Lazard European Private Equity Partners has recruited its fourth partner following the appointments of Graham Keniston-Cooper, managing partner of the business, Gilles Etrillard and Victor Vadaneaux earlier this year. The new team is reportedly preparing to raise a €500m buyout fund.
Michele Russo has joined the group from Doughty Hanson where he was the managing director responsible for the Italian market. He joined the firm in 1997 and set up its Italian office the following year. Russo also led Doughty Hanson’s investment in FL Selenia in 1999, which was successfully realised in 2003.
Keniston-Cooper, the managing partner of the business, joined Lazard earlier this year from Cinven where he was a director and general partner. Etrillard is president of Fonds Partenaires Gestion (FPG), Lazard’s specialist private equity group in France. He plans to divide his time between his new role as partner in Lazard’s European mid-market private equity business and his existing position.
Vadaneaux joined the business in February having previously been a director at Advent International, where he was involved in making private equity investments in the UK, France and Spain.
Lazard has offices in 16 countries worldwide and acts as an independent financial advisor to corporations, partnerships, institutions, governments, and individuals. The firm offers services including mergers and acquisitions, asset management, restructurings, capital markets execution, real estate investment banking, and alternative investment management.
Lazard’s existing presence in the private equity market has to date been conducted through FPG in France and its various US private equity funds. FPG is a French private equity firm with specialised local teams. FPG takes controlling or significant minority stakes in smaller French companies in either leveraged buyout or development capital transactions.