Morgan Joseph LLC and Tri-Artisan Partners LLC Combine Forces Through Merger of Parent Companies Into Newly Formed Joint Holding Company

Investment Banking Firm Morgan Joseph and Merchant Bank Tri-Artisan Partners Create a Diversified “Next Generation” Financial Services Organization

Senior Management Consists of Chief Executives from Both Firms

NEW YORK--()--The parent organizations of Morgan Joseph LLC, a full service investment banking firm, and merchant banking firm Tri-Artisan Partners LLC, today announced their merger via a jointly owned, newly-formed holding company, Morgan Joseph TriArtisan Group Inc., owned by stakeholders of both firms. This new financial services organization brings together Morgan Joseph’s leadership among middle market companies with Tri-Artisan’s strength in serving larger capitalization companies and private equity investors.

“This is a perfect fit that brings together under one banner the unusual depth of expertise and experience of our two highly regarded financial services firms, having complementary skill sets that together will provide a full range of financial services to both mid-market and larger corporations, as well as institutional investors,” said John F. Sorte, President and CEO of Morgan Joseph, and Gerald H. Cromack and Rohit Manocha, co-managing principals of Tri-Artisan Capital Partners, in a joint statement.

“We anticipate that Morgan Joseph TriArtisan will be a leading and important provider of innovative and strategic corporate finance advice and solutions, including M&A advisory services and value added private equity investment opportunities, while maintaining the high standards for which each of us has been known. The fact that we share similar professional roots and that many of the principals involved in this transaction have known and worked with each over many years will result, we anticipate, in a highly effective and smooth transition,” the statement added.

The merger received the approval of stakeholders of both companies and was effected on December 28, 2010. The two broker-dealer firms will operate as wholly-owned subsidiaries of Morgan Joseph TriArtisan Group.

For the Group, Mr. Sorte will be Executive Chairman, and Mary Lou Malanoski, currently Executive Vice President of Morgan Joseph, will be Vice Chair and Head of Investment Banking. Messrs. Cromack and Manocha will be Co-Presidents of the Group.

The four will also constitute the Executive Committee of the holding company’s new Board. (Biographies are attached.)

Morgan Joseph TriArtisan will be headquartered at 600 Fifth Avenue, in New York City, and have domestic offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, Pittsford, NY, San Francisco, and Stamford, CT. The firm will also have an FSA-registered subsidiary in London, England and a representative office in Beijing, China.

Morgan Joseph, founded in 2001 as a successor to the then 19-year-old firm of Morgan Lewis Githens & Ahn, Inc., is a registered broker-dealer in 41 states and the District of Columbia. A full service investment banking firm, it provides financial advisory and capital raising services to corporate clients, and sales and execution services and equity research to institutional investors.

Tri-Artisan Capital Partners was founded in 2002 as a merchant bank and broker dealer. Tri-Artisan specializes in private equity investments on behalf of its institutional investor clients, and provides financial advisory services, including advice on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, corporate sales, restructuring transactions, recapitalizations and private placements, to its clients which include both corporations and members of the financial sponsor community.

Biographical Information on Senior Officers of Morgan Joseph TriArtisan Group

John F. Sorte
Executive Chairman

Mr. Sorte is President and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Joseph and has over 35 years of industry experience. Prior to co-founding Morgan Joseph, he was President of New Street Advisors LP. He previously held various positions at Drexel Burnham Lambert, including Co-head of Investment Banking and Chief Executive Officer, and started his career as an investment banker at Shearson Hammill. Mr. Sorte received his MBA from Harvard and both BA and ME degrees from Rice University. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Vail Resorts Inc. and Shorts International Ltd.

Mary Lou Malanoski
Vice Chair
Head of Investment Banking

Ms. Malanoski serves as Executive Vice President and Head of Investment Banking and has over 25 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Morgan Joseph, Ms. Malanoski held various positions at New Street Advisors LP and was a Managing Director at Drexel Burnham Lambert and Chairperson of the firm's underwriting commitment committee. Ms. Malanoski received an MBA from Cornell University and a B.A. from Rosemont College. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Phibro Animal Health Corp.

Gerald H. Cromack
Co-President

Mr. Cromack co-founded Tri-Artisan with Mr. Manocha. Prior to Tri-Artisan, Mr. Cromack was a principal in the 1994 leveraged buyout of Furman Selz LLC, which was sold in 1997 to ING Group. Mr. Cromack remained with ING Group (and the successor owner, ABN AMRO) until the beginning of 2002, serving as an executive member of the investment bank. Prior thereto, Mr. Cromack worked as a senior member in the Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Finance Departments of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Mr. Cromack started his career at the First National Bank of Chicago in its leveraged buyout corporate finance group. Mr. Cromack received a BA, with Distinction, in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Mr. Cromack is currently a member of the board of directors of Hartz Mountain Corporation, a former Tri-Artisan portfolio company.

Rohit Manocha
Co-President

Mr. Manocha co-founded Tri-Artisan with Mr. Cromack. Prior to Tri-Artisan, Mr. Manocha was a founding partner of Thomas Weisel Partners LLC. Prior thereto, he was a principal in the 1994 leveraged buyout of Furman Selz LLC, which was sold in 1997 to ING Group. Mr. Manocha remained with ING Group until the beginning of 1999, where he took responsibility of the North American private equity coverage and consumer, retailing and industrial mergers and acquisitions businesses. Prior thereto, Mr. Manocha worked at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and was a founding member of its private equity coverage effort. Mr. Manocha began his career as a corporate and mergers and acquisitions attorney in New York and California. Mr. Manocha received a BS in Engineering and a JD from Columbia University. Mr. Manocha currently serves on the board of directors of Claire’s Stores, Inc., a Tri-Artisan portfolio company.

Contacts

Anreder & Company
Steven Anreder
Cristina Bacon
212-532-3232
steven.anreder@anreder.com
cristina.bacon@anreder.com

Contacts

Anreder & Company
Steven Anreder
Cristina Bacon
212-532-3232
steven.anreder@anreder.com
cristina.bacon@anreder.com