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Holmes Report

Having turned around Brunswick’s New York office at the beginning of this decade, Tim Payne left it in the capable hands of Steve Lipin in 2004 and headed east to establish the global mergers and acquisitions leader as a major player in the about-to-be-booming Asia-Pacific region. It didn’t take long for Brunswick to hit the big time: it had a team of just four people in Hong Kong when it was retained by CNOOC (the China National Offshore Oil Corporation) to assist in its ultimately unsuccessful bid for America’s Unocal—an assignment that confirmed the consultancy’s strategy of having senior people in all of the world’s major financial centers.


Since then, the firm has handled several high-profile assignments: Sina's response to the acquisition of an unsolicited 20 percent stake by Shanda; PCCW's $1 billion investment from China Netcom; Carlyle's purchase of XCMC, the first ever buy-out of a Chinese state owned company, and of China Pacific Life, the largest ever private equity transaction in China. The firm also led communications for Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s shareholder rights plans to international investors; the merger of leading Japanese pharmaceutical companies Daiichi and Sankyo.


Today Brunswick has a modest 20-person presence in the region (about 10 each in Hong Kong and a Beijing office that opened in 2005) but the region makes a contribution out of proportion to those numbers as a result of the amount of outbound M&A and IPO assignments originating in Asia—and China in particular—over the past couple of years. The firm’s work in the region, meanwhile, is pretty evenly split between Chinese companies and multinationals.


Payne’s leadership team includes Caroline Cai Jinquing, partner in Hong Kong and Beijing, who joined in 2005 and worked on the CNOOC-Unocal bid and the Boao Forum for Asia and Joseph Lo Chi-Lun, who worked for Boots and for Brunswick in London before relocating to Hong Kong as director, and was joined last year by Andy Browne, who spent 25 years with Reuters, including three in China, before joining Brunswick as partner in Beijing, and by Peter Sjovall, previously head of institutional sales at Bank of China International in Hong Kong, as a director in the Hong Kong office.


Look for Brunswick to expand its regional network over the next few years, with

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