Ashton Penney appts
Jeremy Knight, group publishing director of Caspian Publishing, is to join Ashton Penney, the interim management provider for private equity and venture-backed companies. He replaces Valeria Vescina, who is leaving to spend more time with her young family.
Knight has spent 12 years in publishing, primarily developing brands and titles, most notably Real Deals, which he launched in 1999, and its associated events and database.
Alfa Capital Partners has appointed two new members to its private equity team: managing director Slava Sinadski and investment director Denis Kourakin. The firm has also promoted Vladislav Mamoulkine to managing director of its private equity investment team, and Andrey Pogodin to investment director of its real estate investment team.
Sinadski joins from JSC Narzan, a Russian mineral water producer, where from 2003 to 2005 he was a managing director and member of the board, responsible for strategy, business development and M&A activities. Prior to Narzan he worked as head of corporate finance at Deloitte & Touche, where he co-founded the corporate finance department and originated and actively participated in transactions and advisory projects.
Prior to joining Alfa, Kourakin worked at the Boston Consulting Group in San Francisco and Moscow, where his work – consulting senior management of major Russian and international corporations on strategic and operational issues ranged from telecom to pharmaceuticals, software and consumer goods.
Vladislav Mamoulkine was appointed managing director of ACP’s private equity team in March 2006 after joining as investment director in September 2004. Prior to this he worked as an investment manager at Texas Pacific Group in Moscow and London.
Andrey Pogodin was appointed investment director in the real estate team in December 2005 after joining as investment manager in June 2004. From 2002 to 2004, Pogodin was a deputy head of corporate finance at Ost West Group, a Russian private equity and real estate advisory firm. Until 2002, he worked at BDC Financial, a Boston-based alternative investment advisory firm, where he originated and analyzed investments for private equity fund-of-funds and at New York-based KTR Real Estate, where he participated in underwriting commercial real estate loans. Andrey started his career in 1997 at Commonwealth Property Investors, a Russia-focused real estate investment fund. Andrey holds an MA in Business Administration, with distinction, from the Moscow State University for International Relations (MGIMO).
HSBC Corporate, investment banking and markets division has nabbed two Morgan Stanley bankers as it seeks to increase its presence in the leveraged finance market. Kevin Adeson is to join as global head of leveraged finance and Oliver Duff is joining as global head of leveraged finance syndicate. At Morgan Stanley, Adeson was co-head of leveraged and acquisition finance for Europe, while Duff was head of European loan syndicate.
Executive recruitment agent Pedersen & Partners has opened offices in Athens, Greece and Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro. Pedersen & Partners is the largest executive search firm in Central and Eastern Europe, operating 18 wholly-owned offices in Athens, Baku, Belgrade, Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Istanbul, Kiev, Moscow, Prague, Riga, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Vienna, Vilnius, Warsaw and Zagreb.
The country manager for Greece is Ulrik Rasmussen, a regional senior consultant focusing on South Eastern Europe. He joined the firm in 2003. The head of the Athens office is Iraklis Papadopoulos, who recently joined Pedersen & Partners.
He previously worked as director of recruitment at the American College of Thessaloniki and prior to that as the branch manager of an international HR company and a marketing and sales manager in the food industry.
The country manager for Serbia & Montenegro is Todd Savidge, a regional senior consultant focusing on former Yugoslavia. He joined Pedersen & Partners in 2003.
The head of the Belgrade office is Sarita Marinovic, who previously worked for three years as the HR director Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina for Doncafe Group (Elite).
SJ Berwin promotes
SJ Berwin has made a raft of promotions, with Justin Dolling, William Holder, Richard Lever, Tandeep Minhas, Duncan Woollard, Jörg Windt, Carlos Iglesias Gil and Roberto Pomares all made partners.
