And finally…

Private army 

Private fund managers are big fans of hiring former military personnel, because – as Charlie Hunt, a headhunter at Private Equity Recruitment, puts it – they are well rounded individuals “who know how to conduct themselves, are often unflappable in a crisis, are organized, and have attention to detail.”

So Van Leer joins an elite group of veterans dotted around the private funds industry. Over at Stirling Square, we have Jonathan Heathcote, a former Royal Marines officer, while at Maven Capital Partners, we have Stuart Nicol, a former infantry officer with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who even founded his own venture capital fund Reboot Ventures investing in businesses that were founded by ex-forces professionals.

And then of course there is David Petraeus, a retired US Army four-star general and former director of the CIA, currently a partner at KKR and chair of its ‘Global Institute’.

Suddenly that four-year spell spent working on transactions at a Big Four accounting firm before getting into private equity doesn’t seem quite so glamorous.

Stranger than fiction

pfm was shocked to read in early April that the European Parliament had reportedly said that it will fast track the implementation of a third Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID III), to be introduced ahead of MiFID II, in order to head off any potential disruption the second directive might cause.

The shock announcement was first reported by online news portal Futures and Options World (FOW), which managed to secure an exclusive interview with Totali Buffooni, a spokesperson for the European Parliament. “It’s fairly obvious that we got most parts of MiFID II wrong so we are seeking to rectify that with MiFID III, ideally coming into force before the implementation of MiFID II,” said Buffooni.

The reforms overall will seek to “encourage rather than eviscerate liquidity” in derivatives markets, Bufooni reportedly said. “We are looking at a couple of sides of A4 for this, rather than the thousands of pages in MiFID II. It’s very much as ‘as you were’ kind of thing rather than a radical reform.”

pfm has yet to establish how this directive will affect private equity firms, because, despite best efforts, we were unable to reach Buffooni for comment. Having checked the date of the article – April 1 – it seems perhaps we might have been taken for a fool. Well played, Futures and Options World. Well played.