Sullivan’s Cohen grabs role on WaMu’s demise

Sullivan & Cromwell chairman Rodgin Cohen has landed a role advising JPMorgan on its acquisition of failed US bank Washington Mutual.

Sullivan's Cohen grabs role on WaMu's demiseSullivan & Cromwell chairman Rodgin Cohen has landed another role on a deal involving an ailing financial institution, winning the mandate to advise JPMorgan on its acquisition of failed US bank Washington Mutual (WaMu).

WaMu, which is being advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett partner Lee Meyerson, was seized by US regulators yesterday (25 September) with JPMorgan stepping in to acquire its banking operations today.

Cohen, who is working alongside New York partner Mitch Eitel for JPMorgan, has emerged as a key player in the current crisis in the financial sector. Earlier in the month he advised US mortgage company Fannie Mae on its effective nationalisation (15 September) and last week played a similar role for insurance giant AIG (17 September).

Cohen is also advising Goldman Sachs on its conversion from an investment bank to a bank holding company, a move that will see the bank subjected to greater levels of regulation while also allowing it to access Federal Reserve funds.

The sale of WaMu comes just six months after the bank received a $7bn (£3.56bn) cash injection from a group led by private equity house TPG. Simpson Thacher’s Meyerson also advised WaMu on that deal with a Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton team led by partners Benet O’Reilly, Michael Ryan and Paul Shim acting for TPG.