In brief people moves

Martin Gudgeon, one of London’s foremost restructuring figures, has quit the chief executive role at Close Brothers Corporate Finance that he was appointed to just four months ago. The often outspoken banker has defected to US private equity giant Blackstone to launch a European restructuring advisory arm that will complement the group’s US business. Gudgeon is the first recruitment by John Studzinski, who joined Blackstone as its global head of advisory two months ago. Currently on six months’ gardening leave, Gudgeon’s official title at Blackstone will be head of European restructuring advisory (ERA). Studzinski is expected to hire more high-profile names from the sector over the coming months.

  • Phoenix Equity Partners has appointed John Rastrick as a Principal with specific responsibility for Phoenix ‘s activities and investments in the North of England. Prior to joining Phoenix , Rastrick was working for 3i in Manchester and Leeds for four years. He qualified as a corporate finance lawyer with Pinsent Masons before joining Hammonds .
  • Bridgepoint has announced that Lucio Ranaudo is to join its Milan office as a director. Ranaudo was previously the director responsible for Italian coverage at L Capital, the Paris-based private equity fund whose principal sponsors include LVMH and Groupe Arnault. Prior to that, he was a founding director of the Dresdner Kleinwort Benson Fund Italia in Milan. Ranaudo is a graduate of the Politecnico di Torino and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

AIG Global Investment Group

  • (AIGGIG) has announced the further strengthening of its European Leveraged Loan Group, with the appointment of Margarita Sabarny and Rebecca Reeve to its London office. Sabarny joins the European Leveraged Loan Group as a Credit Analyst from Moody’s and Ms Reeve joins the team as a Business Analyst from ABN Amro.
  • Latham & Watkins announced that it is opening offices in Spain, in a move designed to strengthen its practice in Europe and globally. José Luis Blanco is to head the Spanish practice, joining from Cuatrecasas law firm, and will focus on private equity and strategic M&A deals. He recently advised the Yell Group during its multi-billion Euro acquisition of Spain’s Yellow Pages business, Telefónica Publicidad e Información. Blanco has also represented US private equity house Carlyle on M&A deals in Spain.
  • Experienced food executive Gareth Voyle has been appointed chairman of the food businesses that private equity firm Vision Capital is currently acquiring from FTSE 250 company Northern Foods. Voyle was previously chief executive of food group Geest following its acquisition by Icelandic company Bakkavor in May 2005. He spent the eight years before that as chief operating officer, when Geest was listed on the London Stock Exchange. During his year at the helm, Voyle acquired four companies.