Justin Dolling specialises in advising private equity managers in relation to the structuring and establishment of private equity investment funds, secondaries, carried interest arrangements and co-investment plans. He also advises on a broad range of transactions relating to the restructuring of private equity funds, leveraging and refinancing of such funds and buyouts and spin-offs relating to the management houses.
William Holder has extensive experience of public and private M&A and private equity-backed transactions, including advising on compliance with company law and takeover requirements, as well as equity capital markets fund raisings, IPOs and public-to-privates. In addition, he has advised on venture capital investments, management buyouts and the establishment of joint ventures.
Richard Lever has extensive experience in M&A, buyouts, buy-ins, venture and development capital investments, public-to-private transactions, re-organisations and joint ventures. In particular, he acts for a number of UK private equity houses, management teams and high growth companies and has recognised expertise in the retail sector.
Tandeep Minhas deals with all aspects of corporate finance M&A work, both public and private, including public takeovers, fund raisings and IPOs, company and business acquisitions and disposals, venture capital, joint ventures, reorganisations and MBOs. She advises both companies and corporate finance/broking houses and sponsors. She has specialist knowledge of the public markets in the UK and has advised on numerous flotations on both the Official List and the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.
Duncan Woollard specialises in advising on the structuring and raising of private equity, infrastructure, fund-of-funds and related investment fund types, carried interest and other incentive arrangements, the establishment of fund management houses, fund and management group restructurings and related matters both in the UK and internationally. He also advises a number of institutional investors into investment funds.
In Frankfurt, the firm has promoted Jörg Windt. Windt’s specialities are private equity transactions, in particular MBOs and M&A deals including cross-border and capital market related transactions, as well as corporate work regarding limited liability companies and stock corporations. Additionally, Jörg also advises on litigation matters surrounding the aforementioned areas.
Carlos Iglesias Gil specialises in contentious and non-contentious aspects of employment and social security law including corporate transactions, company benefit and remuneration plans, top executives employment relationships, termination arrangements, as well as general strategic advice on all aspects of HR issues. His expertise also covers advising on employment contracts and remuneration strategies for private equity managers.
Roberto Pomares has extensive experience in all aspects of M&A work, including business acquisitions and disposals, venture capital transactions, joint ventures and MBOs. In addition, he acts for a range of telecommunication operators and IT companies in Spain, advising them in relation to their regulatory and commercial issues.
Investment and advisory firm Ariadne Capital has appointed John O’Connell, the founder of software company Staffware, as its new chairman. O’Connell built up Staffware into a world-leading business process management (BPM) systems house over 20 years. He sold Staffware plc to Tibco Software Inc for US$240m in 2004.
O’Connell is also chairman of two AIM-listed companies, Portrait Software and Clarity Commerce. In 2006 he co-authored the Cambridge University Press book Mastering Your Organization’s Processes – a plain guide to BPM. In 2005 he was awarded in New York the Carl E Nelson Award for ‘leadership in expanding utilisation of workflow and business management technology.’
Linklaters name change
Linklaters Oppenhoff & Radler, the German practice of law firm Linklaters, will now operate under the name Linklaters.
Global Life Science Ventures (GLSV), the German-Swiss venture firm, has added to its investment team with two new appointments: Dr Stephen McCormack as principal and Dr Kuno Jung as investment manager. Both will be based at GLSV’s office in Zug, Switzerland.
McCormack comes to GLSV from NeuroSystec Corporation, a California-based biotech company he co-founded as president and CEO in 2003. The company is focused on implantable devices to deliver drug compounds for the treatment of tinnitus and other neurological disorders. Prior to this he co-founded allergy specialist AlleCure Corporation in 1999, as president and CEO, which was later merged with two sister companies to form MannKind Corp, which was taken public on NASDAQ.
Jung was most recently CEO of Timaq medical imaging Inc, a clinical imaging contract research organisation, since its founding in 2003.
Prior to this he co-founded Aravis Ventures in 2001, a life science-specific venture capital fund, where he served as investment manager specialising in early stage biotech investments located primarily in Europe.
