PRESS RELEASESMonday, April 20, 2015

Houlihan Lokey Significantly Strengthens Due Diligence Services With New Hires

NEW YORK – April 20, 2015 – Houlihan Lokey, the international investment bank, today announced three additions that significantly expand financial services coverage within its Due Diligence Services practice in Financial Advisory Services. Richard Forgione has joined the firm as a Director, while Carl Ashqar and Matthew Petrillo have joined as Vice Presidents. All three officers are based in New York.

Messrs. Forgione, Ashqar, and Petrillo all join from EY, where they were Senior Managers in that firm’s Transaction Advisory Services practice, focusing on the financial services industry. While at EY, Mr. Forgione led a broad range of transactions and advisory projects, including M&A, seller preparedness, carve-outs, resolution planning, IPO readiness, strategy, and regulatory matters, among others. He specializes in identifying and assessing transaction risks, including integration and separation issues and has advised middle market and global financial institutions and private equity firms. Mr. Forgione also advised several SIFI’s on their resolution plans. Previously, Mr. Forgione worked in EY’s Structured Finance Advisory Services practice, working with investment banking clients on securitized product issuances.

Mr. Ashqar spent nearly a decade at EY, where he most recently was responsible for the coordination and execution of financial due diligence for corporate and private equity buyers. His experience within the financial services industry includes asset management, mortgage banking, depository institutions, and insurance companies. In addition, Mr. Ashqar has experience working on regulatory and bankruptcy-driven advisory engagements for large complex organizations. He began his career in 2005 in EY’s Assurance practice in Canada.

Mr. Petrillo’s industry experience covers a range of financial service sub-sectors, such as commercial banks, wealth managers, broker dealers, and specialty finance companies. Mr. Petrillo primarily focused on providing sellside services, where he advised several financial institutions on the preparation and execution of a divestiture. Prior to EY, Mr. Petrillo was in Deloitte’s Audit practice providing assurance services to asset management and business development companies.

“Richard has worked on a wide range of engagements for some of the largest and most transformative transactions in the financial services industry, and on a combined basis, all three officers have significant experience in nearly every type of engagement, and for nearly every type of client, in the financial institutions sector,” said Travis Pittman, a Managing Director at Houlihan Lokey in Dallas. “We’re excited to introduce them to our colleagues and clients as we build on the momentum we have achieved in our Due Diligence Services practice,” he continued.

“We continue to see strong demand from our financial institutions clients for specialized yet comprehensive due diligence expertise,” said Gene Weil, Co-Head of the Financial Institutions Group at Houlihan Lokey. “Richard, Matthew, and Carl are excellent additions to the Due Diligence Services team and I’m confident they will significantly enhance our buyside and sellside service offering to Corporate Finance clients in this sector,” he added.

Mr. Forgione holds a B.S. in Accounting from Fordham University, while Mr. Petrillo holds a B.S. in Accountancy and Business Administration and an M.S. in Accountancy from Villanova University. Mr. Ashqar holds a B.C. with honors from the Queen’s School of Business at Queen’s University in Ontario and an M.S. in Accountancy from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame.

All three officers are Certified Public Accountants in the State of New York and members of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New York State Society of Certified Accountants (NYSSCPA). Additionally, Mr. Petrillo is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New Jersey and a member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA).

Houlihan Lokey (NYSE:HLI) is a global investment bank with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financial restructuring, and valuation. The firm serves corporations, institutions, and governments worldwide with offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. Independent advice and intellectual rigor are hallmarks of the firm's commitment to client success across its advisory services. Houlihan Lokey is the No. 1 M&A advisor for the past six consecutive years in the U.S., the No. 1 global restructuring advisor for the past seven consecutive years, and the No. 1 global M&A fairness opinion advisor over the past 20 years, all based on number of transactions and according to data provided by Refinitiv.

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