Bear Stearns Adds Two in Private Equity –

NEW YORK – Responding to the growing appetite of private equity buyers for later-stage private and public companies, Bear, Stearns & Co. hired Peter Buckley and David Goddard as senior managing directors and co-heads of the newly formed private equity group.

“This is a model that a number of larger firms have seen is essential to getting good IPO candidates because it’s a way to establish exclusive relationships,” Mr. Buckley said.

Candidates for the new group’s services will be later-stage companies that are raising mezzanine or late-stage equity rounds. The group will do early-stage deals as well but will demand that clients have a proven business template and existing institutional investors. Private investment in public entities also will be a major focus of the group’s efforts, he said.

Formalized after the firm had spent a year placing private deals on an ad hoc basis, the private equity group will target the usual buyer universe with placements – insurance companies, pensions, bank capital groups. Mr. Buckley said the group will inform mutual funds, which have begun making more crossover purchases, about private equity deals.

The team initially will stick to placing direct investments. However, the firm’s commitment to expanding the private group eventually could include hiring a team dedicated to private equity fund raising.

Messrs. Buckley and Goddard, who were managing directors at BancBoston Robertson Stephens Inc.’s private capital group, started at Bear Stearns in mid-November. At BancBoston, Mr. Buckley covered consumer retail, health-care services and business services groups. Prior to that, he served from 1986 to 1996 as a managing director in the private placements group at BankAmerica Corp.

Mr. Goddard was responsible for the New York and Boston private capital business at BancBoston, as well as for private subordinated debt underwriting and private equity co-investments. Mr. Goddard served as managing director at Chase Securities from 1994 to 1996, focusing on the global mezzanine and private equity placement business.