Ankura eyes Asia Pacific market with two senior appointments

16 August 2019 4 min. read
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Business advisory Ankura has appointed Simon Michaels as its first ever chairman of the Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East & Africa. The announcement follows the recruitment of Yoon Song as a Senior Managing Director to help build the firm’s presence in Asia.

Business consulting and risk management specialist Ankura is making moves in Asia’s increasingly crowded market with two recent additions; turnaround & restructuring expert Yoon Song as a Senior Managing Director to enhance the firm’s Global Network in Asia, and former long-term BDO executive Simon Michaels, in the newly created role of Asia Pacific and EMEA chairman.

“We created this role of Chairman of EMEA and APAC to bring a greater global focus and emphasise the importance that Ankura places on growing its business in these regions,” commented Ankura CEO and Chairman Roger Carlile. “We are delighted that Simon is joining Ankura and bringing his leadership, foresight, and experience to help achieve our global growth goals and objectives.”

To be based out of London, Michaels crosses after more than three decades with BDO in the UK, where he served as its CEO between 2008 and 2016, seeing out his maximum two terms, in addition to being a director on the BDO International board. Prior to the appointment, Michaels headed up the firm’s business restructuring practice – amassing more than 20 years of turnaround expertise – and has since overseen its corporate advisory division.

“I am thrilled to be joining such a well-regarded and talented team here at Ankura and to be working with some of the best and brightest in the industry,” Michaels said. “Ankura provides senior-level service and expertise to clients internationally, and I look forward to leveraging my past executive experience and direct understanding of the professional services markets in the EMEA and APAC regions to enable Ankura’s continued growth and success.”

Simon Michaels and Yoon Song - AnkuraMichaels’ appointment follows last month’s addition of turnaround specialist Yoon Song as a Senior Managing Director in New York, who the firm hopes will be able to tap into his expansive network in Asia to “build Ankura’s reputation and establish a long-term presence” in the region. Song previously served as a managing director at FTI Consulting, and more recently as a director at boutique investment bank Miller Buckfire & Co.

“Focused on supporting the efforts of our turnaround and restructuring team, Yoon will be essential to establishing a presence for us in Asia by leveraging his deep relationships and industry contacts, while also marketing the Ankura brand and the firm’s various capabilities throughout the region,” said Kevin Lavin, Ankura’s Global Head of Turnaround & Restructuring.

Song has altogether more than fifteen years of experience in financial restructuring and corporate transactions, with expertise in reorganisations and bankruptcies, complex capital structures, mergers and acquisitions among other areas. Prior to joining FTI, Song kicked off his career as a financial analyst at investment bank Houlihan Lokey, ultimately rising to the position of senior vice president of financial restructuring over his twelve years at the firm.

“I am honored and excited to be joining Ankura’s talented team of professionals who have upheld an outstanding reputation in the industry,” said Song. “With a strong focus on collaboration to drive results, a multi-disciplinary, tailored platform, and a true commitment to client success, I’m confident in the future success of Ankura and our ability to continue to differentiate ourselves from the competition in the business advisory space.

Founded by Carlile (a former FTI, KPMG and PwC executive) in just 2004, Ankura has since grown its revenues to more than $500 million, with its global ambitions and current headcount of 1,500 given a significant boost through last year’s $470 million purchase of Navigant’s Disputes, Forensics and Legal Technology (DFLT) and Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) arms – adding new offices in Singapore and Hong Kong among other locations.