European People Briefs, October

Russell a Casualty of Shakeup at 3i

As part of a shakeup of 3i’s private equity business, Jonathan Russell has decided to leave the firm after more than 24 years at the company, according to the Financial Times.

Russell, who was chairman of the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association from 2008 to 2009, joined 3i in 1986 and rose to become head of buyouts in 1999.

The Times reports that Russell’s departure will require approval from 3i’s buyout fund investors. Russell’s responsibilities will now be shared by a team of three: Alan Giddins will be 3i’s new U.K. private equity head; Menno Antal will oversee PE in northern Europe, including Germany, the Nordics and Benelux countries; and Guy Zarzavatdjian, be responsible for private equity operations in southern Europe, including France, Spain and Italy, according to the Times. —VCJ staff

Pantheon Poaches Albert from Elevation

Kevin Albert has left buyout firm Elevation Partners to join Pantheon, a PE fund-of-funds investor based in London. Albert, who will be based in Pantheon’s New York office, will be a partner and global head of business development.

Albert joined Elevation Partners in 2005 as a managing director and helped raise the firm’s first fund to invest in media and entertainment businesses. Elevation may be best known for the fact that U2 lead singer Bono is one of its partners. —VCJ staff

Jansen Heads to Zouk

London-based cleantech venture firm Zouk Ventures has hired Sven Hansen as venture partner. Hansen was previously Global Head of Environmental Risk Management at UBS and CIO of London-based energy investment firm Good Energies. —VCJ staff

Sandström Joins Atlantic-Pacific Capital as Partner

Agent and advisory firm Atlantic-Pacific Capital has appointed Sarah Sandström as a partner in its private funds sector.

As part of the project management and advisory team, Sandström will work closely with general partner clients on executing institutional capital raises for Europe-based funds.

Previously, Sandström spent over 13 years in Credit Suisse’s Private Fund Group/DLJ, where she was a director and senior project manager. She was also a member of the Private Fund Group’s Screening Committee and Pricing Committee.

Sandström has transaction experience in Europe, North America, South America and Africa. During her tenure at Credit Suisse, she led 15 fund-raisings and played a key role in an additional nine transactions. —Alex Derber

Barlcays Capital loses Jitesh Gadhia to Blackstone

Jitesh Gadhia has left Barclays Capital to join Blackstone’s London office as a senior managing director.

Gadhia has almost 20 years’ investment banking experience, having held senior positions at Barclays Capital, ABN AMRO and Baring Brothers.

He also serves as a trustee of the United Kingdom’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts and, in 2008, was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

“Not only does Jitesh bring an extensive track record in U.K. and Europe, across multiple industry sectors, but he has also been at the forefront of developing cross-border activity with emerging markets such as India,” John Studzinski, global head of Blackstone Advisory Partners, said in a statement. —Alex Derber

Former Treasury Minister to Join Maven Capital

Former U.K. parliamentary minister Ian Pearson, who was Treasury and Business Minister under Gordon Brown, is joining private equity firm Maven Capital as a senior advisor.

Maven specialises in the U.K. lower mid-market and was established just over 12 months ago following a buyout from Aberdeen Asset Management.

Pearson will work with Maven’s managing partner Bill Nixon to expand the business, as it continues to invest in U.K. SMEs from its offices in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Manchester, Birmingham and London.

Pearson, who was responsible in the Treasury for enterprise and growth policy, worked closely with Lord Davies, the ex-Trade Minister and former head of Standard Chartered. —Alex Derber

Insynergy Names Commercial Director

Investment manager Insynergy has announced the appointment of Nicola Large as commercial director.

Large will work closely with CEO and founder Spike Hughes, with responsibility for the investment manager’s commercial and financial affairs.

She joins Insynergy from Actis, the emerging markets-focused private equity firm, where she was an analyst in the investor development group. Prior to Actis, Large was with Smith & Williamson Corporate Finance and previously an auditor with Barnes Roffe. —Alex Derber

BLM Partners Appoints PE Veterans

European alternatives firm BLM Partners has expanded its team to include Vito Gambarale and Carlo Mammola.

BLM Partners is joining the Italian private equity veterans to launch Italy1, its second special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) after Germany1.

Italy1 will target the Italian middle market.

Gambarale has been general manager at Telecom Italia, the CEO at toll road operator Autostrade, deputy chairman of 21 Investimenti (the Bennetton family’s PE fund) and is currently CEO of Italian infrastructure fund F2i.

Mammola is managing partner at European private equity firm Argan Capital. —Alex Derber

Dr. Johnson Confirms Role at Index Ventures

Dr. Kevin Johnson has formally joined technology-focused venture capital firm Index Ventures as a partner in its life sciences team.

Johnson has worked with the firm since 2004 in an advisory capacity. He is based in its London office and will work with the firm’s life sciences team in both London and in Geneva.

Prior to his new appointment, the venture advisor was also chief executive officer of therapeutic antibody development company PanGenetics.

He began his career in the biotech industry when he joined Cambridge Antibody Technology in 1990. —Alex Derber

Enzo Switch from UBP to Matrix

Matrix Group has announced the appointment of Vincenzo “Enzo” Narciso as a partner in its Private Funds Group. He was previously head of UBP’s private equity activities.

At Matrix Narciso will focus on originating and raising capital for international private equity and venture capital funds.

The private funds group at Matrix has raised in excess of €1 billion since inception in 2004. —Alex Derber