Advent hires operating partner for TMT

The global mid-market firm has added Harry Debes, former CEO of Lawson Software, to its operating team. Debes will focus on opportunities in the software and technology space.

Advent International has added Harry Debes to its operating partner programme, where he will advise on opportunities in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) sector.

Debes was most recently chief executive officer of Lawson Software, which provides enterprise resource planning software and services. Prior to joining Lawson in 2005, he was president and CEO of software solutions company SPL WorldGroup, which was acquired by Oracle in 2006. At Advent, Debes will focus on businesses in the software and technology space.

“[Debes] has a thorough knowledge of how to grow a software business,” Advent managing director Tim Franks said in a statement. “That knowledge, along with his experience in more than 30 acquisitions, complements Advent’s approach to value creation.”

Debes is the 25th professional on Advents TMT team. The firm has more than 80 professionals in its entire operating partner programme.

Last month, Advent hired Thomas Ryan, the former CEO of CVS Caremark, as an operating partner to advise on opportunities in the healthcare sector.

Advent has been an active investor in the TMT sector, investing in more than 100 companies in the space. Recent acquisitions include an investment this August in the card systems and identity divisions of Oberthur Technologies. The transaction is still subject to closing.

Advent’s current global buyout fund closed on €6.6 billion in 2008.