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Ex-UBS executive Moelis opens firm

July 20, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Ken Moelis, who quit in June as head of investment banking at global financial giant UBS, has set up his own banking firm, as expected.

But Westwood-based Moelis & Co., for the time being, is operating as Moelis Advisors, a division of Mercanti Securities, a Minneapolis-based investment firm.

The set-up allows Moelis to comply with federal securities rules: Until Moelis & Co. becomes a registered investment brokerage on its own, the rules require that its banking business operate under the supervision of an established brokerage.

Moelis, 48, has long been considered Southern California's most powerful investment banker. He was the top deal maker in the L.A. office of Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. in the 1990s, before jumping to UBS in 2000. He became president of UBS' investment bank in 2005.

Moelis declined to comment on plans for his new business.

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