People moves

GE Commercial Finance has launched a corporate team to focus on asset-based lending and cashflow deals worth up to £200m. Tim Hawkins, commercial director of GE’s Business Finance unit, said that the 15-strong team allowed the company to focus on such deals at a time when more private equity players were using asset-based lending as part of the funding mix. The corporate team is based in London and headed by directors Adam Wardle and Adam Johnson, who oversee six originators.

Activa Capital, a French mid-market buyout firm, has announced two new partners. Paris-based Activa Capital has promoted director Christopher Parier, who has worked on the Delpharm, Pro Natura, Créal and Francoise Saget transactions, to partner. Parier joined the firm in 2003 from 3i. Thierry Célestin has joined from European buyout firm Cinven’s French office. At Cinven, he worked on the acquisition of Frans Bonhomme and Vivendi Universal Publishing and the sale of the publishing assets of Aprovia.

BNP Paribas said that Erhard Schipporeit would join BNP Paribas as senior adviser in February 2007. He will advise the chairman and the management of the group on a European level, with a special focus on the development of the bank’s business with German corporates and financial institutions. Schipporeit has a broad experience in various industries and was most recently CFO of E.ON.

Grant Thornton has appointed Simon Davies, founder of DHD Corporate Finance, as a partner in its corporate finance practice. Davies worked at several of the “big four” accountancy firms as well as Bank of Scotland before starting his own business, which he sold to Tenon in 2001. He will work in Grant Thornton’s Southampton office alongside regional head of corporate finance Adrian Smith. Grant Thornton has also appointed David Grundy to head of transaction services. Grundy has been a partner at Grant Thornton since 2000 and has led the Northern transaction services team within the firm’s corporate finance group for the past seven years.

Sovereign Capital has expanded its investment team with the appointment of George Williams as investment manager. Williams worked for eight years at KPMG, most recently spending four years in the corporate finance private equity advisory team, advising clients in the support services and financial services sectors.