Advanced Capital, the Milan-headquartered fund of fund, has appointed Robert Berlé as chief executive officer.
The position had until now been held by Robert Tomei, founder of Advanced Capital, who is also the firm’s chairman.
Prior to joining Advanced Capital, Berlé was vice-chairman of DVR Capital, a Milan-based boutique merchant bank ranking among the 10 top financial advisors to private equity funds in Italy.
His 30 year career in investment and corporate banking also includes senior roles at Rothschild, Barclays de Zoete Wedd, Kidder Peabody & Co and JP Morgan. He spent the last 15 years focusing on mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions, while overseeing deals across Europe, the United States and the Asia-Pacific region.
The appointment is in line with Advanced Capital’s effort to build its presence in overseas markets, Tomei told Private Equity International. “Robert Berlé 's deep experience both in private equity and M&A, with a dealbook spanning both Europe, USA and Asia Pacific, speaks to our ambition to accelerate both the internationalization our firm's client base, and the articulation of our already global investment capabilities.”
He explained that the firm would now be targeting emerging and frontier markets, where demographic and average income growth, as well as improving governance and political stability, created a strong rationale to invest.
It would also be working on complementing its fund of funds historic capabilities with new areas of expertise, he said. “We are also looking to increase our direct investing capabilities, both as co-investors and through sponsorship of single manager platforms in sectors we like.”
Established in 2005, Advanced Capital has offices in Milan, London, Lugano and Luxembourg. It manages five investment vehicles, which comprises its flagship ACI, ACII, and ACIII private equity funds as well as a real estate and an energy-focused fund.
The firm has €1 billion of assets under management. Its latest vehicle, ACIII, raised in 2007, reached a final close on €320 million.