus Financial
§ The Riverside Company sale of a minority interest to Parkwood LLC
§ Wilton Re and ivari sale of Aegon Capital Management and Aegon Fund Management to Foresters
§ Asset Allocation & Management Company and Stone Point Capital on the sale of AAM to Securian
§ Stifel acquisition of Legg Mason Investment Counsel
§ Luminous Capital sale to First Republic Bank
§ Nikko Asset Management acquisition of Tyndall from Suncorp-Metway
§ AIG sale of LIHTC inventory to Berkshire Hathaway
§ Kansas Insurance Department in connection with demutualization and sale of Security Benefit/Rydex to Guggenheim
Ernest S. Wechsler counsels strategic businesses and private equity and hedge funds in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, minority investments and corporate restructurings, as well as in general corporate matters. Mr. Wechsler advises companies in a range of industries, including financial, technology, and manufacturing.
Mr. Wechsler’s recent transactions include representing:
- BlackRock Inc. in its acquisition of Cachematrix, a leading provider of financial technology which simplifies the cash management process for banks and their corporate clients.
- BlackRock Inc. in the acquisition of FutureAdvisor, a robo-advisor based in Silicon Valley.
- BlackRock Inc. in a transaction with Bank of America to transfer investment management responsibilities of approximately $87 billion of assets managed by Bank of America.
- BlackRock Inc. in its strategic investment in iCapital Network, a financial technology platform focused on democratizing access to alternative investments.
- BlackRock Inc. in its strategic investment in Scalable, an Anglo-German robo-advisor.
- The majority equity owners of Stanley Martin Communities in its sale to Daiwa House USA.
- AmTrust Financial Services Inc., a multinational insurance holding company, in its acquisition of Warranty Solutions, a Wells Fargo company.
- ACP Re Ltd., a Bermuda reinsurer, in a merger to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Tower Group International Ltd., a publicly traded, Bermuda-based holding company for numerous property-casualty insurers and reinsurers.
- National General Holdings Corp., a specialty personal lines insurance holding company, in its pending acquisition of Elara Holdings Inc., the parent company of Direct General Corp., a Tennessee-based auto and life insurance company.
- Sentinel Capital Partners in its acquisition of Revenew International LLC, a Houston-based provider of cost recovery and containment services relating to procurement and payment processes.
- Focus Financial Partners in the transaction under which Brownlie & Braden joined the Focus partnership.
- Focus Financial Partners in the transaction under which Kovitz Investment Group joined the Focus partnership.
- Millennium Partners in the sale of its Sports Club/LA and Reebok Sports Club/NY health and fitness club business and certain related assets to Equinox Fitness.
- Community Veterinary Partners in its sale to Cortec Group.
Mr. Wechsler routinely represents private equity funds, hedge funds and other asset managers in joint ventures and investment transactions. His representative clients in these areas include BlackRock and MSD Capital.
Mr. Wechsler has been recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA (2011-2015), Chambers Global (2011-2017) and Legal 500 US (2010, 2013-2017). In 2015, Chambers USA said he is “respected by sources for his ability to ‘understand the business aspects of deals in a way that other lawyers don't.’” Legal 500 reported in 2015 that he “stands out” as a “highly experienced adviser.”
Kate Jenkinson is an editor for the events and publications division of Acuris. With more than 10 years’ experience as a journalist, writer and editor, Kate graduated with a Bachelor in Journalism in Australia in 2006 before moving to the UK in 2010. In her role, Kate is responsible for commissioning and editing thought leadership and research reports that cover a range of topics impacting M&A and capital markets.