Advent promotes lucky thirteen

Advent has made a string of promotions across its European and North American offices, including three new partners.

Advent International has rewarded some of the people behind a strong year for the business by promoting 13 people across Europe and North America.

They include three promotions to partner level.

Tim Franks, who joined Advent’s London office in 1999 and focuses on the retail, media and leisure sectors, is promoted from principal. Franks’ recent deals include image rights business Sportfive and homeware retailer ILVA, and he also helped set up the firm’s internal debt advisory function.

Steven Collins, a former Merrill Lynch banker who originally joined the firm in 1995, has also been promoted to partner. Collins leads its retail and consumer efforts in the US, and was involved with the deals for engineering firm Aspen Technology and gift shop Kirklands.

The third new partner is Istvan Szoke, who is based in London but works in Advent’s Central and Eastern Europe division. Before joining Advent in 1999, Szoke was an equity analyst and founded a Geneva-based emerging market fund called Eastern Heritage Capital. Szoke co-led Advent’s recent deals for Romanian mobile operator Oskar Mobil and fuel card issuer CCS.

There have been three senior associates promoted to principal: Jeff Paduch, previously a banker with UBS in the US, who is based in the London office; Fernando Diaz-Solis, who joined Advent’s Spanish office from Dresdner Kleinwort Capital and has been heavily involved with theme park operator Parques Reunidos; and Wojtek Napiorkowski, a Warsaw-based Polish national who joined Advent in 2004 and has worked on the deals for chemicals business Bolix and debt collection group Ultimo.

There are also seven promotions to senior associate level.

Last year Advent International invested $1.2 billion in 13 companies in nine countries, and made more than 20 exits. The firm has 14 offices around the world, and has previously invested in 35 countries.