Candover legal counsel takes COO job

The firm has capped off a lengthy restructuring process with the creation of two new roles, including installing Kit Tuke as head of debt.

Philip Price, who joined London-based Candover Partners as legal counsel last year, will step up to the newly created post of chief operating officer. The role sees Price expand his responsibilities to include managing the firm’s human resources, IT and risk management functions.

Price joined Candover having been chief operating officer of SRM Global, the hedge fund group that sued the UK government over its handling of the nationalisation of retail bank Northern Rock. SRM, along with fellow hedge fund RAB Capital, owned 20 percent of the bank.

Candover has also promoted debt specialist Kit Tuke to the newly created role of head of debt. Tuke joined the firm in 2007 having previously worked for 3i and Barclays. In his new position, he will take responsibility for sourcing and structuring the debt financing for portfolio companies and for managing Candover’s banking relationships.

The creation of the two new roles mark the culmination of a restructuring process Candover has been undergoing for almost a year. The firm’s unusual business model, whereby a listed parent company – Candover Investments – commits capital to and recycles distributions from a wholly owned subsidiary, ran into serious difficulty last year. The model was seriously tested by the global financial and economic crisis and as a result was unable to honour a €1 billion commitment to Candover’s 2008 buyout fund. This fund, which had managed to raise €3 billion in commitments, now looks likely to be wound down following lengthy discussions with limited partners.

Commenting on the appointments, John Arney, who took the helm of Candover Partners as its managing partner in August last year, said in a statement that the “significant challenges” of 2009 had afforded the firm the “opportunity to strengthen [the] organisation and refresh and revitalise [its] team.”

Candover’s share price slid by 1.25 percent this morning to £5.15 (€5.90; $8.19).