People in brief

Drake moves

After eight years at Bank of Scotland, Martyn Drake, director, loans distribution, has been appointed as head of syndications at Barclays Leveraged Finance, focusing on UK and European medium-sized transactions. Drake will be reporting to Gordon Watters, head of leveraged finance and will take up his new position in early October.

Gordon Brothers takes directors

Pordon Brothers International, the retail restructuring specialist and liquidity solutions provider for retail and industry has appointed Barry Knight and Steve Curtis as commercial director and joint retail operations director respectively. Knight will focus on sourcing and structuring deals across Europe in his new role as commercial director. He previously worked for Hilco UK Limited where he had responsibility for the closure of the Littlewoods stores.

Curtis will work alongside Nick Taylor and, as joint retail operations director, will be responsible for maintaining operational standards as Gordon Brothers International continues its expansion programme. He was formerly at Progressive Financial Services, the major division of Cattles and comprising four regulated financial services businesses.

Close Brothers reshuffle

Close Brothers has had a reshuffle of its senior management team. Martin Gudgeon, currently head of European special situations will be appointed the new CEO. Richard Grainger, the current CEO will become executive chairman. Sir Mark Wrightson, currently co-chairman, is to leave the business after 29 years, to pursue other business interests. Gudgeon will be looking to consolidate the Close Brothers franchise across Europe and further develop its international network.

Cinven’s new Parisian partner

Cinven has appointed Benoît Valentin as a partner. Previously he was at Goldman Sachs where he worked for 12 years, initially within the investment bank in London and Singapore and later as managing director within the private equity department in London. While in this role he completed several major investments, including Eutelsat, Legrand and Messer Griesheim. After an initial period in Cinven’s London office, it is expected that Valentin will join Cinven’s office in Paris in 2007.

Campbell Lutyens adds two UK placement agent Campbell Lutyens has made two appointments. Paula Langton joins from the private fund group of Credit Suisse based in London. At Credit Suisse she was a project manager for European and global private equity fundraisings spanning a variety of product classes including buyout, growth equity, secondary and mezzanine funds. Prior to joining the private fund group she worked in Credit Suisse’s global industrial services group where she was involved with consumer and retail M&A transactions. Langton joins Campbell Lutyens’ London office.

In the firm’s New York office Greg Wiener has joined from Merrill Lynch’s Alternative Investment Fund Placement Group in New York, where he was involved with the origination, due diligence, structuring and placement of the group’s alternative investment activities for a variety of projects including private equity, hedge funds, real estate, venture capital and mezzanine funds.

Warburg hires

Warburg Pincus has named Charles Miller Smith as a senior adviser to the firm. He will be based in London and will advise on Warburg’s European activities.

Miller Smith is currently chairman of Scottish Power, a position he has held since 2000. Previously he worked for Unilever for over 30 years, holding a range of financial and general management positions in the UK, the Netherlands and India. He has also acted as an international adviser to Goldman Sachs International and has been chairman and CEO of ICI. He is also a member of the Defence Management Board of the UK’s Ministry of Defence, a director of ICICI OneSource, Chairman of the Economics Committee of the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) and a companion of the Institute of Management.

PCTTI hires Lisa Edgar

Lisa Edgar has been appointed as a managing director of Paul Capital Top Tier Investments (PCTTI), joining chairman Philip Paul and managing directors David York and Jamie Johnson in the management of the firm’s recently expanded private equity fund of funds offerings.

Edgar joined the team in 2003 and was appointed a principal in 2004. In her new role she will focus on all aspects of portfolio construction, manager selection, due-diligence, and investment monitoring for the top tier venture capital fund of funds.

Prior to joining Paul Capital, she was part of the asset management team at WR Hambrecht + Co that focused on new and emerging private equity funds. Prior to this she spent 10 years at Horsley Bridge Partners.

Mayer Brown hires Kuperfils

Guillaume Kuperfils has joined the Paris office of law firm Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw. He specialises in private equity, and joins after 10 years at Veil Jourde.

