Peter Comisar, who was vice chairman at Guggenheim Securities and had headed up the firm’s consumer and retail investment banking team on the West Coast, has formed Scope Capital Partners + Advisors.
Comisar cofounded the firm along with talent manager Scott Samuel “Scooter” Braun.
Scope is a private equity firm and industry-focused merchant bank, with headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif. The thinking behind the firm’s formation is based on how retail concepts, consumer brands, digital media and technology are converging. “As disruptive forces reshape how consumers shop and what brands are compelling, we believe Scope has a unique lens to clearly identify opportunities,” Comisar said in an e-mail.
Comisar declined comment on rumblings from Wall Street sources that Scope is looking to do some fund-raising,
The venture will advise and invest in lifestyle brands, consumer products and disruptive retail and commerce firms. It will also focus on media and technology opportunities that support brands, and will incorporate Braun’s SB Projects where possible. SB Projects is a platform that builds on “talent attachment” strategies with integrated media — social media and content creation — to drive consumer demand. Braun also has a role in the development of the Yeezy brand between Kanye West and Adidas, and in the Justin Bieber campaign with Calvin Klein. His roster of global talent figures in the music industry also includes Ariana Grande.
Comisar’s West Coast team has joined him at Scope. In addition to being a 20-year veteran at Goldman Sachs, Comisar was a founding member of Guggenheim Securities in late 2009, alongside former Bear Stearns chief executive officer Alan Schwartz. In 2013, Guggenheim hired industry veteran Andrew Taussig and members of Barclay’s retail investment banking team to grow the firm’s business and raise its fashion profile. Taussig and his team in New York will continue on at Guggenheim.
Although his team is at Scope, Comisar has shifted to the role of senior adviser to Guggenheim Securities for the next month or so as part of his transition. Guggenheim Securities serves as the adviser to Guggenheim Partners.
The departure of Comisar seems to be another part of the deck shifting at Guggenheim. While there’s been speculation about upheaval at the influential Wall Street powerhouse, particularly between cofounder and ceo Mark Walker and chief investment officer Scott Minerd on the asset management side, sources familiar with the largely secretive firm said the tensions are “natural” as businesses grow and evolve between key principals. Guggenheim is a firm that is an “entrepreneurial organization,” said one source. An individual described the company’s structure as “people [having] their own business units.”
Among Guggenheim’s fashion investments is BCBG Max Azria, now in bankruptcy proceedings, and on the advisory front it is said to be advising Eddie Bauer as it looks for a buyer.