Former Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale Execs Launch Derivatives Advisory Boutique

Oct 13 2010 | 8:57am ET

A trio of former executives from Morgan Stanley and Societe General have formed a new risk advisory firm that specializes in structuring, pricing and execution advice for complex derivative and structured product transactions.

The New York-based firm, Riverside Risk Advisors, is the brainchild of Joyce Frost and Frank Iacono, former executives with Morgan Stanley, and with Chris Frost, former managing director at Societe Generale.

"The Dodd-Frank Act creates an effective mandate that some end-users seek independent advice for derivative transactions.  We expect, however, that even where a statutory or regulatory requirement is not created, outside advice with respect to suitability and fairness, from professionals with relevant transaction experience, will become the new best-practices standard," said Iacono, co-founder of Riverside.

The firm's clients include derivative end-users such as corporations, private equity firms, real estate developers, and project sponsors.  Riverside also advises investors evaluating structured credit opportunities and financial firms winding down or restructuring legacy businesses.

Independent derivatives expert David Walker, who also serves as CFO of Level One Bank and was formerly treasurer of GMAC, said, "While I am not affiliated with Riverside, it is clear that as the desire for transparency continues to increase in all markets, a firm like Riverside, staffed with some of the savviest Wall Street professionals, should become the go-to standard for end-users before a transaction is structured and executed."

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