Activa Capital adds Moreau

French mid-market firm Activa Capital has appointed Benjamin Moreau as an investment analyst. Prior to joining Activa he worked for a year at BNP Private Equity following a three year spell in the transaction services department at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Benson Elliot hires Geery

Benson Elliot Capital Management, the private equity real estate firm recently launched by former Doughty Hanson Real Estate head Marc Mogull, has hired Trish Geery, former managing director and head of global real estate for the Dubai Investment Group as a partner in the firm. She will have primary responsibility for executing and overseeing private equity real estate transactions in France and other continental European locations, in addition to acting as a member of the investment committee for Benson Elliot’s first fund, Benson Elliot Real Estate Partners II.

Geery joined DIG as managing director and head of global real estate in 2004 and, during her tenure, was directly responsible for real estate investments of well over €1bn and established the firm’s London office.

Walkers and Crills merge

Walkers, the Cayman Islands headquartered offshore law firm, and Crills Advocates, a Jersey-based provider of institutional offshore and domestic legal services, have joined operations in Jersey to offer Jersey legal and administrative services in jurisdictions around the world including London, Dubai, the BVI, and Hong Kong. The combined firm in Jersey will be branded as part of the Walkers group and operate under the Walkers name.

Gazelle appts Thornton MD

Gazelle, the UK specialist financial advisory firm, has named Paul Thornton as managing director of its pensions advisory business.

Thornton retired from Watson Wyatt at the end of June following a career where he held a number of senior positions during a 32 year career with Watson Wyatt and was responsible for a number of its most important client relationships, including acting as scheme actuary to schemes with assets of £50bn overall. He was senior partner from 2001-05 and oversaw the combination of Watson Wyatt and Watson Wyatt & Co in 2005. He was President of the Institute of Actuaries 1998-2000 and has been closely involved in the International Actuarial Association.

DLA hires tenth in Paris

DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary’s Paris office has added Frédéric Bucher as a partner in its corporate group. He joins from the French law firm De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, and will bring DLA’s French office to ten partners, where he will join Christine Bougis-Stentz, Anne Maréchal, Fabrice Rué and Anne-Noëlle Charvillat-Carrez in the M&A and private equity team.

In the earlier part of his career Bucher worked in the corporate and M&A department of the Paris office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for six years before joining De Pardieu Brocas Maffei as a partner in 2004.

Citigroup wooes Rosière

Citigroup’s Private Equity Placements Group has added to its team by poaching Laurent de Rosière from Acanthus Advisers, where he was a principal from 2003.

The Private Equity Placements Group is part of the investment bank’s market leading financial entrepreneurs group. In Europe, Citigroup has recently acted as advisor and placement agent to a number of leading general partners such as Charterhouse Capital, Gilde, Lion Capital or Terra Firma and is currently in the market with a number of other assignments.

3i promotes Finland head

Ere Kariola, 3i’s country manager in Finland, has resigned following six years in the position. He will remain as a senior advisor of 3i Nordic until 2008 when he will retire. Over the next two years he will be responsible for overseeing 3i’s recent investment in Quadriga Capital Russia Private Equity Fund and supervising third party funds managed by 3i in Finland.

He will be replaced as country manager by Hannu Isohaaro, who will be responsible for the development of the Finnish operations and defining the Finnish investment strategy. He will also join 3i’s Nordic management team and continue as a partner in 3i’s pan-European buyout business. Isohaaro joined 3i in 2000 through its acquisition of SFK Finance where he had worked since 1997. Before joining SFK, he was a fund director at IVO-Group/ Tekivo Oy, a Finnish captive fund, and he has also held management positions for over 10 years at Lundia Group and Kultakeskus Oy.

Willkie hires Gunther

US law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher has hired Freshfields’ European head of antitrust and competition practice Jacques-Philippe Gunther. Gunther will practice in both the Paris and Brussels offices of Willkie after spending seven years at Freshfields, which he joined in 1999 after starting his career with Gide Loyrette Nouel.

Astorg appts Vial director

Jean-Hubert Vial has joined Astorg Partners as investment director after six years as a director in the M&A department of Rothschild & Cie. Prior to this, between 1998 and 2000, he was part of the M&A team at Société Générale Investment Banking after starting his career in 1994 at Arthur Andersen.

