People Moves

Mattel’s Glen joins ProVen for brands fund

ProVen Private Equity, which is strengthening its presence in the US as it markets its second Global Rights fund, has lured Doug Glen away from toymaker Mattel, where he was chief strategy officer, to head the private equity firm’s new West Coast operation.

Previously a general manager at LucasArts Entertainment and a member of Sega’s new business team, Glen brings more than 25 years’ experience in brand development and high-tech media to his role at ProVen.

Following the success of the London-based Global Rights Development Fund I, the second, US-based Global Rights fund will focus ProVen’s brand expertise on the larger transatlantic market, investing in underleveraged brands, characters and copyrights.

ProVen chief executive Gordon Power comments: “Every year, tens of billions of dollars are invested to create new distribution channels, both for media and tangible products, but relatively little attention has been paid to the brands that will make these new channels successful.”

Fund raising for Global Rights Development Fund II, which is targeting up to $250 million, kicked off in mid-autumn, and Power reports that preliminary approaches to the Saudi and US markets have generated encouraging’ interest. Commitments for approximately ten per cent of the fund’s total were secured before the Christmas/Ramadan hiatus, including a substantial investment from Mattel, Glen’s former employer.

Sitka wins Feit

Alexius Feit has joined Sitka as a partner. Sitka, a private equity deal origination firm founded earlier this year by Gerard Tardy, chose the French and Italian markets as its primary focus. Feit has a brief to extend the firm’s operations in the rapidly expanding German private equity market, and he also brings extensive experience and networks in the French and Spanish corporate and financial markets to his new role.

A German national and co-founder of international strategy consultancy Telesis, Feit has also worked with Lazard Freres’ cross-border M&A group, Roland Berger in Munich and Bain & Co in Boston and London.

Tardy says he has been seeking a partner with Feit’s pan-European experience and vision for some time and adds: “Alexius’s strategy and investment banking expertise compliment my own experience of private equity – plus he has the entrepreneur’s approach.”

Feit shares Tardy’s vision of Sitka’s potential to add value for entrepreneurs, private equity managers and investors: “I have followed the private equity market for some time and believe that a [deal origination] gap exists as private equity funds become larger, more numerous and more specialised,” he says.

RBDC begins to rebuild team

Following the resignation of Joe McGrane and an earlier mass exodus from its Scottish offices involving the new Penta team (story, page 8), Royal Bank Development Capital (RBDC) has appointed Mark Nicholls as managing director. Nicholls joined RBDC from SG Warburg four years ago.

The Royal Bank private equity arm has also succeeded in luring David Giffin away from rival Bank of Scotland’s structured finance group, where he was managing director. As a director of RBDC, Giffin will be responsible for developing the bank’s private equity activities throughout continental Europe.

21 Invest Partners, the Spanish operation of 21 Invest group, has appointed Martin Gonzalez del Valle, a former president of ASCRI, the Spanish national venture capital and private equity association, as managing director of its Madrid office. Del Valle spent more than six years with Mercapital, one of Spain’s leading private equity houses. He subsequently moved to head the corporate finance department of Credit Agricole Indosuez in Madrid. In addition to his private equity and corporate finance experience, del Valle – in common with the majority of 21 Invest directors – has a broad-based industrial background, having worked with Duro Felguera, Baxter Travenol and Socelec.

21 Invest Partners is evolving its Spanish private equity strategy in association with Charterhouse Development Capital (EVCJ November 1999, page 7). Jose Maria Cuevas Salvador, chairman of CEOE, the Spanish confederation of employers’ associations, heads the company’s board.

21 Invest recently began raising a euros 275 million private equity fund for Southern Europe (story, page 5).

Timo Tiihonen will join CapMan Capital Management as a senior adviser to the technology team in February. Currently director of Xerox’s Northern European distribution business, Tiihonen is also chairman of the Finnish Information Technology Union.

Heikki Westerlund, the CapMan partner responsible for technology investments, says: “Tiihonen’s experience in IT trends is quite unique in Finland.”

