People in the news, June 11, 2007

Sofinnova taps Kabakoff to head San Diego office

David Kabakoff

has joined Sofinnova Ventures as an executive-in-residence in charge of the firm’s newly opened San Diego-based office. He most recently founded a strategic consulting practice, and before that was co-founder and CEO of cancer drug company Salmedix Inc.

Last year, Sofinnova raised $375 million for its seventh early stage fund.

Vestar makes U.S., Japan hires

Chris Durbin

has joined Vestar Capital Partners as a Boston-based principal in the firm’s resources group, which aids the firm’s portfolio companies. He previously was with Bank of America’s global wealth and investment management unit, as a managing director.

Separately, Susumu Sekihata has joined the firm as a director of Vestar Japan Advisors, an affiliated office in Tokyo. He previously was a vice president and founding member of Red Diamond Capital, a U.S. middle-market buyout group affiliated with Mitsubishi.

Gilbert named CIO of Lehigh fund

Peter Gilbert

has agreed to become chief investment officer for Lehigh University’s endowment fund, after having previously served as CIO for the $32 billion Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System. He begins at Lehigh on July 30.

PSERS says that it will begin its search for a successor during this week’s board meeting. Before overseeing PSERS, Gilbert was director of the Mayor’s Pension Unit in the City of New York’s Department of Finance from 1990 to 1993, and he previously worked for a decade in the City of New York’s Office of the Comptroller.

Cipio corrals Weber

Sven Weber

has joined Cipio Partners as a principal in the firm’s San Jose, Calif.-based office. He previously was a managing partner with Innovature Capital Partners. Cipio is a direct secondaries firm, with additional offices in London and Munich.

Pomona boosts investment team

Douglas Kelly

and Ryan Levitt have joined the co-investment group of Pomona Capital as a principal and senior analyst, respectively. Kelly previously was with Barclays Capital as a director in the U.S. strategic finance division, while Levitt was previously an investment analyst with GE Equity. Both will work under Lorraine Hliboki, who joined Pomona earlier this year to head its co-investment business.

Bertram hires VP

Kevin Yamashita

was named vice president of Bertram Capital, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based private equity firm that was launched last year by former venture investor Jeff Drazan. Yamashita previously was with Calera Capital, and he also has held positions with TPG, Yucaipa Cos. and the I-banking division of Salomon Smith Barney.

Kreos adds partner

Luca Colciago

has joined U.K.-based venture debt firm Kreos Capital as a partner. He previously was a director with Noble Venture Finance.

Comly comes to Blue Point

John Comly

has joined Blue Point Capital Partners as an associate in the firm’s Charlotte, N.C.-based office. He previously was an analyst in the M&A group at Wachovia Securities.