Both sides of the coin

SV has chosen UBS' Gustavo Eiben to manage the firm's relations with LPs and investees.

The US-based private equity firm now known as SV Investment Partners has recruited fresh talent to head up its investor relations and deal sourcing operations, poaching Gustavo Eiben from UBS Investment Bank to fill the newly created position of director of investor relations and business development.

Eiben joins SV armed with experience in liaising with institutional investors from his stint as the associate director of UBS' private equity funds group, as well as a background in M&A advisory work from his days as a senior consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

His new responsibilities as head of the firm's IR and deal sourcing functions include communicating SV's investment strategy and activities to both existing and potential investors, as well as developing new initiatives for generating deals.

?SV continues to see enormous opportunity in the business services sector of the middle market. As we pursue investments, it is of paramount importance that we ensure that our current and future limited partners are aware of the steps we are taking to deliver value to them,? a press statement quoted SV partner Nicholas Somers as stating. ?Gustavo's experience in managing relationships with institutional investors will be invaluable as SV capitalizes on the opportunity that lies ahead. We are delighted to have a professional with his expertise join our firm.?

The New York-based SV, formerly known as Schroder Ventures US, announced its hire of Eiben at the middle of last month, alongside announcements of promotions of three vice presidents – John Cochran, Matthew Rho, and Kathleen Jordan Stowe – to the position of principal at the firm. With the hiring of Eiben, SV now has an investment team of eight professionals, as well as four operating partners and seven executive advisors.

SV's recruitment of Eiben coincides with the growing trend among private equity GPs to acquire in-house professionals dedicated to the investor relations and marketing functions, particularly in light of the increasing sophistication of LPs and the progressive expansion of the population of GPs.

Founded in 1999 as the US affiliate of UK financial institution Schroder plc's private equity arm, Schroder Ventures, SV spun out and adopted its current name upon the sale of Schroder plc in 2001. The firm targets buyout and build-up deals within the smaller end of the US middle market.

LSE takes careful look at AIM brokers
The London Stock Exchange has begun a review of a key aspect of its Alternative Investment Market (AIM) to determine whether this market structure poses too much risk for investors. Central to the review is the nominated advisor, or ?nomad,? model in which a broker may act as a financial overseer of a company it has helped list. According to an LSE statement: ?We are currently doing a review of the role of nomads and seeing whether there are any steps we need to take to clarify or change the rules.? Among the proposed changes is a rule that would require an AIM broker to have completed two listings on the LSE within the past 12 months in order to qualify as a nomad. Brokers that specialize in AIM listings, many of them small, are complaining that the LSE is seeking to divert business to the main exchange, where it can make more money. However, some small brokers are suspected of failing to properly supervise listed companies in their charge.

European SME definition draws concern
The benefits of being a European ?micro, small or medium-sized enterprise? (SME) may be negated by receiving capital from a private equity or venture capital firm, thanks to the European Commission definition of SMEs. According to a client memo from law firm SJ Berwin, the definition was revised in 2003 in part because the EC decided that companies that were linked to larger conglomerates were benefiting unfairly from the tax relief and exemptions offered to SMEs. The new definition now excludes ?linked enterprises? from these benefits, and this may be applied to portfolio companies of a private equity firm, the SJ Berwin memo notes, adding ?These businesses are therefore denied the advantages offered to other, similar businesses, putting them at a competitive disadvantage. It also has the effect of making venture funding less attractive to SMEs?? Only some national governments have amended their local SME definitions to avoid this problem, the memo notes.

KKR Financial names CFO
KKRFinancial, the New York Stock Exchange-traded real estate investment trust affiliated with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, has named Jeffrey Van Horn as its chief financial officer. He replaces David Netjes, who previously had served both as the company's CFO and chief operating officer. Going forward Netjes will continue as COO. Prior to his new position, Van Horn was chief tax and regulatory officer for KKR Financial Advisors, the manager of KKR Financial. Previous to joining KKR Financial Advisors in 2004, Van Horn was senior vice president of investments at AvalonBay Communities. He was previously a tax partner with Arthur Andersen, where he specialized in real estate, leasing, reverse mortgage, private equity and the REIT industry, according to an announcement.

Prism Venture promotes Pignato
Prism Venture Partners, based in Westwood, Massachusetts, has promoted two professionals to general partner – Jim Counihan and Joe Pignato. Counihan is an investment professional; Pignato's title will be Administrative General Partner. Pignato joined the firm in 2004 as chief financial officer. He was promoted earlier this year to chief operating officer. Prior to joining Prism Venture, Pignato was CFO of Charles River Venturesand before that, the CFO of Lightbridge, a publicly traded software company. ?Joe has played a central role in advancing Prism's governance to the next level,? said Woody Benson, a general partner at Prism Venture Partners. ?His promotion is a result of bringing strategy and management to LP relations, finance and fundraising and ties into our commitment of operating a horizontal management team.? Prism Venture, founded in 1996, invests in technology and life sciences ventures. The firm has roughly $1.25 billion (€970 million) in capital under management across five funds.