Quadrangle hires CFO

The media specialist has hired Steven Davidson of Mourant to strengthen its internal infrastructure

New York-based investment firm Quadrangle Group has hired Steven Davidson, formerly a managing director at Mourant, as chief financial officer.

Davidson was previously a managing director at third party fund administrator Mourant. There he was responsible for opening the firm’s first US office and managing all aspects of its US business. Before joining Mourant, he was a vice president at BISYS Alternative Investment Services. Prior to that, he was a vice president at JPMorgan Private Bank.

Davidson will oversee financial administration, control and reporting across the firm, including its private equity and hedge fund partnerships and affiliated management companies ? Quadrangle Capital Partners, Quadrangle Asset Management and Quadrangle Equity Investors. He will also work with senior management to devise financial strategies to enhance the firm’s profitability and growth, the firm said in a statement.

Quadrangle has dramatically expanded its franchise this year. In January the firm appointed Kramer, formerly the head of Goldman Sachs’ Global Manager Strategies Group, to COO. He played an integral role in the launch of Quadrangle’s investment management business (QAM) in January.

In March, the firm hired former Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation chief investment officer Alice Ruth as a managing principal and chief investment officer for QAM, which handles asset allocation, manager selection, plan implementation and risk management for ?founding investors? including long-time friend of the firm and billionaire New York mayor Michael Bloomberg..

European mall investor appoints COO
Atrium European Real Estate, the owner, operator and developer of shopping centers in Central and Eastern Europe, has appointed Nils-Christian Hakert as chief operating officer. Hakert joins from Unibail-Rodamco, a pan-European commercial property investor, where he has worked since 2005 as retail director of Central Europe. The appointment is the latest since Citi Property Investors and Israel-based Gazit-Globe announced plans earlier this year to inject €800 million into the Vienna-listed company, formerly known as Meinl European Land. Rachel Lavine, the new chief executive officer installed by the investors, said in a statement: ?Since I officially took up my role as chief executive officer of Atrium I have maintained that one of my key priorities was to appoint a strong executive management team, which has a great deal of experience in European real estate development and investment and shopping centres, in particular.? She added the company was at an advanced stage of negotiations with a number of candidates for the other positions, including, chief financial officer, chief development officer and chief technology officer.

UK pension providers still shun PE
More than one fifth of self invested personal pension (SIPP) providers in the UK do not allow investors to hold private equity within their SIPP portfolios, according to a new study released by Hotbed, a UK alternative investment syndicator for high net worth individuals. SIPPs schemes are UK retirement saving plans, in which an individual saves money for retirement on a tax-deferred basis and has freedom to invest the funds as he or she wishes. However, SIPP schemes require a provider ? such as an insurance company, a bank or an open ended investment management company ? which may restrict the asset classes or types of investments that its SIPP participants can invest in. According to Hotbed’s findings, while 21 percent of SIPP providers block private equity investments for their investors, 95 percent allow hedge fund investments. The survey results were based on interviews with 19 SIPP providers. In April 2006 the UK government relaxed the SIPP rules to allow investments in private equity, hedge funds and other alternative investments.

EVCA appoints new members
The European Venture Capital Association (EVCA) has replaced 11 board members coming to the end of their mandate or stepping down. The newly appointed board members each hail from a different country and represent firms that target the small-to mid-markets. They are: Xavier-André Corremans (Sofinim, Belgium), Ole Mikkelsen (Scandinavian Equity Partners, Denmark), Andreas Schober (Hannover Finanz, Germany), Pantelis Vernikos (Alpha Ventures, Greece), Craig Butcher (Mid-Europe Partners, Hungary), Fred Van Efferink (ICOS Capital Management, Netherlands), Katryn Baker (Reiten & Co, Norway), Paulo Caetano (FromentInvest, Portugal), Jaime Hernandez Soto (MCH Private Equity, Spain), Anne Rannaleet (IK Investment Partners, Sweden) and Jirí Beneš (3TS Capital, Czech Republic). Members of the EVCA Board are elected annually by the EVCA Assembly General. The Board is composed of up to 30 people, who may serve up to four terms. Countries with at least three full members of the association are eligible to have one board member. Countries with at least 25 full members are entitled to two board members.

Guernsey-domiciled fund values rise by £1bn
The value of private equity funds registered in Guernsey rose by £1 billion ($1.8 billion; €1.2 billion) in the second quarter of 2008, bringing the current total to £36.2 billion. The change represents a 2.5 percent increase, according to data from industry group Guernsey Finance. The increase comes amid difficult market conditions that have seen private equity fundraising across Europe fall by around 10 percent this year, the group noted in a report. Guernsey has introduced several fast track application processes for certain investment funds, helping to lure more private equity funds to the jurisdiction. The listing of KKR Private Equity Investors in June 2006 was also a powerful draw, according to the report. ?It could be argued that the listing of the $5 billion Guernsey limited partnership KKR Private Equity Investors on the Amsterdam Euronext was so innovative that it has been the largest single contributor to the island’s recent success in the asset class,? the report said. ?It highlighted that Guernsey was one of the few jurisdictions from where funds wishing to list on Euronext do not need to obtain a licence in the Netherlands because the Dutch AFM has ruled that there is already adequate ?home? supervision.?

Switzerland mulls tax break for PE managers
Switzerland plans to give tax breaks to hedge fund managers and private equity firms in an effort to compete with financial centers like London and New York, according to the Associated Press. The total tax burden for fund managers would likely drop to 15 to 20 percent, said a senior Swiss finance official. Fund managers in Switzerland currently pay from 40 to 50 percent tax. The Swiss Federal Finance Administration plans to enact the breaks by changing the way management’s investment profits and management fees and classified. Urs Roth, chief executive of the Swiss Bankers Association, said the change would bring thousands of jobs to Switzerland.