• Bridgepoint, the European private equity firm, has appointed the Dean of INSEAD, J Frank Brown, to its European Advisory Committee. Brown became Dean of INSEAD, one of the world’s leading international business schools, in 2006 after a 26-year career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where latterly he had been global leader of its US$3.5bn advisory services arm.
A graduate of Bucknell University, Brown is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut State Societies of Certified Public Accountants. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of New York and a member of Bucknell University Business Advisory Board.
• WestLB has appointed Sebastian von Ribbentrop as managing director and co-head of private equity Germany. Von Ribbentrop, grandson of the 1930s German ambassador to Britain and wartime foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, will be responsible for further expanding the private equity business in the German-speaking area.
One of his main tasks will be to offer companies tailored equity solutions in the bank’s business with medium-sized corporate clients. Von Ribbentrop joined WestLB on October 1. He was previously investment principal with Steadfast Capital in Frankfurt and a member of the M&A team at J Henry Schroder & Co in London.
• Blackstone Group, the US-based private equity firm, has hired Francisco Rey as a senior managing director of its corporate advisory group in London. Rey will focus on the European communications sector, as well as on expanding the advisory practice in the sector to the Middle East and Asia. He will also work on media and technology advisory services.
Prior to Blackstone, Rey spent 15 years advising clients at Merrill Lynch, primarily in the communications sector. Most recently, he headed Merrill Lynch’s TMT practice for Southern and Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
John Studzinski, previously co-head of investment banking at HSBC, joined Blackstone’s merger advisory group at the end of last year, taking on the role of global head.
In May this year, Blackstone was appointed as an adviser to Reuters on its proposed £8.8bn (US$18bn) acquisition by Thomson, parent company of Thomson Merger News.
• Nic Fox, formerly managing principal at US fund manager Westbrook Partners, has joined London based Europa Capital as director responsible for new investments in Germany and France. Fox joined Westbrook in January 2002, with responsibility for asset management and new acquisitions in Europe. He was promoted to principal in September 2003 and to managing principal in September 2005, and was a member of Westbrook’s investment committee.