Kevin Berry and Juan Mejia join Drake Star Partners as partners

20 July 2018

Global investment bank Drake Star Partners announced that it has hired Kevin Berry and Juan Mejia as partners in its San Francisco and NYC offices, respectively. The two bring decades of experience in M&A advisory in technology and media to their new roles in the firm’s US senior team.

Drake Star Partners is a global investment bank that provides mergers & acquisitions (M&A) and corporate finance advisory services to technology, media, and communications clients around the world. The firm’s seasoned investment bankers provide strategic M&A support to clients in the areas of sell-side, buy-side, and public takeovers, among others. On the corporate finance side, Drake Star offers advisory services in the areas of recapitalization, growth financing and debt, IPOs, restructuring, and valuation advisory.

Founded in 2003, the firm has offices in New York, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, Berlin, Amsterdam, Geneva, and Tokyo. With a team of over 70 professionals, Drake Star has completed over 300 transactions – 70% of which have been cross-border deals. The firm has worked with numerous leading companies, including WPP, Oracle, Nokia, Thomson Reuters, and Capgemini.

Last week, Drake Star announced that it was strengthening its US leadership with the addition of two new partners. Kevin Berry will bring his 25 years of experience in the investment banking and financial services industry to the firm’s San Francisco office, while Juan Mejia – who boasts over two decades-worth of M&A advisory and technology consulting experience – will join the New York office.Kevin Berry and Juan Mejia join Drake Star Partners as partnersPrior to joining Drake Star, Kevin Berry was a Vice President for four years in investment bank Houlihan Lokey’s Technology, Media, and Telecom Group. While there, he oversaw a number of important transactions, including the sale of Social Solutions to Vista Equity and the sale of EPiServer to Accel/KKR. Before Houlihan Lokey, Berry was a Director at boutique technology investment bank ArchPoint Partners, where he supported tech and media firms with financial and strategic advisory services. Prior to that, Berry was a Managing Director at NASDAQ, where he secured IPO listings for firms like Zynga, Solazyme, and Zillow. He holds a BA from St. John’s University.

Juan Mejia was previously a Managing Director at financial advisory firm Peter J. Solomon, where he was a member of the company’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications advisory practice. Before that, Mejia worked in Morgan Stanley’s Media & Communications investment banking group, advising on M&A, divestitures, and capital structuring, among other areas.

Mejia has worked on many high-profile deals, including eBay’s $2.4 billion acquisition of GSI Commerce and Under Armour’s purchase of MapMyFitness. Before his tenure with Peter J. Solomon and Morgan Stanley, Mejia worked in software sales and IT services at PeopleSoft and Accenture. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech.

“Kevin and Juan bring proven experience in both deal origination and expert advice across the technology, media and communications sectors, winning and closing industry-defining transactions for clients worldwide,” commented Gregory Bedrosian, Managing Partner & CEO at Drake Star Partners. “They will undoubtedly contribute to help us gain greater market share in the US while leveraging their local know-how to benefit our cross-border, sector-focused teams internationally.”

Drake Star has been on a recent hiring spree as it seeks to expand its capabilities to service client demand in the areas of M&A and corporate finance. The firm recently hired Michael Metzger and Mark Bradt as partners in its LA and San Francisco offices, respectively, while also recruiting Eric Ward to the firm’s London office.


Leadership advisor YSC Consulting appoints Eric Pliner as CEO

18 April 2019

London-based global leadership consultancy YSC has appointed Eric Pliner as its new CEO, replacing Robert Sharrock, who held the role for five years. Pliner, previously the firm’s Americas leader, will remain based in New York City.

For 30 years, YSC Consulting has been providing leadership advisory services to clients across a wide range of industries. The firm provides services in the areas of leadership strategy, performance, research, and analytics. YSC also has offerings in organizational leadership and CEO & board advisory. The firm’s approach is grounded in the behavioral sciences, allowing clients to better align business strategy and leadership.

In 2017, Graphite Capital complete a private equity investment in the firm, which has allowed YSC to continue its rapid expansion across the globe. Today, the firm has 19 offices across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions, staffed by 225 professionals with backgrounds in clinical psychology and organizational behavior, among other areas.

YSC’s incumbent CEO, Robert Sharrock, will now move into the roles of managing director of YSC’s board and CEO of the advisory practice. Sharrock had previously indicated that he would move into a client-facing role following one year of results after the private equity infusion.Leadership advisor YSC Consulting appoints Eric Pliner as CEO


 “Having achieved the goals we established as a business during my tenure, I look forward to fully devoting my time to the client service areas of the business I find most rewarding, which is working directly with board members and CEOs,” Sharrock said. “I will also be offering my unreserved support to Eric and our global team as we continue to expand our distinctive business around the world.”

Eric Pliner, who has been with the firm since 2010, will step into the role of CEO. An expert in organizational behavior, talent management, and development, Pliner joined the firm as a senior consultant, working his way up to managing director and head of YSC Americas in 2014.

Prior to joining YSC, Pliner was director of organizational talent management & development at the NYC Department of Education, and was an adjunct instructor in the curriculum & teaching department at Hunter College in New York. He holds an MBA in management, organizational behavior, and human resources from the City University of New York – Baruch College.

“Robert has successfully led the business through five years of sustained growth and shaped the brand into a premier global leadership consultancy,” Pliner said. “I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to lead this iconic firm as we continue to serve world-class organisations in understanding and developing the critical leadership to achieve their future business strategies.

“Whether through individual executive assessment, pre-deal due diligence and post-deal integration for private equity transactions, design and execution of inclusive leadership and diversity strategy, coaching for senior executives and teams, resilient change leadership, and more, YSC’s global services are and will remain distinctive, characterful, and best-in-class,” he added.

Related: Ohio-based consultancy Change 4 Growth launches UK office