CHICAGO (HedgeWorld.com)–George C. Gaines Jr. joined the Chicago office of BerchWood Partners LLC, a New York-based placement agent for private equity, real estate and hedge funds.

Mr. Gaines, formerly managing director and global head of distribution for Salomon Smith Barney Investment Banking’s private equity group, became BerchWood’s fifth partner on June 19. He joins David W. Berchenbriter, Daniel M. Levison, Charles K. Woodworth and William J. Zwart.

“George is one of the most respected placement professionals I know, and I am pleased to have him as a partner,” said Mr. Berchenbriter, in a statement. “I have known him for over 15 years, since our early days fund-raising for real estate.”

Mr. Gaines holds a BA in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a JD from University of Virginia Law School. He joined Salomon Smith Barney from Heitman Capital Management in 1998.

CFaille@HedgeWorld.com