ARLINGTON, Va., Nov 27, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Friedman, Billings, Ramsey and Co., an operating subsidiary of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, Inc. (NYSE: FBR), today announced that John Heron, Managing Director, and David C. Robertson, Senior Vice President, have joined its Consumer Group in Investment Banking. The addition of Mr. Heron and Mr. Robertson, along with recent hires in the company's Consumer Equity Research Group, further augments the expansion of FBR's consumer platform.
"Our plan is to build out our current industry verticals organically and through strategic acquisitions in order to establish teams of professionals who will lead us to top-ranked positions within each of our eight specialized industry groups. The addition of John and David certainly positions us to do just that in the consumer sector," said J. Rock Tonkel, Jr., President and Head of Investment Banking. "Given John's entrepreneurial background and Dave's transactional experience, they provide a comprehensive industry knowledge and a refreshing approach for our consumer clients. We look to them to provide leadership in this sector as we continue the expansion of our investment banking franchise."
Prior to joining FBR, Mr. Heron served as Managing Partner of Heron & Company, a private investment company focused on investments in the lifestyle consumer businesses. Mr. Heron's extensive entrepreneurial consumer experience includes work in the retail, apparel, fitness, distribution, publishing, direct marketing, and food & beverage segments. His considerable vision in consumer products and marketing led to the formation of the Balance Bar Company, which after becoming a public company was ultimately purchased by Kraft Foods, Inc. Before Heron & Company, Mr. Heron served in various executive capacities at Barton Cotton, a publishing and national direct marketing firm. Mr. Heron graduated from the University of North Carolina with a B.A. in Political Science.
Mr. Robertson brings experience completing mergers and acquisitions, conducting private and public equity offerings and making merchant banking investments. His transaction experience encompasses a broad range of industry segments including branded food product manufacturing, convenience stores, sporting goods and novelty retail, building products, residential alarm services, retail automotive, boating accessories distribution and branded apparel manufacturing. Prior to joining FBR in 2001, Mr. Robertson spent six years focused on executing middle market M&A transactions in the Consumer and Industrial Products Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers Securities, LLC and its predecessor, Coopers & Lybrand Securities, LLC. Mr. Robertson earned an MBA with Honors from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, a B.S. in Finance and International Business from the Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business and a Bachelor's degree in German from the Pennsylvania State University College of the Liberal Arts. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has received the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Also recently joining the consumer banking team is Vice President James Keeley.
In the last several months, Senior Analysts Karen Short, Adrienne Tennant and Ashley Woodruff joined FBR's Consumer Equity Research Group covering small and mid-cap food and retail securities, specialty apparel and the restaurant sector, respectively. David Marsh and Jeff Sonnek continue with their coverage of entertainment and leisure and hardline retail, respectively. These equity research analysts along with Heron, Robertson and Keeley in the company's investment banking department, will serve as the strong foundation for FBR's growing consumer platform.
Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, Inc. provides investment banking*, institutional brokerage*, asset management, and private wealth services through its operating subsidiaries and invests in mortgage-related assets and merchant banking opportunities. FBR focuses capital and financial expertise on eight industry sectors: consumer, diversified industrials, energy and natural resources, financial institutions, healthcare, insurance, real estate, and technology, media and telecommunications. FBR is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with offices in Arlington, VA, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Irvine, London, New York, Phoenix and San Francisco. Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, Inc. is the parent company of First NLC Financial Services, Inc., a non-conforming residential mortgage originator headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Florida. For more information, see http://www.fbr.com.
*Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., Inc.
SOURCE Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, Inc.