Another Terra Firma exec departs while on fundraising trail

The move follows reports Terra Firma is seeking €3bn for its first commingled buyout fund in 12 years.

David Hobbs, a managing director at Terra Firma Capital Partners, has become the latest executive to depart the firm as it looks to raise a successor to its 2006 buyout fund.

Hobbs joined as strategy director working across all portfolio business and new deals in 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile. He had previously spent 13 years at Tesco as group strategy and business planning director and formerly chief operating officer for its Chinese and Malaysian businesses.

Hobbs is understood to have left last week. Terra Firma declined to comment.

The move follows reports that Terra Firma is seeking €3 billion for its first commingled buyout fund in 12 years. The firm has not raised a successor to its €5.4 billion 2006 fund since its large cross-fund investment in music group EMI led to a high-profile investment loss. It recently acquired Finnish building company Pamarco through its Terra Firma Special Opportunities Fund IV alongside pan-European manager Metric Capital and Hong Kong’s Sun Hung Kai & Co.

Hobbs is the latest in a string of departures over the past 18 months. Chief operating officer Trudy Cooke, a 14-year veteran of the firm, left in July and has since joined telecommunications firm Inmarsat as group general counsel, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Michele Russo, one of three executives who joined the London-headquartered firm in April 2016 to boost sourcing, executing and managing investments, departed in March 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Alex Williams and Jyrki Lee Korhonen, who joined at the same time as Russo as managing directors, have also since left the firm. Williams, a former First Reserve executive, left in April 2017 while Korhonen, who led Terra Firma’s Nordic investments, left the following month for DH Private Equity Partners, as PEI reported.

Terra Firma chief executive Andrew Géczy hinted at departures when PEI sat down for an interview in September last year.

“Whenever you get a new CEO, you make an assessment of the team on the field: that’s what new CEOs do,” he said at the time.

“We’re trying to build something for the future, and you want people who want to be here for the next 10 years. You don’t want people who want to be here for the next five years.”