RBS forms equity finance group

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s private equity activities are to become part of a new equity finance group. Headed by Rory Cullinan, who joined the bank in June 2001, the group will comprise Royal Bank Private Equity (RBPE), Royal Bank Development Capital (previously NatWest Development Capital), Royal Bank Ventures, as well as Property Ventures and Principle Finance.

The five units will continue to operate as before, following a similar investment strategy. The new structure is designed to increase the flexibility of RBS’s funding solutions and make it easier for the group to take on larger, more complex deals such as Meridien Hotels and the failed bid for Wessex Water. Last year was a particularly busy time for RBPE, which focuses on mid-market deals. It recruited 18 new staff and completed deals including Britax International, Doncasters and Metaux Speciaux. The Royal Bank of Scotland manages private equity assets of around GBP1 billion and the new equity finance group will be made up of around 100 staff.

Iain Robertson, who has been chairman of the bank’s private equity group since October last year will chair the new group. RBPE director, Tim Farazmand is leaving the bank; Mark Nicholls, managing director of RPBE, will become deputy chairman of equity finance and David Griffin will switch from deputy head of RBPE to the same role within the new group.

Johnny Cameron, chief executive of corporate banking and financial markets, said: “We have made significant progress in this market over the past two years. Bringing our equity businesses together into one unit will allow us to build on this progress and meet the challenges of this very competitive market.”