CAREER PATH: As a corporate associate at law firm Ashurst, Lilimarlen Hoff was seconded to hedge fund manager Man Investments, during which she realized she preferred the commercial approach of law to private practice. She joined Duke Street Capital as its legal counsel in 2004, and took on her current role in 2006 after previous general counsel Buchan Scott became head of investor relations. Hoff has a bachelor's degree in business economics from the University of Exeter and a law degree from the College of Law.
DISCLOSURE LEADER: Duke Street was one of the first firms to announce plans to embrace the proposals in the Walker Report for the majority of its portfolio, although under a quarter of its companies meet the criteria. Hoff doesn't think that increased disclosure requirements recommended in the report would impact her role greatly. ?We're working on putting appropriate systems in place to ensure adequate disclosure at the Duke Street and portfolio level and to the BVCA. Some of this information we have already been disclosing,? says Hoff. Among that information requested is the Duke Street structure and investment approach for portfolio companies, and confirmation that arrangements to deal with conflicts of interest are in place. ?The Report is also asking for a categorization of the limited partners that invest in our funds. We should be able to comply fairly easily,? she continues.
WIDE OPEN: Hoff believes that increased disclosure will only help the industry: ?We realize that there's nothing to hide and it will only work in the best interest of the private equity industry as a whole if we became more transparent.? Duke Street was also one of the firms that did not oppose the increased taxation of carried interest in the UK. In the summer, managing partner Peter Taylor testified to the Treasury Select Committee that in his opinion the industry would not be harmed if carry taxes were increased from 10 percent. FRENCH CONNECTION: Hoff enjoys working with the firm's London and Paris teams, which allows her to work with both teams and use her fluency in French (she also speaks German). Another aspect of France was interesting to Hoff ? in its sixth buyout fund which closed this year at €1 billion ($1.5 billion), Duke Street did something new. ?I really enjoyed setting up the carried interest scheme? We put in a new structure for the French executives,? she says.
CATCHING UP: As Hoff didn't get to take a summer vacation due to fundraising, she hopes to take a long winter break. Her plans will surely include skiing, millinery and cooking, all of which she is passionate about.