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Monday, May 23, 2022

Westwood Firm Plugs Into Tech, Digital Media Sectors

Kevin Covert’s timing is looking pretty good. The veteran investment banker recently launched his own firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions advice in the tech and digital media space, which just happens to be one of the hottest sectors out there.

Headquartered in Westwood, Covert & Co. already has four clients and has completed a handful of small deals, including the sale of Emeryville-based online video company Fliqz Media Corp. Covert said his firm should announce another transaction in a month or so.

“I really believe that the tech space is going to lead us out of the recession,” he said. “We’re entering into a new wave of M&A right now. I think we’re in this three- to five-year, really strong growth period.”

Covert, who previously worked at Credit Suisse First Boston and Salomon Bros., co-founded investment bank Montgomery & Co. in Santa Monica. At Montgomery, he headed the tech and media groups that handled high-profile deals such as the 2005 sale of MySpace to News Corp.

But during the recession, as Montgomery was contracting, Covert decided the time was right to set out on his own. He lured away some of his colleagues and started building his firm last year; Covert & Co. officially launched late last month.

Covert said he wants the firm to be like a mini-Goldman Sachs, providing high-quality advisory services to a small number of clients rather than doing a large volume of deals. Within the next year, he said that he hopes to open an office near Silicon Valley and increase his employees from 10 to 15.

CEO In

A notice of regulatory nondisapproval may not sound all that great to outsiders, but it was music to the ears of Saehan Bank’s management.

The Koreatown bank, which is contending with a strict enforcement order from regulators, said last week that it received a nondisapproval notice that clears the way for Dong Il Kim to fill the chief executive post, which has been vacant for six months.

Chung Hoon Youk, who had headed the bank since 2008, resigned in October for undisclosed personal reasons. Under a regulatory enforcement order, however, the bank was restricted from hiring members of senior management without approval. The new chief exec must now help the bank meet other requirements in the order, including raising capital levels and reducing troubled assets.

Kim, most recently chief executive of U.S. Metro Bank in Garden Grove, had previously served as chief credit officer of Koreatown’s Hanmi Bank.

Staff reporter Richard Clough can be reached at rclough@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 251.

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