Bell leaves Compass for Palamon


Ron Bell, the former financial director of London private equity firm Compass Partners International, has joined Palamon Capital Partners as chief financial officer.

Bell, 48, was with Compass for more than seven years. Compass, with an additional office in Frankfurt, is known for its implementation of operating partners to help boost portfolio company performance. Prior to joining Compass, Bell worked in various financial capacities throughout the UK, including as finance director of Legal and General Ventures. He was also CFO of J. Rothschild Holdings, where he was involved in the formation of two publicly listed investment trusts ? RIT Capital Partners and Value Realisation Trust.

Palamon, also based in London, is a pan-European middle market private equity investor. The firm is currently managing its debut private equity fund, which raised €440 million ($532 million) in 1999. Last year the firm indicated it was gearing up to raise Fund II.

That Palamon's pace of activity is increasing is clear. Late last year the firm added Matthew Turner as a partner. Turner was recruited away from PPM Ventures. Earlier in 2004, the firm undertook its largest investment yet ? the €155 million acquisition of the European division of Six Flags amusement parks. (The firm also reportedly bid on the Danish Legoland theme park business ? a deal worth around €375 million that eventually was sold to Blackstone in July this year.)

More recently, the firm saw a major exit success in the sale of Italian software company TeamSystem to Bain Capital for roughly €280 million, earning Palamon around six times its initial investment.

Palamon is a spin-off of global private equity giant Warburg Pincus. It was founded by Michael Hoffman and Louis Elson, two Americans who had spent years as partners in the larger firm's London office (Hoffman is a dual US/Austrian national).

The firm's fund has been committed roughly 42 percent to the UK with the remainder across Western Europe. Palamon invests from early stage companies through later stage opportunities.

In a statement, Hoffman said Bell ?brings a wealth of experience of the private equity industry and will play a major role in the continued development of our pan-European investment strategy.?

Grove Street promotes two
Massachusetts-based private equity advisory firm Grove Street Advisors, a private equity advisory firm, has promoted two of its principals, Frank Angella and Christopher Yang, to general partners after four years of service each. Angella concentrates on the healthcare and energy sectors and Europe/Israel funds at Grove Street. He joined the firm in 2001 after graduating from Harvard Business School. Yang's focus at Grove Street is on information technology, venture debt and Asia and US buyout firms. Before he joined the firm, Yang was with I-Group, a Softbank affiliate that is now part of Seed Capital Partners, an early stage venture fund. Founded in 1998, Grove Street Advisors has more than $3 billion currently under management. Some of its clients include California Public Employees Retirement System, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund and the Finland Local Government Pension Institutions.

Actis names two to board
Emerging markets private equity firm Actis has named Sir Peter Bon-field and Keki Dadiseth to the firm's supervisory board. The two will join existing board members Paul Collins, Sir Tim Lankester and Peter Smitham. Bonfield was chief executive of British Telecom from 1996 to 2002 and is currently senior non-executive director of AstraZeneca Group as well as a member of the board of mobile phone giant Ericsson. According to an Actis press release, he has experience in the telecommunications sector in Africa and China, where the firm actively invests. Dadiseth is global director of Unilever Home and Personal Care. He has much experience in the Indian market, another focus for Actis, which is based in London. Actis is a leading private equity investor in emerging markets. Actis, led by Paul Fletcher, was created in 2004 following a management buyout from CDC Capital Partners. The firm currently has $2. 7 billion of funds under management.

Greenhill names senior advisor
Publicly traded financial services firm Greenhill & Co. announced that Dr. Karl-Hermann Baumann will join the firm as a senior advisor. Greenhill provides mergers and acquisitions advisory services as well as manages private equity funds. Baumann served until January 2005 as the chairman of the supervisory board of Siemens AG and was chief financial officer of Siemens from 1988 to 1998. Greenhill, led by chairman and CEO Robert Greenhill, has offices in New York, London, Dallas and Frankfurt. In June, Greenhill closed its second private equity fund on $875 million (€710 million), more than doubling the total raised for the firm's debut vehicle.

Bird wings in at SVG
SVG Advisers, the London investment management company, has appointed Graham Bird as a fund manager. Bird joins the seven-strong public equity team, which manages or advises commitments, funds and segregated mandates of around £180 million ($320 million) and is focused on applying private equity disciplines to investments in listed companies. Bird joins from JPMorgan Cazenove, where he spent three years as head of corporate finance at Cazenove South Africa. SVG Advisers is the fund management business of SVG Capital, the London Stock Exchange-listed firm that invests principally in private equity funds managed or advised by UK buyout firm Permira.