WSJ names new M&A staffers

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Jamie Heller, the deals editor for the Money & Investing section of The Wall Street Journal, sent out the following staff promotions on Friday:

We are thrilled to announce several new additions to the deals team of The Wall Street Journal.

David Benoit, currently a MoneyBeat blogger, is taking on a new beat covering shareholder activism. Activists have emerged as influential, controversial and often riveting actors on the corporate stage. On MoneyBeat, David has already distinguished himself with his scoops and deep reporting on these investors, on stories ranging from Dell and Apple to Safeway and Sotheby’s. We look forward to more such coverage when he dedicates himself fully to this new role. A graduate of Boston College, David covered banks and spot news for Dow Jones before joining MoneyBeat.

Gillian Tan, currently an M&A reporter for the Journal in Australia, is coming to New York to cover another new beat, deal finance. As we’ve seen in deals from Sprint-SoftBank and Verizon-Vodafone to the buyouts of Dell and Rue21, some of the most important and eye-popping deal news is driven by financiers and their efforts to arrange backing for deals. Gillian has already proven herself a formidable M&A reporter, leading the way on our scoop this year on talks between Valeant and Actavis and breaking news on companies closer to home for her, such as Rio Tinto and Billabong. Gillian previously worked in banking. She is a graduate of the University of Technology in Sydney and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Australia.

Liz Hoffman joins the Journal on Monday from Law360, where she did a superb job covering M&A for that publication, geared toward lawyers. Liz will help expand our focus beyond deal talk news and announcements to the twists and turns that often follow, from unusual terms and defenses to all-out corporate takeover battles. Liz will also help deepen our coverage of deal litigation in the Delaware courts. Liz previously worked at the Wednesday Journal in Illinois. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern and is a graduate of Tufts University.

Marie Beaudette will be joining our group as a news editor in New York. With Dow Jones for nearly a decade in Washington, D.C., Marie currently oversees our Daily Bankruptcy Review newsletter and extensive bankruptcy coverage that serves multiple venues. She’s been a go-to editor in our coverage of big bankruptcies ranging from Lehman Brothers to MF Global to Hostess. Marie is a graduate of the University of Maryland.

These new positions are part of our broad effort to expand and deepen our already dominant deals coverage in the U.S. and world-wide. We congratulate David, Gillian, Liz and Marie on their new roles and look forward to future announcements about our growth plans.