Lazard hires to build London PE team

Lazard, the investment bank, has persuaded Graham Keniston-Cooper to leave Cinven to head up its new London-based investment team. At Cinven Keniston-Cooper looked after consumer investments. He joined Cinven as a director in 1992 after a six-year spell at Kingfisher as head of business development. He subsequently became a general partner of the firm.

Also moving to Lazard is Victor Vadaneaux, who leaves behind his role as partner at Advent International where he worked in both the Paris and London offices as a telecoms and media expert. He was promoted to partner in 2000.

Lazard is tight lipped about plans for the new London unit and speculation, given the investment track records of Keniston-Cooper that the duo will invest a sizeable mid market buyout fund. While Lazard may commit to such a fund it’s likely that the bulk will be raised from third party institutional investors, presumably aided by Lazard’s private equity and fund advisory group.

Announcements of future hires for the unit are expected in due course.