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Houlihan Lokey Hires Ellison to Lead New FinTech Group

April 05, 2023, 07:55 AM

Houlihan Lokey hired technology investment banking veteran Alec Ellison as Global Head of FinTech, a newly dedicated industry group that builds on the firm’s leading technology and financial services expertise and underscores its view of and commitment to financial technology as a fundamental element of the financial ecosystem. In addition, Ellison has been appointed Chief Innovation Officer, Corporate Finance, a new role within Houlihan Lokey.
As Global Head of FinTech, Ellison is based in New York and leads a team of more than 30 financial professionals based in New York, London, and Los Angeles. The team will coordinate closely with its partners in the Financial Services and Technology industry groups as well as the Capital Markets, Financial Restructuring, and Financial and Valuation Advisory teams to ensure comprehensive coverage and client service to the firm’s fintech clients.

Ellison has more than three decades of experience advising hundreds of clients across the technology sector. He joins Houlihan Lokey from fintech pioneer OurCrowd, the world’s largest digital venture and growth investing platform, where he served as U.S. Chairman. Prior to OurCrowd, Ellison was a Vice Chairman at Jefferies and a member of its Executive Committee. He held various roles over time, including heading the Technology Investment Banking Group. He previously had been President of Broadview International, having joined Jefferies following its acquisition of Broadview in 2003. Ellison began his investment banking career at Morgan Stanley in 1988.

“Alec has an innate understanding of technology trends, deep expertise in financial technology, valuable relationships with key decision-makers across the industry, and an outstanding track record of leading successful teams. All of these qualities, allied to a strong cultural match in terms of collegiality and client focus, make him supremely qualified to lead this new group and to ensure our success and that of our clients,” said Scott Adelson, Co-President and Global Co-Head of Corporate Finance at Houlihan Lokey. “FinTech has emerged as one of the most innovative and fastest-growing elements of the already-pervasive technology landscape, and in our constant efforts to further enhance client service, it is only logical to establish our FinTech industry group under Alec’s leadership. We could not be more delighted that he has joined Houlihan Lokey.”

“Financial technology continues to grow at a breakneck pace as the digital revolution continues and even accelerates with greater adoption of AI. Despite current challenges facing many fintech companies, as valuations have contracted from the pandemic-induced euphoria, the overall market is in its early innings. Challenges ranging from broad underserved markets to ensuring safe transactions to addressing the inevitable growth of regulation from the recent crypto and bank crises remain opportunities to be addressed by both emerging and incumbent players,” said Ellison. “Houlihan Lokey is very well positioned to deliver the breadth of M&A and capital-raising capabilities these players require, particularly in the mid-cap segment. This  requires a unique blend of industry knowledge, market relationships, financing expertise, and a genuinely client-centric ethos, all of which Houlihan Lokey possesses and leverages for superior results for its clients. I’m excited to join the firm and lead this next step in its evolution.”

In his capacity as Chief Innovation Officer, Corporate Finance, Ellison will combine his and the firm’s expertise to identify and integrate financial technology innovations within the firm, with the dual goal of enhancing both client service and the firm’s operations.

“We believe deeply in the evolution, if not revolution, represented by what we’re currently witnessing in fintech and what this paradigm shift can offer Houlihan Lokey. Alec shares the same passion and belief in fintech, and we would be remiss not to leverage his experience and expertise as a Chief Innovation Officer, combining his knowledge with that which we’ve gleaned as leaders in technology and financial services M&A and using it to best effect,” said Adelson.

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