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Rating:Who is J.C. Flowers? Not Rated 2.4 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Who is J.C. Flowers?

Reported by Carl Winfield

This morning's purchase of BISYS' Insurance Services Group and Retirement Service Business from CitiGroup has brought a new player into the the space: private equity firm J.C. Flowers & Co., LLC. That name may be leaving some DC industry insiders scratching their heads.

Yet the secretive firm already carries weight on Wall Street. Ex-Goldman partner J. Christopher Flowers started his eponymous Manhattan-based firm in 1998 and now claims more than $1 billion in capital. Corporate chieftains look upon Flowers as a "white knight" for flagging financial companies.

J. Christopher Flowers
J.C. Flowers & Co., LLC
Founder
Just last month, the company took Sallie Mae, the nation's largest student loan company private in a $25 billion deal, making J.C. Flowers and its partner Friedman Fleisher & Lowe a majority stakeholder in the company, with Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase as lesser partners.

J.C. Flowers made its first big news in 2000, with the acquisition of Tokyo-based Shinsei Bank, but they it lost face with a failed bid for the futures brokerage firm, Refco in 2005. The company also has a substantial stake in Canada's Enstar Financial Services and the Dutch bank NIBC.

As one of Forbes' 400 Richest Americans
, Flowers himself is extremely well-known in the private equity business, but this new foray into retirement services is a new kind of deal for the giant. People in the private equity business speculate that Flowers will start eating insurance and retirement service businesses whole.

The word on the street is that J.C. Flowers will merge BYSIS with it's own commercial insurance business, Crump to create a significantly larger footprint in the industry.

J.C. Flowers himself and other executives at the private equity firm were not immediately available for comment Wednesday morning. 

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