Baker McKenzie and Equiteq advise on JCRA | Chatham deal

22 November 2019 3 min. read
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Two large players in the financial risk management solutions space – US-headquartered Chatham Financial and UK-headquartered JCRA Group – have merged to form a group advising 3,000 clients on more than 20,000 transactions with a notional amount in excess of $700 billion per year.

Founded in 1991, Chatham Financial is an independent financial risk management advisory and technology firm. The company provides companies with debt and derivative solutions, enabling them to mitigate risks associated with interest rate, foreign currency, inflation, and commodity exposures.

Counterpart JCRA focuses on the same segment, and has been providing debt advice and building financial hedging solutions for over three decades. Both companies provide their services to mainly commercial real estate, private equity, infrastructure, financial institutions and corporate clients.

The joining of forces of the two rivals creates a dominant global player in the financial risk market, with almost 700 employees based in the Americas (Denver, Pennsylvania, Toronto), Europe (London and Krakow) and Asia (Melbourne and Singapore).

The CEO’s of both companies describe the deal as complementary. Chatham Financial enjoys a top reputation in the US market, while JCRA has a similar billing in Europe. “Together, we can have an even greater impact,” said Clark Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer of Chatham Financial.

Brian Conly, Co-Head of Europe at Chatham Financial, added, “Clients of both firms will benefit from our enhanced ability to manage their exposure to capital market risks and innovate alongside them.”

As part of the integration, JCRA’s Chief Executive Officer, Jackie Bowie, will join Chatham Financial as Co-Head of Europe, working alongside Conly. “Combined we will will raise the bar for what clients expect when transacting in the debt and derivative markets.”


The transaction was advised on by several dealmakers. M&A lawyers from Baker McKenzie advised Chatham Financial on the legal aspects of the deal. The work was led by Baker McKenzie’s London office, with partners Ian Jack, James Burdett and Mark Simpson at the helm of a 10-strong team, and supported by the law firm’s offices in New York and Toronto.

Commenting on the deal, Ian Jack said: “We are delighted to have advised Chatham Financial on this strategically important. This was a highly complex transaction involving regulatory clearances in the UK and the US, and very clearly demonstrates Baker McKenzie's strength in tackling highly challenging transactions.”

Matt Henry, a Managing Partner at Chatham Financial lauded the transaction support provided, stating “We have known and worked alongside Baker McKenzie for several years as co-advisors on complex transactions and are very pleased to have had them on our side for this landmark deal in Chatham’s development.”

Meanwhile, at the other side of the table, JCRA received strategic and financial advice from Equiteq, an M&A advisory firm for companies in the professional services industry. Ed Groome, Managing Director at Equiteq, said: “We are delighted to have supported the management team and JCRA’s shareholders throughout the sale process.”

Speaking of Equiteq’s role in the transaction, JCRA’s CEO Bowie remarked: “We have known the team for quite a few years and they had engaged with JCRA early on other aspects of preparation for exit. The team was on hand throughout the process and provided guidance to help us reach a successful conclusion.”

Other dealmakers that supported the transaction were at the time of writing unknown.