People moves

Investment bank Rothschild has expanded its Frankfurt office, hiring Dominik Spanier to spearhead its German private equity debt advisory business.

Spanier is due to join in October 2006 from Bank of Scotland, where he is a director in Leveraged Finance.

  • Cinven, on of Europe’s largest private equity firms has appointed Benoît Valentin as a new partner. Valentin joins from Goldman Sachs where he’s most recent role was as Managing Director in the investment bank’s private equity Arm, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, in London. Valentin is expected to join Cinven’s office in Paris in 2007, following an initial period in the London office

He has been with Goldman Sachs 12 years in total, and worked for the bank in both London and Singapore.

  • Lazard European Private Equity Partners is closing down after two years. It never completed a deal. The mid-market fund did not manage to pull off buying the Waterstone’s bookshop from music store HMV in the second half of this year.

The company’s director, Graham Keniston-Cooper, has left, according to media reports. Lazard had poached him from European private equity house Cinven. Other members of the private equity team have also reportedly departed, including Alex Cooper-Evans and Victor Vadaneaux.

Before floating on the New York Stock Exchange last year, Lazard Ltd, the investment bank, spun off Lazard Alternative Investments, which included Lazard European Private Equity Partners. Speculation is rife that after its flotation, Lazard Ltd. did not put its financial weight behind Lazard Private Equity Partners.

Lazard Ltd. would not comment on the situation except to say that it has no connection to Lazard European Private Equity Partners.