MUFG Expands Food & Beverage Practice, Hiring Three Senior Restaurant Finance Bankers


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Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) announced it is expanding its Food & Beverage practice by hiring three corporate bankers with extensive experience in the restaurant finance sector. Christopher Addison, Shawn Janko and Jake Nash have joined as Managing Directors. They will report to Brian Geraghty, Co-Head of MUFG’s Food & Beverage Finance group. 

Janko started on June 10, 2019; Addison is scheduled to begin on August 12 and Nash’s start date is September 12. 

“With their industry experience and history of client service in the restaurant-franchise business, Chris, Shawn and Jake provide a natural extension to our existing food, beverage and restaurant platform,” said Geraghty. “This foray into restaurant franchising is a natural extension of that business,” he added.

The three new managing directors will operate in marketing roles. “They each bring many years of experience and excellent reputations in the business – and that is important to us,” he said. “Some franchisees may not know the name MUFG, but they know these individuals. It gives us a lot of credibility when one of them shows up in a franchisee’s office.”

In fact, Addison spent the past 15 years with Bank of America, nearly all of it in the firm’s Restaurant Group, where he managed a portfolio of more than 25 franchisee and franchisor clients.

Janko joins MUFG after 13 years with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and 10 years with Wachovia Bank. Since 2011, he had been the Senior Credit Products Manager for BAML’s Restaurant Finance Group, where he provided financing and treasury solutions to operating companies and franchisees of large regional, national and multinational restaurant companies. 

Nash comes to MUFG from Regions Bank where he was a Managing Director/Relationship Manager in the bank’s Restaurant Group since 2012. At Regions Bank, Nash managed relationships with strategic financial sponsors as well as a portfolio of restaurant companies in the western U.S. He also spent nine years as a corporate banker in BAML’s Restaurant Finance Group. 

The Food & Beverage Group currently works with larger restaurant clients, and will continue to do so with the franchise focus. “There won’t be a deal too large for us handle, and on the smaller end, we can work with franchisees that own as few as 30 units,” Geraghty stated.

With a continued pressure from franchisors, franchisees will be asked to remodel stores, he predicts. “Some of the smaller franchisees who won’t be able to participate could be acquired. We see aggregators who are acquiring other franchisees, and we can certainly help in those endeavors.”

Also, he sees it spurring more syndicated deals, “and we can be helpful there.”

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