Alex. Brown taps Stamas for key post

A top corporate lawyer in Baltimore will head mid-Atlantic division

`I'm giddy,' he says

An expert on mergers, acquisitions, he helped Angelos bid for Orioles

International investing

November 30, 1999|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

George P. Stamas, one of Baltimore's most prominent corporate attorneys, will be named vice chairman of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown today, and will head its global investment banking division in the mid-Atlantic region.

Stamas will resign from the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering before the end of the year to start his new job as an investment banker.

"The opportunity to join that team with the tradition in this region was intoxicating," said Stamas, 48. "I'm giddy."

Stamas will report to Mayo A. Shattuck III and Yves de Balmann, who are co-chairmen of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, and co-heads of Deutsche Bank's global investment banking division.

Stamas also will head a new investment banking office that Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown plans to open next year in Northern Virginia, a hotbed for young technology firms. The office could have as many as 40 employees, including investment bankers, research analysts and brokers.

"It is going to be a real spark to this firm to get him on board," Shattuck said. "We've hired a world-class individual to represent us."

Alex. Brown was acquired by Bankers Trust Corp. of New York in September 1997. Deutsche Bank AG of Frankfurt, Germany, bought Bankers Trust a year ago. One of the star attractions was Alex. Brown, which is well known for taking public high technology companies, health care companies and restaurant chains, including Microsoft, America Online, Oracle Systems and Starbucks.

Stamas is known for his work in mergers and acquisitions and for taking companies public, including technology companies. In 1993, he helped Peter G. Angelos put together a group of investors to buy the Baltimore Orioles. He sits on the Orioles board of directors and is an investor in the team.

Last month, he helped shepherd the initial public offering of Aether Systems Inc., raising $100 million for the Owings Mills wireless data company. Three months ago, he advised Luminant Worldwide Corp., a Dallas Internet company, in its initial public offering. And three years ago, he helped take public Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. of Baltimore.

In May, he helped Ted Leonsis, president of Interactive Properties at AOL, buy the Washington Capitals. He also advised him in buying stakes in the Washington Wizards professional basketball team, the Washington Mystics professional women's basketball team, Ticketmaster of Washington/Baltimore, US Airways Arena, and MCI Center.

"I have met a lot of deal people and a lot of lawyers and a lot of people who fashion themselves as what I call consiglieres," Leonsis said. "I don't think I have met anyone who scores as high. He is a great deal guy, a great attorney and a great adviser."

A native of Baltimore, Stamas worked in the enforcement division of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the late 1970s before joining Piper & Marbury, the Baltimore law firm.

But after 17 years at the firm, he left to start an office in Baltimore for Wilmer, Cutler. "He is a very good all-around lawyer," said Lloyd N. Cutler, senior counsel to the Washington law firm that bears his name.

Stamas is rare among lawyers because he brings in big deals, knows the finer points of law and works well with people, Cutler said. "We are all very excited about it. We think it is healthy for him and we think it may be healthy for us."

Stamas, who has done work for Alex. Brown for about 20 years, said Shattuck approached him several months ago about joining the firm. "They made me an offer I couldn't refuse -- the chance to sit at the table as an investment banker with bankers many consider to be the best in the business."

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