NEW YORK--()--The CEA Group and J. Patrick “Rick” Michaels, Jr., Chairman and CEO, announced today the formation of CEA Capital Advisors – a new firm focused on advisory and merchant banking opportunities with industry veterans Bruce Raben, who formerly held senior management positions at Drexel Burnham Lambert, Jefferies and CIBC World Markets, and Bill Lisecky, the former Managing Director and Head of Media & Entertainment Investment Banking at CIBC World Markets and Oppenheimer & Co. The venture will initially focus on advisory, consulting and investment opportunities in the TMT, Marketing Services, Content, Internet, Consumer, Energy and Finance Sectors. “CEA Capital Advisors was created to further extend and augment CEA’s existing brand,” stated Rick Michaels. “The traditional Wall Street model is broken and not properly serving the middle market from an advisory and investment standpoint. This new venture allows CEA to bring in world class talent, further expand its family of managed investments, diversify into new areas of expertise beyond TMT and capitalize on its 40 years of high-end relationships around the world.”
“Advisory Board members will bring their wealth of experience and relationships to help our clients build and finance their businesses.”
Also joining the firm will be Jim Irvine, Senior Managing Director, Andrew Bracy as an Executive Director and Paul Conway, as a Senior Advisor focused on Entertainment and China related projects. Jim successfully ran the Private Placement Group for Oppenheimer from 2002 to 2012 and Paul recently served as the CEO of Search Media Holdings Limited (NYSE MKT “IDI”), a leading Chinese out-of-home media company. Said Bill Lisecky, the CEO of CEA Capital Advisors, “The team has come together quickly and I believe we are uniquely positioned to help our clients and future portfolio companies. I have known and worked with the majority of the senior team throughout my career and we all believe the time is right to partner with Rick and his team given the ever changing landscape of the financial services industry.” The firm will have 50 employees in four offices located in New York, Los Angeles, Tampa and London. The CEA Group’s office in Tampa will handle all back office operations for CEA Capital.
On the Advisory side, the Founding Partners of CEA Capital have completed approximately 900 transactions, in 60 countries with a total deal value in excess of $115 billion, including debt/equity placements, sell side M&A, cross-border M&A, special committee and restructuring advisory assignments. The Merchant Banking Fund is to initially have up to $50 million of capital which will be used to partner with leading entrepreneurs, innovative companies, other PE Funds and Family offices. The new fund will benefit greatly from the top quartile performance of the CEA Group’s direct investments and sponsored Private Equity Funds.
CEA Capital has also formed an outside Advisory Board consisting of experienced CEO’s, CFO’s and Private Equity professionals that overlap with the firm’s areas of expertise, including media, communications, advertising and marketing. “Members of the Board will be instrumental in helping our team as we continue to build our advisory business and identify investment opportunities for our fund,” said Bruce Raben, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of CEA Capital. “Advisory Board members will bring their wealth of experience and relationships to help our clients build and finance their businesses.”
CEA Capital has already been mandated on several transactions and recently served as an advisor to MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting on its $155 million senior debt refinancing.
Founded in 1973, CEA is a leading provider of investment banking services and private equity to the global communications, media, entertainment, and information technology industries. With a team of highly experienced personnel worldwide, CEA has an unequaled depth and breadth of industry knowledge, expertise and long-standing industry relationships. CEA has completed over 900 transactions totaling $45 billion in 60 countries. CEA and its affiliates also manage, co-manage or participate in a worldwide family of private equity funds with committed capital of approximately $1.15 billion for private equity investments in the industries CEA serves. CEA’s reputation and track record of success are built on delivering innovative, value-added solutions and services to clients worldwide. CEA Atlantic Advisors, LLC is a FINRA Registered Broker-Dealer and a member of SIPC.