The British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) has appointed Simon Clark, managing partner at Fidelity Growth Partners Europe as its annual chairman.
Clark will succeed Robert Easton, a managing director and co-head of Carlyle Europe Technology Partners, on 2 April 2013. Tim Farazmand, a managing director at LDC, has been appointed as vice-chairman and will become chairman in April next year.
His appointment comes at an important time for the UK private equity industry, which will be subject to a slew of new rules under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers directive come this July. Part of the BVCA's job will be to convince UK authorities to adopt a flexible approach on the directive as it is implemented into national law.
Moreover Clark will assist the BVCA in promoting the industry, which has a “tremendous opportunity to make a real difference to both the economy and society at large,” he said in a statement.
“The case [for private equity] always has to be made”, said Clark. In 2011, [the UK private equity industry] backed 2800 companies, we helped to create half a million jobs, we put £40 billion pounds into the economy in the last 5 years. Our aim is to tell the story [and] we need to challenge ourselves as an industry to make sure we are doing the right thing for the country; that we are contributing,” he said.
During his chairmanship, Clark aims to focus on three areas. “Firstly, attracting capital to our industry from global investors by making a robust case for the asset class; secondly, ensuring we remain actively and constructively engaged in the European regulatory debate, building alliances and partnerships with fellow institutions; and thirdly, demonstrating how private equity and venture capital skills can be applied to solve social problems,” he said.
At Fidelity Growth Partners Europe, Clark focuses on investments in software, healthcare IT and data services. Before joining Fidelity in 1999, he was chief financial officer and general manager international at TheStreet.com, a financial news website. In this role, he managed two cycles of venture fundraising, a strategic investment and IPO process. He was also responsible for the company’s IT infrastructure and its international operations.