Houlihan Lokey expands illiquid financial assets practice in Europe

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Houlihan Lokey has expanded its illiquid financial assets (IFA) practice with the addition of Zaman Khan and Christian Scharf, who have joined the firm as managing directors based in London. 

Khan and Scharf will jointly spearhead the continued growth of the business in Europe, focusing primarily on financial institutions, strategic advisory and bespoke deleveraging solutions for holders of non-core illiquid financial assets. They will report to Jeff Hammer and Paul Sanabria, global co-heads of IFA.
Scharf and Khan both join the firm from HSBC. Scharf held a number of roles at HSBC, most recently serving as head of debt capital markets for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Khan was HSBC’s head of special situations, focusing on bank deleveraging and stressed opportunity origination and execution. Prior to HSBC, he was chief investment officer of Abaci Investment Management.
“Christian and Zam bring meaningful financial institution relationships, extensive structured transaction experience, and innovative solutions to our IFA practice,” says Sanabria. “They are uniquely positioned, particularly with respect to their buy-side experience and approach, to assist European banks in optimising their capital structures and provide regulatory relief where possible, especially as capital requirements tighten. We’re delighted that they have joined Houlihan Lokey.”
“The IFA practice at Houlihan Lokey can provide a compelling additional tool for strengthening balance sheets, especially for financial institutions with limited access to the equity capital markets. When integrated with the firm’s other market-leading businesses including corporate finance, restructuring and valuation, the practice offers a unique set of solutions to banks,” says Khan. 
“In addition, our ability to unlock global illiquid capital flows for European clients will be supported and enhanced by Houlihan Lokey’s financial sponsors group, one of the largest sponsor coverage teams in the industry. We’re excited to have joined a firm with this breadth of services,” adds Scharf.
Also joining from HSBC is Thomas Chambers, an associate, who will support the practice in London alongside current IFA staff. Houlihan Lokey’s IFA practice now comprises 18 total staff, including nine officers, based in New York and London.
“Zam and Christian have executed numerous non-core asset and non-performing-loan platform transactions across Europe, including high-profile transactions such as the Eurobank and Alpha platform in Greece and a soon to be announced shipping platform,” says Hammer. “We are confident that they will add tremendous value to our European client base, creating novel solutions for challenging situations.”

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