PEF finds new head in Crisis

Shaks Ghosh, former chief executive of national homelessness charity Crisis, has been hired to head up the Private Equity Foundation, a charity created at the beginning of this year by more than 70 private equity firms. Ghosh has a strong pedigree in charity work, having spent the last 10 years at Crisis and, before that, held senior positions at the London Housing Federation and the National Housing Federation, as well as senior board positions in the public sector.

While there has been criticism in some circles that the creation of the PEF had more to do with creating a positive image for private equity among a sceptical public than successful financiers giving something back to society, Ghosh talked up the charity’s potential.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to work with a foundation in its infancy, to build it into a significant force for good,” he said. “Throughout my career, I have been passionate about working in communities, for social justice and the physical, economic and social outcomes of regeneration. With the support of PEF I believe we have a tremendous chance to make a real impact in these areas.”

The PEF will apply private equity techniques to charity work and has raised £5m to date, which will be used to support five selected charities (Community Links; NSPCC’s Treatment and Therapeutic Service; ThePlace2Be; Impetus Trust; and Volunteer Reading Help) with the intention of raising further funds annually, building a portfolio of charities in the UK and Europe.

Its trustees are David Blitzer (Blackstone), Todd Fisher (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts), Stephen Peel (Texas Pacific Group), Charlie Green (Candover), Dwight Poler (Bain Capital) and Scott Collins (Summit Partners).