in brief

KPMG Germany has reorganised its M&A advisory businesses for consumer and industrial markets and private equity. The sector teams are now headed by Karl-Michael Krueger and Christian Specht, with former partners Peter Beusch, Martina Ecker, Richard Markus and Alexander Mueller leaving the firm. Specht has more than 10 years of M&A experience, with time spent at UBS and Germany’s Lincoln International investment bank. Krueger previously worked for Schroders in Frankfurt and London and was managing partner of corporate finance house Platinum Partners.

NBGI Private Equity has appointed Joseph Bergin as Director. He will be based in Manchester taking a wide-ranging role across all aspects of NBGI Private Equity’s investment activities including deal origination, execution, portfolio management and exit but with a focus on the North of England. Bergin joins NBGI Private Equity from Octopus Asset Management where he was Director for their VCT funds. Previously he spent nine years at 3i working in both the UK and Germany, becoming a Director. Prior to joining 3i, Joseph worked at Astra Zeneca and he began his career at ICI.

• JPMorgan’s hedge fund unit Highbridge Capital last week announced that it had hired Scott Kapnick to launch a private equity business. This marks a partial reversal by JPMorgan, which had scaled back its private equity operations to avoid conflicts with clients, and a major about-turn by Kapnick, who had announced his ‘retirement’ from Goldman Sachs at the end of 2006. As co-head of investment banking and Goldman Sachs International, Kapnick had a bruising final year. First he was effectively reprimanded by CEO Hank Paulson for a series of failed hostile takeover attempts in the UK. That was followed by speculation that Kapnick was unhappy with the retooling of Goldman by Lloyd Blankfein, who succeeded to the CEO slot when Paulson took up a role as US Treasury Secretary. Goldman is more aggressive than most of its rivals in pushing out senior executives who are deemed to have outstayed their usefulness. So it was hard to tell from the outside whether Kapnick jumped, was pushed, or really was retiring to spend some of the riches banked during 21 years at Goldman. Last week’s announcement gives an indication of how Kapnick views his old firm, though. JPMorgan has established itself as Goldman’s only real rival among dealers with inhouse hedge fund operations. They both directly control over US$30bn of hedge fund assets, dwarfing more recent bank entrants. JPMorgan has been gaining further traction this year as Goldman’s flagship Alpha fund has stumbled badly in terms of performance. Now JPM is making a push to rival Goldman’s private equity operations, with Kapnick plotting the assault on his old firm. Looks like that ‘retirement’ wasn’t so amicable after all.

UniCredit has hired Nicole Ross-Anderson as a vice president in its acquisition and leveraged finance syndication team. Ross-Anderson previously spent three and a half years in the leveraged loan and underwriting team at CIBC. She starts at UniCredit in August and will report to Tim Spray, UniCredit’s global head of leveraged syndications.