DAK Group bolsters expansion with 2 key hires, keeping pace with increased M&A activity

Rochelle Park-based the DAK Group on Tuesday announced two new key hires: a new chief people officer and a senior associate.

The Rochelle Park-based investment bank that specializes in guiding mergers, acquisitions, business sales and other strategic advisory services hired Donna Cervelli and Anup Rao, respectively.

Cervelli joins as chief people officer from Lord Abbett, an international asset management firm, where she has touched each step of the employee life cycle from talent acquisition, benefits management, learning resources and coaching. She holds a SHRM-CP and received her undergraduate degree from Hunter College, and a master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Rao comes to the firm as senior associate. He started his investment banking career at Houlihan Lokey, specializing in sell-side middle market M&A. He continued his career with roles at Capstone Headwaters, Poyry Capital and Aquaa Partners in London, where he originated and executed middle market sell-side and buy-side technology, media and telecommunications, as well as industrials and energy and infrastructure transactions.

“We are excited to add two more exceptional professionals to our team” Alan Scharfstein, president of the DAK Group, stated. “Donna will be instrumental in maintaining our unique, world-class employment experience, ensuring we have best-in-class talent to guide our clients through some of the most critical decisions of their lives. Anup brings an exceptional breadth of investment banking experience. Over the course of his 15-plus-year career, he has assisted clients of all types in numerous sell- side and buy-side M&A transactions. This depth of expertise will be invaluable to our clients as they navigate the opportunities and challenges in today’s markets.”