Legend Merchant Bank adds to security focus

Hires M&A veteran Tom Gallagher to support Convergent Security Group
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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

NEW YORK--Boutique investment bank Legend Merchant Bank opened its Convergent Security Group in April, starting with the hire of Scott Greiper, hiring the analyst away from mid-sized investment banking firm Unterberg, Towbin. Legend announced in October the strengthening of the division with the hire of Tom Gallagher, an investment banker with experience at Wachovia, Oppenheimer and JP Morgan Chase who has led a number of merger and financing transactions in the aerospace and defense industry.
"Tom has been maybe the leading investment banker in aerospace and defense for a couple of decades now," said Greiper of Gallagher.
Through his recent work consulting with Boeing as it successfully bid for the SBInet border contract from the U.S. federal government, Gallagher experienced firsthand the need for large companies in the security field to work with smaller subcontractors and technology providers, and it is these companies that CSG is looking to grow.
"It's really the smaller companies that are supplying the stuffing of the system," said Greiper.
"When Tom met us and saw that's exactly where we've built our strengths, and the measure of success we've had, he saw the opportunity to take his skills as a banker and really start helping small companies grow and mature and get bigger."
CSG focuses primarily on smaller public companies that fit into one of five sectors: surveillance, detection, tracking RFID, data analytics and access control.
The bank division does act as a broker dealer, doing capital raises and M&A activity, but "the real value I think we bring is on the strategic and tactical side," said Greiper.
The company uses its contacts and connections to introduce small companies to the large integrators, find them government funding, and when they do get into mergers and acquisition advising, it's often to "bolt on additional intellectual property or technology to help them round out or diversify their portfolio."
"Both Legend as a bank and my history has been in working with small-cap companies, so we have a good understanding of the lay of the land," Greiper said, "which technologies work and can be matured to work, which companies are in the positions to work with the Lockheeds and the Boeings, and we help companies to better position themselves to access these opportunities.
"That's the primary reason why we've had the success we've had. It's way beyond providing the green dollar."
Look for CSG to trade on that Convergent in its name, finding ways to converge government and private markets and helping companies to converge physical and logical security.