Climate Change Capital (CCC), the specialist merchant banking group, has appointed John Roberts to its international advisory board. Roberts was chief executive of United Utilities plc for over five years until March 2006. He has spent his working life in the management of utilities companies, rising to chief executive of Manweb plc in 1992, having also previously served as the company’s finance director and managing director.
In 1996 he joined Hyder, initially as chief executive of South Wales Electricity and then as chief executive of Hyder Utilities. He is currently a non-executive director of Volex plc. His previous positions also include president of the Electricity Association, chairman of the Electricity Pension Trustee Limited, and member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Protection.
Jean Plamondon has joined French firm AGF Private Equity as investment director within the fund-of-funds team where he will be active in primary and secondary fund investments as well as co-investments in buyout deals.
Plamondon is a Canadian citizen and was previously associate manager at ING Parcom Private Equity since 2002. Before this he was investment vice-president within the Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec in Paris. He began his career in the private equity sector in 1985 at Citicorp Venture Capital France. Prior to this he was project engineer at CGI, an IT service company now part of IBM.
Former governor of Bank of Scotland and ex-chief executive of the corporate banking arm at HBOS has been named as non-executive chairman of Real Estate Venture Capital Management LLP (Revcap), and is also taking a small undisclosed stake in the business.
George Mitchell, who resigned from his two previous posts towards the end of 2005, was with Bank of Scotland for nearly 40 years. His role as Governor of Bank of Scotland has been assumed by Lord Stevenson and his role as chief executive of Bank of Scotland Corporate has been assumed by Peter Cummings.
Based in London, Revcap is a real estate private equity business, established in 2004 by Andrew Pettit, Will Killick and François Guiraud as a financial partner for entrepreneurial property investors across Europe. The firm manages two funds with over £175m in capital committed by institutional investors and high net worth individuals. It has made over 50 real estate joint venture transactions in partnership with a network of 25 local, co-investing partners operating across the UK, France, Germany, Scandinavia and Belgium. This has involved taking structured joint venture interests in over £1.1bn of opportunistic property transactions across the office, retail, industrial and residential sectors.
Peter Schwanitz has been appointed a managing director of VCM Capital Management (VCM), the German fund-of-funds manager. He will be responsible for the buyout segment and will also work on institutional marketing and client relationships. Schwanitz has spent 18 years in the banking and insurance sector, including 11 working within private equity, including managing Colonia Nordstern Group’s private equity investments, and has been a member of AXA’s first European PE Fund-of-Funds investment committee, as well as helping build Sal Oppenheim’s PE holding. Since 2004 he has worked as an investment director for CAM Private Equity, a German fund-of-funds manager.
Andress Goh has joined Allianz Private Equity Partners. She joins from the London team of GIC Special Investments where she had been active in leading European private equity fund and co-investments since 1999. She will initially be based in the Munich office of APEP and will focus primarily on expanding APEP´s Asian investment activities.
UK private equity firm Candover has been busy updating its personnel, creating two new roles, making a number of promotions as well as hiring four new investment directors.
Into the newly created position of originations director steps Humphrey Cobbold, currently director of strategic development at Trinity Mirror. He joins Candover in September, where he will be responsible for coordinating the firm’s deal sourcing activities.
Head of operations, another new role, will be filled by Piers Dennison, currently Candover’s investor relations’ director. He will have responsibility for all of the firm’s non-investment activities such as recruitment and training, finance, and compliance, as well as continuing to perform his current duties. He has also been promoted to managing director.
Within the investment team, John Arney, Ian Gray, Charlie Green and Simon Leefe have been promoted to managing director, and Gerard Conway, Eric-Joost Ernst and Nils Stoesser have been promoted to director.
Finally, four new investment managers have been hired and will join Candover later in 2006. All four are non-UK European nationals, and will further expand Candover’s pan-European presence.
