SBJ/June 13-19, 2011/Finance

JPMorgan Chase shuffles sports practice

JPMorgan Chase, one of the top lenders to U.S. teams and leagues, is shuffling the leaders atop its sports finance practice.

JOE VERICKER
Scott Milleisen, who will take over the sports finance practice, said he plans few changes.
Rich Walden, who has run the JPMorgan group since 1997, will become chief credit officer of the private bank, which is where the company operates sports. The private bank serves high net worth individuals. Scott Milleisen, Walden’s deputy, will take over sports.

“When we started, we had $50 million in [loans], and now we have more than $1 billion,” Walden said.

Some of the top deals under Walden included loans to Tom Ricketts, the buyer of the Chicago Cubs, and refinancing Gillette Stadium debt.

Little should change for the group with Walden’s departure. During his tenure with sports, Walden worked with Milleisen nearly the entire time.

Milleisen, 35, does not plan to change much, other than a heavier focus on international soccer and, perhaps domestically, MLS.

The large, syndicated loans orchestrated by leagues are handled in a different part of the bank, as is team sale advisory. Milleisen’s role is strictly lending.

Milleisen is a 2011 SportsBusiness Journal Forty Under 40 winner.

Asked to name the big change he has seen since the group took off, Milleisen responded the lack of publicly owned sports teams and companies. In the early 2000s, whether through media companies or stand-alone public ownership, sports was a strong presence in the stock market. That is no longer the case.
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