Dewey Ballantine reshuffles private equity practice

The founder of Dewey Ballantine’s private equity practice and its head for 22 years is stepping down to make way for his second-in-command.

New York-based partner Joseph Smith will take over from veteran Sanford Morhouse as Dewey’s chair of private equity. Morhouse will continue to work at the firm as of counsel, again in the firm’s New York headquarters.

Morhouse said: ““Having worked with Joe for the past two decades on countless transactions, I could not be more certain that the practice is in excellent hands.”

Both Smith and Morhouse are now predominantly for their fund formation work, and their clients include GE Asset Management and Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

The New York private equity team benefitted from the recent spate of associate promotions before Christmas, gaining one new partner out of a total of 15 associate promotions firmwide, plus another who works in both real estate and private equity. Partner headcount in New York for those who purely work in private equity now stands at five.