Commerzbank Corporates & Markets (CBCM) has named Rolf Betz as co-head of ECM and M&A. He has spent the past three years at DVB Bank AG, where he was a member of the board of managing directors with responsibility for the bank’s corporate finance activities. Previously he was head of equity at DZ Bank. Prior to this, he held various senior positions within the Deutsche Bank group where he focused on capital markets and M&A.
In his new role at CBCM, Betz will focus on the coverage of financial sponsors with the aim of maximising the co-ordination of corporate finance product delivery. He will report directly to Roman Schmidt, head of corporate finance at CBCM.
CBCM has also added five new faces to its leveraged finance team. In Frankfurt CBCM has hired Christoph Reinhard as a transaction team leader. He formerly worked for BNP Paribas where he had been a member of the Frankfurt-based BNP leveraged finance team since 2001. Over the past five years he has predominantly worked on German speaking transactions in a mandated lead arranger role. Prior to this he worked for Deutsche Bank. In his new role he will report to Christian Rodde, one of the group’s senior transaction team leaders, and will be responsible for origination and execution of financial sponsor-backed LBOs.
In addition, Antoine Collas has joined the leveraged finance team based in London. Collas previously worked for the Trust Company of the West (TCW) in Los Angeles as a high-yield and mezzanine analyst. He had previous experience with Credit Agricole Asset Management in Paris.
Meanwhile, Markus Koechling, Jan Hoon, and Alexander Schröder have all joined the CBCM leveraged finance team’s agency, monitoring and support team in Frankfurt.
Koechling joined the firm in April as a portfolio manager and has spent the last four years working in leveraged finance at Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW), where he was principally involved in risk management, syndication and participations.
Hoon joined CBCM as a leveraged finance junior analyst after graduating from the University of Mannheim in December 2005. He completed his training with Commerzbank corporates & markets, having gained experience in equity derivatives as well as in credit risk management for CDOs.
Schroder also joined as a leveraged finance junior analyst. He graduated from the Hochschule fuer Bankwirtschaft in Frankfurt. During his studies he worked for Commerzbank New York and within the leveraged finance group in Frankfurt.
3i new team
3i has appointed Akshaya Bhargava to head its new focus on the global business process outsourcing (BPO) market. The new team will focus on private equity opportunities, which may be buyouts with a value up to US$1bn or growth capital investments up to US$150m, where it will typically invest in profitable companies that manage the traditional back-office functions of finance, accounting, HR and procurement services as well as specialist sector outsourcing.
Bhargava is an ex-banker, having spent 22 years with Citibank in a variety of senior positions in India, Czech Republic and the UK. Until recently he was the CEO of Progeon, the BPO subsidiary of Infosys, India’s second largest IT services company.
His new role at 3i will see him build a new team to focus on a two-pronged strategy of identifying attractive investment opportunities and leverage offshore BPO for its portfolio companies. 3i will focus initially on companies with minimum revenues of €100m mainly in the financial services sector in the UK, Germany, the US and India.
Seven Hills appts
Seven Hills Venture Partners, the Scottish life sciences development company, has appointed Jeremy Delmar-Morgan as non-executive chairman. He has also invested personally in the business. Delmar-Morgan began his career at stockbrokers Teather & Greenwood in 1979, and became senior partner in 1992, chief executive in 1998 and chairman in 2000. He is presently non-executive chairman of stockbrokers Hichens Harrison & Co.
Bank of Scotland integrated finance has appointed Robin Winning to the role of director of integrated finance, based in London. He joins as a senior member of the Bishopsgate-based team led by Mark Hammond, head of integrated finance.
Winning joins from 3i, where he spent eight years in the London and Scottish offices executing buyouts across various industry sectors. Transactions he led included the realisation of clothing retailer Ben Sherman, which generated a return of 12x the initial investment, a BIMBO of media monitoring company KBBI, and the successful sale in a tertiary buyout of the house builder Morris Homes.
