Capital Buzz: New investment bank hopes to find next LivingSocial

Joel Kallett has left Houlihan Lokey to launch an investment banking firm called Clearsight Advisors to focus on technology firms and growth companies.

“There’s a real opportunity in this market because the only investment banks headquartered in D.C. are focused on the government contractors,” said Kallett, who recently signed a lease for an office in Tysons Corner.

Kallett, 45, launched Clearsight with three former colleagues. He was a managing director at Houlihan Lokey’s Washington office, where he advised local companies on mergers and acquisition.

“We want to find the next LivingSocial and help them raise capital and create jobs,” he said.

Before joining Houlihan Lokey, Kallett was a partner at Updata Capital, a boutique technology investment bank.

The co-founders include Greg Treger, Bhavin Patel and Beth Seidler. All are former Houlihan employees.

Kallett previously led the global financial technology practice in the technology group at Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. He had also formed a similar financial technology team at Raymond James & Associates, where he was a managing director in its investment banking group.

Wealth of talent

John Simmons joined Middleburg-based Washington Wealth Management less than three months ago, and already the banker is cherry-picking the competition

Washington Wealth has recruited Jeff Bouchard to be its Southwest regional director, with oversight of a region ranging from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to Arizona.

The firm also brings on three new branch directors: Whit Whitehouse in Los Angeles, Michael Ferrante in San Diego and Peter Sansevero in Seattle.

The new hires all are wealth veterans at other firms.

“I have known these guys for many years,” said Simmons, who worked at Merrill Lynch’s flagship branch in the District for three years. “They have decades of experience and broad connections.”

Billionaires’ row

That’s slang for the fully catered dream seats at Kastles Stadium at The Wharf, where entrepreneur Mark Ein’s World Team Tennis Washington Kastles went undefeated this summer — first time in WTT’s history.

The “billionaires” lineup included moguls Jim Kimsey (AOL), Raul Fernandez (ObjectVideo), Chris Tavlarides (Capital Outdoor) and Steve Case (Revolution LLC).

Attorney Bill Hall was also seen on “billionaires’ row” at a recent match against the Philadelphia Freedoms.

The Buzz hears . . .

Donny Gonzalez, 28, has launched CertaPro Painters of Washington, D.C. at 4401-A Connecticut Avenue N.W.

The D.C. native worked in constituent services under former mayor Adrian M. Fenty. CertaPro is a Pennsylvania-based painting chain.

Gonzalez follows in the footsteps of his father, who was a home improvement contractor before he passed away recently.

He expects to hire 12 to 15 employees over the next year.

C.Fox Communications, a public relations firm, doubles its space at 1117 East West Hwy. in Silver Spring to 2,650 square feet, backing up to the old Mayorga Coffee space and Moorenko’s ice cream. The firm also has a small shared spot at Farragut North, co-located with Prism Public Affairs.

Carlyle watch

The Carlyle Group may be preparing to go public, but that hasn’t stopped the deal activity. Last week alone it took two holdings public and cashed out a big chunk of stock in another.

Tuesday: Carlyle sells $1 billion in stock in China Pacific Insurance, a Hong Kong-listed insurance company that Carlyle invested in in 2005. It’s shaping up to be the most lucrative in Carlyle’s 24-year history .

Hump day: Dunkin’ Brands, which the firm bought in 2006 with two other buyout shops for $2.4 billion, goes public on the Nasdaq, rocketing more than 50 percent above the offering price of $19 per share. The Buzz thinks Carlyle left money on the table. The caffeine in Dunkin’s coffee must be driving retail customers to buy shares.

Thursday: Wesco, an aerospace parts and services company that Carlyle bought in 2006, goes public on the New York Stock Exchange, trading below the offer price of $15 per share. Hold the tears; an insider says Carlyle quadrupled its money.

Regardie road trip

The Buzz checks in with local business wag and former magazine owner Bill Regardie from time to time. He e-mailed us from the Northeast where the former owner of Regardie’s magazine is on a road trip:

“Have gone to Vermont to take the waters . . . but the only water people care about up here is bottled.

“Nice people, but even when they find out we’re from D.C, they couldn’t give a darn about the budget fight. They talked about baseball in Cooperstown, the ponies in Saratoga Springs, the Iron Man Competition in Lake Placid and who has the best maple syrup in Woodstock, Vt. To quote Tip O’Neill, ‘All politics is local.’ ”

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.

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