European People Briefs, September

Earlybird Gets Whitmore

Hamburg, German-based Earlybird Venture Capital has expanded its leadership team to include Jason Whitmore as a partner. Whitmore will focus on early stage venture investments in mobile services, cloud computing and digital media technologies.

He previously was with Wind River Systems, where he served as general manager and vice president until June 2010. Whitmore was also shareholder and managing director of open-source real-time Linux provider FSMLabs and played a key role in its acquisition by Wind River systems in 2007.

Founded in 1997, Earlybird currently has €430 million ($540 million) under management and has invested in more than 70 companies.

3 U.K. PE Pros Launch Lonsdale

A new London-based private equity firm focusing on the U.K. and Northern European markets has been launched by a trio of executives.

Lonsdale Capital Partners is the creation of David Gasparro, former head of distribution at U.K.-based fund manager Threadneedle; Ross Finegan, formerly with JP Morgan Partners; and Alan Dargan, previously with Credit Suisse First Boston and UBS.

“We make investments in a wide variety of sectors, in companies that are cash generative and where the business model is clear,” according to the new firm’s website.

The firm name of Lonsdale comes from the name of the road on which the founders’ children attend school, according to DowJones Financial News.

Oakley Capital Hires Huse

Del Huse has joined Oakley Capital, the investment adviser to Oakley Capital Private Equity, as a managing director.

Huse will focus on generating new business for the mid-market specialist in the United Kingdom and Europe. He joins the firm from Endless, the U.K.-based private equity house, where he led the London operation.

Moulton Assumes PE Role at Eversheds

International law firm Eversheds has appointed a new head of private equity, with its corporate partner Richard Moulton stepping in to take the role.

Moulton will be based in London and replaces Mark Spinner, who led the group for eight years. While Spinner will continue to be actively involved in the private equity group, he has stepped down from the leadership position to focus on his responsibilities as head of the wider corporate practice group.

Moulton has been at Eversheds since 2003.

Ferguson Named Chairman of Amati

Amati Global Investors, a newly formed investment manager, has named James Ferguson chairman of its board.

Ferguson is currently the chairman of Value and Income Trust, Monks Investment Trust, The Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust and Northern 3 VCT.

Edinburgh, Scotland-based Amati formed in January after Paul Jourdan and Douglas Lawson, together with the team involved in the day-to-day running of Noble AIM VCT and the CF Noble UK Smaller Companies Fund, completed the acquisition of Noble Fund Managers, which was renamed Amati Global Investors.

RIT Appoints Labour Peer

Lord Myners was appointed to the U.K.-based RIT Capital Partners’ non-executive board of directors, effective in August, according to Chairman Lord Rothschild.

Up until May 2010, Myners served as Treasury secretary under former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Barclays Poaches Equity Head from HSBC

Boudewijn Jansen has moved from HSBC Alternative Investments (HAIL), part of HSBC Private Bank, to Barclays Wealth.

Jansen joins the global wealth manager as head of private equity within the alternative origination team.

At HAIL, Jansen was global head of private equity and was responsible for developing the private equity product for HSBC Private Bank.

He will be joined by Sarah Newman who joins the team as head of hedge fund origination.

Both will report to Thomas Fekete, EMEA head of investment products at Barclays Wealth.

Matrix Changes VCT Directorate

Chartered accountant and former investment banker Andrew Robson was appointed as a non-executive director to the board of Matrix Income & Growth 4 VCT.

Launched in 1999, the £25 million ($38 million) fund is managed by Matrix Private Equity Partners.

Robson was a non-executive director of Edinburgh UK Smaller Companies Tracker Trust from 1998 to 2006.

New Chairman on Merseyside

Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF), a Liverpool-based investment fund, has appointed Andy Rigby chairman of its board. Rigby previously helped to found the Manchester office transaction team of NatWest Ventures.

Rigby, previously a non-executive director of Alliance Fund Managers—MSIF’s in-house fund management company—succeeds Professor Michael Hulme.