In his new role, he will be responsible for originating and leading transactions in the £50m to £400m bracket. Bank of Scotland Integrated Finance has grown to become the clear market leader in provision of debt/equity solutions for mid-market buyouts in the UK. It has developed a particular strength around secondary buyouts.
AGF Private Equity has recruited Thierry Laugel as a partner within the venture capital team where he will work in the field of life sciences. He joins from CDC Entreprises Innovation, where he was an investment manager responsible for healthcare. Prior to this he was managing director of PharmaVent Partners. Before entering the venture capital business in 1998, he held managerial functions in the pharmaceutical (Fournier Japan) and biotech industries (Flamel Technologies).
Gresham has appointed Mike O’Brien as an investment executive to the new investment team, based in London. Prior to joining Gresham, O’Brien worked for Computacenter plc in the strategy and corporate development teams where he supported a variety of mid-market transactions in the IT hardware and services sectors. He started his career as a strategy consultant, initially with Kaiser Associates and latterly with OC&C Strategy Consultants, both in London.
3i Group board member Dr Peter Mihatsch is to become chairman of a soon to be created advisory board for the firm’s German business. As a result, he will be stepping down from the group board, which he has been a member of since 2004, as he will no longer be an independent non-executive director.
Deloitte has poached Matt Penny and Duncan Robertson from Ernst & Young. The two new recruits have joined the operations due diligence team of the UK business advisory firm.
Gareth Jones has left BNP Paribas to join SG as a vice-president in its European loan distribution team where he will focus on leveraged loans. He will work alongside Haresh Sheth and Patricia Vecenti and report to Chris Baines, head of European distribution. He starts in June.
AnaCap Financial Partner, the UK-based private equity firm focused on the financial services sector, has appointed three members to its strategic advisory board: Andrew Jackson, founder of Intermediate Capital Group (ICG); Michael Callen, former head of Citicorp Worldwide corporate division; and Rudi Doerr, former group vice-president of GMAC Europe.
Prior to co-founding ICG, where he was also a director, Andrew Jackson worked at Chemical Bank for 16 years, holding positions as head of corporate banking in London and general manager of Chemical Bank Switzerland.
Michael Callen is the former head of Citicorp’s worldwide corporate division, represented in 90 countries.
He is currently a board member of AMBAC Financial Group and Intervest as well as the only non-Korean to be appointed a director of the Woori Financial Group, the largest bank holding company in Korea.
He is a former faculty member of Columbia University Business School and is a current Masters faculty member in the Foreign Science Program at Georgetown University.
Rudi Doerr is the former group vice-president of GMAC Europe where he had responsibility for operations in 17 European countries with assets of over €7.7bn. The vast majority of his international career has been spent in business operations, including the start-up of the European Treasury Centre.
Sofinnova Partners has named Graziano Seghezzi as partner. He joins from Index Ventures, where he spent three years in Geneva, focusing on biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals. During that time he was a founding investor in and board member of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc and an investor in and a board member of Hamilton Pharmaceuticals Inc, as well as being an investor in AlgoRx Pharmaceuticals, which merged with Corgentech Inc (CGTK), a company listed on NASDAQ.
Prior to joining Index, Seghezzi worked for Sofinnova Partners in Milan for one and a half years, looking for new investment opportunities in Italian drug discovery and development.
Dechert’s Weil raid
Corporate and securities lawyers Graham Defries and Wayne Rapozo have both left Weil Gotshal & Manges for Dechert, joining the London office of the US law firm. Graham Defries specialises in private equity, M&A and corporate finance transactions, particularly in the telecoms and technology sectors. He recently advised Candover on its €220m buyout of the high technology optics division of Thales, and Capital Z Partners in its US$200m sale of British Marine Holdings, and was part of the team advising on the €4.4bn buyout by Access Industries and The Chatterjee Group of Basell NV.