Carlyle Group, currently raising a euros 500 million European Internet fund, has signed up founder and former Financial Times journalist Tim Jackson., the online auction business, floated last autumn with a market capitalisation of GBP236 million ($387 million). Jackson, now a non-executive director of QXL, joins the Carlyle Internet Partners Europe team, which is headed by Jean-Bernard Tellio.

Following three years with PricewaterhouseCoopers business turnaround group, Alan Pepper has joined Close Brothers Growth Capital (CBGC) as an assistant director. CBGS, a division of Close Investment, Close Brothers’ venture capital arm, was formed last May to offer a hybrid debt and equity product to support growth at small and medium-sized UK businesses. Managing director Bill Crossan heads the CBGC team.

Compass Partners International has announced the appointment of Douglas Yates to the executive council of the Compass Partners European Equity Fund. Yates, a former group commercial director and acting chief executive of The Rank Group, also becomes an adviser within Compass’s strategic advisory arm.

Yates is the third former industrialist to join forces with Compass during the past year, following Ken Hanna, previously of Dalgety, and Michael Guthrie, the former chairman and CEO of Mecca’s leisure business. Yates and Guthrie are both members of Compass’s team covering the leisure industry in the UK, continental Europe and the US.

Steve Clark of 3i has joined Dresdner Kleinwort Benson Private Equity as an assistant director. He left 3i after eight years spent in its Nottingham and Thames Valley offices concentrating on the engineering and technology sectors. Deals led by Clark include Wireline, BBC Transmission Services, Shorterm Group, Paragon, OSM, Adaptive Solutions, CallCentric and Quadra. At DKB Private Equity Clark will work as part of the technology team headed by Ian Grant and will focus on new opportunities and MBI candidates.

As previously announced, Andrew Hartley and Richard Green took up joint managing directorships at DKB Private Equity, succeeding Barry Dean who stepped up to assume the deputy chairmanship.

Friends Ivory & Sime Private Equity has appointed Adam Holloway to the newly created role of portfolio director. Holloway joins from Deloitte & Touche, where he worked on corporate finance and corporate restructuring transactions and gained direct experience of the funding provider’s perspective during a secondment to HSBC Private Equity. The firm has also appointed Matthew Sheppard to the newly created role of financial analyst. Sheppard spent four years in the London audit team of Deloitte & Touche before moving to FIS Private Equity. David Thorp, managing director of FIS Private Equity, says the firm instituted the new role to facilitate the development of a more comprehensive client reporting system and the application of a greater depth of analysis to portfolio companies.

Mike Stevens who, during several years as KPMG’s head of UK private equity, became one of the most frequently quoted commentators on the UK buyout market, has been promoted to vice chairman of KPMG Corporate Finance. While Stevens will continue to act for management teams on larger transactions, he assumes a broader role as head of KPMG’s M&A business in the UK.

His successor as head of UK private equity is Charles Millner, who will focus specifically on the further development of client relationships with private equity houses and on the sourcing of new investment opportunities. He will work alongside Oliver Tant, who heads KPMG Transaction Services’ private equity team, and with KPMG partners throughout Europe.

Commenting on the new appointments, David Beever, international chairman of KPMG Corporate Finance, says: “With the increasing financial muscle of private equity players … and the investment opportunities in the UK and continental Europe, it is essential that our own senior management is structured in a way that provides clear focus on building relationships with clients whilst improving further our ability to win new mandates.” He adds that the appointments underline the rapid growth of KPMG’s business in the private equity market.

Iain Wilcock has been appointed to Quester Capital Management’s board. He joined Quester four years ago after stints with Credit Suisse First Boston and PricewaterhouseCoopers. As well as handling the firm’s healthcare and life sciences investments, Wilcock is responsible for managing Quester’s involvement with three University Challenge’ seed funds and Oxford University’s new GBP10.7 million ($17.5 million) venture fund.