Investment Banker's Retirement: Marvin Davis

Four months after retiring from a 20-year career at Goldman Sachs & Co., William Mesdag, 48, is now working for a former client and one of Los Angeles' wealthiest investors: Marvin Davis.

Mesdag, who headed the L.A. office of Goldman Sachs, recently joined Davis Cos. as a senior advisor to the oil and real estate magnate. In his new role, Mesdag will pursue and evaluate new investment opportunities in Davis' primary areas of interest, including gas and oil exploration off the Gulf of Mexico and real estate developments in major U.S. cities. He said the company is also eyeing investments in the telecommunications and airlines industries.

"There are a number of opportunities," Mesdag said. "Mr. Davis is extremely liquid and has the capacity and interest to take advantage of them."

It's not the first time the two have worked together. As head of Goldman Sachs' L.A. office, Mesdag consulted on a number of Davis' deals "broadly related" to real estate over the last four years. While Mesdag wouldn't be specific about the projects, one of Davis' more profitable real estate deals came in 2000 when he sold Fox Plaza to Irvine Co. for $350 million, reaping a profit said to be more than $80 million.

At Goldman, Mesdag was primarily concerned with corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. He worked in the firm's New York, London and Frankfurt offices before relocating to Los Angeles, where he became involved in the energy and power sector, consulting on the sale of Atlantic Richfield Co. to BP Amoco Plc. He became a general partner in 1990.

Prior to joining Goldman, Mesdag practiced law at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll in Philadelphia. He is vice chairman of Skandia Group Insurance Co. in Stockholm, Sweden, and serves on the board of the Pacific Council on International Policy. He received a law degree from Cornell Law School and a bachelor's from Northwestern University. Mesdag lives in Brentwood with his wife and two daughters.

Jeremiah Marquez

Accounting and Consulting

Michael B. Hilton has been appointed office managing director of the Los Angeles branch of Urbach Kahn & Werlin Advisors Inc., which provides financial and business consulting services to public and private middle market companies and non-profit entities. He joined the company in 2000 when his firm, Satriano Hilton & Associates Inc., merged with UKW.

Advertising and P.R.

Russ Reid Co., a communications and fund-raising agency serving non-profit organizations, has promoted Bob Johansen to vice president of business operations. In his new position, he will oversee print production, traffic and office services and the accounting and personnel departments.

Goodspot, a five-year old design and editorial firm has named Sonia Lamba its new creative director. Lamba comes from Attik, a London design firm, where she was also creative director.


Killefer Flammang Architects has named Robert Timmerman senior associate. He has been designer and project manager on many multi-family and campus housing developments, including projects at USC and Pepperdine University. The firm has also appointed Jessica Fairchild, Markku Kari and Karin Liljegren as associates.


John M. Renfro has been named senior vice president of human resources at Walt Disney Co. He will report to Michael Eisner, chief executive, and Robert A. Iger, chief operating officer. In his new role, Renfro will be responsible for managing Disney's corporate communications and overseeing employee education, staffing, compensation and benefits, and employee relations. Prior to joining Disney, Renfro was senior vice president of human resources for computer maker Gateway Inc.

Steve Lange has been promoted to executive producer at Weller/Grossman Productions, which produces reality, documentary and entertainment television. Lange will supervise all ongoing productions and the development of new business and relationships with the media. Lange joined the company in 2000 after serving as executive producer of the news magazine show "Extra."

Health Care

DeEtte C. Montgomery has joined Marsh Inc.'s health care practice as senior vice president and practice leader. Her responsibilities include developing new business and expanding client relationships. She previously served as vice president of network management at PacifiCare Health Systems.

Ronald Silverstein has been appointed chief of staff at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. Named to the hospital's medical staff in 1984, Silverstein also works with Coast Psychiatric Associates, a private practice in Long Beach.

George Weeks has been appointed executive director of the Simi Valley Hospital Foundation. He will be responsible for recruiting community members to form a foundation board and spearheading a capital campaign to raise funds for the hospital's renovations and expansion project. Before joining the hospital, Weeks held an administrative position at Mature Health Resources, a non-profit organization in Orange Country.


Richard Bonhama has been appointed general manager of Windows restaurant. His responsibilities will include restaurant communications, vendor relations, financial operations and overall bar and restaurant management. He also will coordinate private and special events, including corporate meetings and functions.


Standard Insurance Co., a subsidiary of StanCorp Financial Group Inc., has appointed Barry Newman as regional pension manager of the Los Angeles Retirement Plans Office. In his new position, Newman is responsible for promoting all aspects of the company's retirement plans, providing customer service to existing accounts and generating new sales in the Pacific Southwest Region. Prior to joining Standard he was vice president of the Executive Benefits Division for Aon Consulting.


Manatt Phelps & Phillips has named Robert Wynne senior marketing director. He will supervise the firm's marketing division, help market its seminars and prepare materials relating to proposals for legal service. Wynne previously was director of marketing for the Los Angeles Downtown Business District and director of communications for the USC Marshall School of Business.

The international law firm Steptoe & Johnson has named Barry S. Glaser as a partner in its Los Angeles office. Glaser will be a member of the Commercial Litigation Insolvency and Creditors' Rights Group as part of the firm's bankruptcy and restructuring work. Glaser serves as Judge Pro Tem in the Los Angeles Superior Court and was appointed by the Bankruptcy Judges of the Central District of California to the Bankruptcy Mediation Panel.

New Media

Barry Smith has been named director of new business development/executive producer at mOcean, which designs motion graphics for theatrical, broadcast and commercial productions. In his new position, Smith will be responsible for sales to broadcast clients. Prior to joining mOcean, Smith was marketing and sales executive at the marketing firm Autonomy.

E-Poll, a provider of audience research services and interactive tools for the entertainment industry, has named Tom Meredith vice president of research. He will be responsible for developing new products and services. Most recently, Meredith was vice president of research at Intertainer Inc., where he was in charge of consumer research.

Non Profit

Bernard W. Schotters has been appointed to the board of Santa Monica-based Liberty Livewire Corp. to fill a vacancy.

He currently is a consultant and private equity investor and serves as a member of Telecom Partners, a venture capital firm based in Denver.

Schotters has served as executive vice president, finance and treasury, and principal financial officer of Tele-Communications Inc. Prior to that, Schotters was an executive vice president of AT & T; Broadband, and vice president and group head for Wells Fargo Special Industries Group.

Liberty Livewire provides technical and creative services to producers, owners and distributors of entertainment and advertising content.

Victor Leslie has been promoted to general secretary of the Salvation Army's Southern California Division. In his new position, Leslie will be the division's second in command and chief administrative officer. Prior to his appointment, Leslie had a variety of finance and management positions within the organization. The Salvation Army has also promoted George Baker to business secretary. He will be responsible for managing daily business activities involving personnel, property, insurance, information technology and legal issues.

Real Estate

Allan H. Goldman has joined the South Bay office of NAI Capital Commercial as a vice president specializing in industrial sales and leasing. He previously was a vice president at Collins Commercial.

Menemsha Cos., a construction development services firm, has appointed Ross Maag to its general contracting division as a senior project manager. Maag's prior experience includes work on the Flex Theater at Walt Disney Co.'s California Adventure Theme Park and the Los Angeles City Hall Seismic Retrofit Project.

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