Wayne Rapozo, who is US-qualified, focuses on securities and capital markets, including public and private offerings, public company M&A, IPOs, and high-yield offerings. He was a key part of the team advising on the recapitalisation of Global Crossing Limited and Global Crossing UK Limited, including the US$404m high-yield offering by Global Crossing UK and the convertible notes issuance by Global Crossing Limited. He also advised TrgyVesta, Denmark’s largest insurance company, in connection with its €838m IPO listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange and its operating insurance subsidiary on the offering of regulatory capital notes, listed on the London Stock Exchange, with total offering proceeds of €150m.
Lovells ex-head of private equity, Marco Compagnoni recently joined Weil Gotshal & Manges, see People last issue.
Noble & Company, the corporate finance advisory and broking arm of independent investment bank Noble Group, has appointed John Riddell as director and head of the financial institutions sector team, and Mark Froggatt as director and head of the natural resources and energy team.
Riddell joins from KPMG, where he headed the finance sector team in KPMG Corporate Finance. Focusing on acquisitions and disposals he has advised a large number of clients including both trade and private equity groups in the UK market. Prior to joining KPMG, he worked at Lloyds Bank and has 20 years of experience in corporate finance advisory work.
Froggatt joined Noble in April 2006 from Ernst & Young, where he was director of oil & gas, working predominantly in the exploration & production and oil field services sectors. He has held a number of roles within Mobil and BP working in marketing, supply and trading, M&A and project management. He was also commercial manager and subsequently director of global accounts for BP Solar.
Celtic Pharma appts
Celtic Pharmaceutical Holdings, the UK-based private equity investor focused on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, has installed Michael Earl as managing director, commercial.
He joins Celtic Pharma from Chiron BioPharmaceuticals where he was vice-president of European operations. His responsibilities included the leadership of Chiron’s European management team, business development, European input to global product strategy, EU medical and regulatory affairs, and the legal, finance and HR functions.
Prior to Chiron he was the commercial development director at Celltech Group where he provided commercial direction to R&D to ensure the design and delivery of profitable projects. During his time at Celltech Earl’s responsibilities covered global strategic marketing, business development for opportunities in Phase II and beyond, international sales, and portfolio management.
Barclays Ventures hires
Barclays Ventures has added Emma Morris to its investment team as associate director based at its London office. Morris recently completed a six-month secondment with Barclays Ventures, where she worked on new investments, exits and portfolio management. Prior to this, she spent two years working in Birmingham at the law firm DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, where she was a lead legal adviser for Barclays Ventures.
Gordon Bros promotes
Gordon Brothers International, the retail restructuring specialist and liquidity solutions provider for retail and industry, has appointed Andy Meehan, currently chief executive Europe, to the new role of vice-chairman, Europe, as well as promoting Malcolm MacAulay, currently managing director of the retail and consumer products division to chief executive, Europe.
Meehan has been CEO for Europe for six years, overseeing the creation of a pan-European business, with offices in London and Cologne. In his new role he will focus on strategy development, external relations and new business opportunities, accelerating the pace of growth of European operations.
MacAulay joined Gordon Brothers in 1999 to lead the retail division, which has been involved in a number of high profile deals, including BhS, Castorama, Co-Operative Group, Gruppo Coin, Homebase, KarstadtQuelle and Littlewoods. Prior to joining the company he was retail operations director at Co-Operative Retail Services, where he managed the non-food division. He spent 22 years at BhS in various senior operational roles.
Blackstone has appointed John Studzinski as a senior managing director and member of the firm’s executive committee. In his new role, which he takes over from Tony James, who stays on as the US buyout giant’s president, he will oversee and develop the firm’s advisory business in the US and Europe. He will be based in both New York and London, where he has lived since 1984.
He comes to Blackstone from HSBC, where he was co-head of its investment banking and markets divisions, as well as a member of the group management board. Studzinski had previously been at Morgan Stanley for 22 years becoming head of investment banking and deputy chairman.