WHBB CEO joins Ithaka

Kim Heyworth has been appointed chairman of Ithaka Life Sciences, a UK life sciences consultancy and interim management business. He is CEO of WHEB Ventures Ltd, a venture capital company that focuses on the clean technology sector, and has over 15 years’ experience in the environ-mental services sector, and was also a partner at KPMG for ten years.

Bridgepoint hires HBOS CEO

Bridgepoint has installed ex-HBOS chief executive James Crosby to its European Advisory Committee. He has previously been CEO of Halifax and began his career as a fund manager at Scottish Amicable. He is also a non-executive director of the Financial Services Authority and ITV.

CD&R appts Herbst principal

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has hired Marco Herbst as a senior principal from Duke Street Capital. He will be based in CD&R’s London office. At Duke Street Capital Herbst was responsible for transaction origination, execution and transformation, leading or

contributing to a number of investments across a broad range of industries. Prior to Duke Street, he was an investment banker at Merrill Lynch International’s offices in London. At Merrill Lynch, Herbst specialized in the financial services sector, advising financial institutions across Europe on acquisitions as well as debt and equity transactions.

Lloyds TSB recruits Brown

Ian Brown is to join Lloyds TSB as a managing director within the bank’s acquisition finance team. In a newly formed role, Brown will head a team specifically created to target larger financial sponsors and win more lead managed underwriting roles for acquisition finance deals in excess of £250m.

He joins from UBS where he has worked since 1993, most recently as a managing director in the European leveraged finance team, focusing on the origination of pan-European LBOs for financial sponsors and acquisition financings for corporate clients. In this role he was responsible for all aspects of origination and execution in areas of senior debt, second lien, mezzanine and high yield.

Benson Elliot appts Gregorio

Benson Elliot Capital Management, the private equity real estate firm launched by former Doughty Hanson Real Estate head Marc Mogull, has appointed Leopoldo Andreis de Gregorio, previously vice president and director of Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners (LBREP), as a partner in the firm. He will have primary responsibility for directing Benson Elliot’s investment and management activities in Italy.

From 2000 to 2006 de Gregorio led investment, development, portfolio and joint venture transactions in Italy with a total end value in excess of €1.5bn. He initiated joint ventures with leading Italian operators such as Gruppo Statuto, Pirelli and Parnasi. Outside Italy he was involved in a further €2bn of transactions.

Prior to Lehman Brothers, de Gregorio worked at Healey & Baker in Milan (now Cushman & Wakefield), advising financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank, Schroders and Morgan Stanley on real estate investment in Italy.

His appointment at Benson Elliot follows those of Trish Geery, former managing director and head of global real estate for the Dubai Investment Group (DIG), and Philip Irons, former head of transactions for Schroders.

CVC debt team expands

CVC Cordatus has recruited Benjamin Edgar, who joins David Wood and Jonathan Bowers to establish a debt management business with CVC Capital Partners.

Edgar joins from Alcentra, a UK headquartered asset management and investment group where he was responsible, inter alia, for managing a TMT loan portfolio. Prior to Alcentra, he worked at Deutsche Bank, where he spent five years in leveraged finance and loan capital markets. He rejoins David Wood and Jonathan Bowers, both formerly of Deutsche Bank’s Leveraged Finance business, who joined CVC Cordatus earlier this year.

Beer partners’ regional team

UK business angel network Beer & Partners has appointed two associates, Trevor Dodwell and Tony Rubin, based in East Anglia.

Dodwell is an international lawyer, specialising in business development in both England and Asia. Prior to this he headed up the department at Colchester law firm Ellisons. As main board director of Malaya Group (now HR Owen), he developed the business from start-up to fully listed company with the acquisition of 10 businesses including Holland Park BMW and Heron Motor Group

Rubin spent 24 years at BT, the last two years of which he worked exclusively on corporate venturing including acquisitions, set-up, strategy and portfolio management. Before becoming an associate at Beer & Partners, he also worked for the early-stage investment firm Ariadne Capital.