Aquiline hires former Wachovia chief as advisor

The financial services-focused firm hired Ken Thompson as a senior advisor. Aquiline has been steadily building up its roster of investment professionals and senior advisors, including last year bringing on former E*TRADE Financial chief executive Mitchell Caplan.

Ken Thompson, the ousted chief executive officer of Wachovia, has joined Aquiline Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm that focuses exclusively on financial services.

Thompson joined the firm in the spring as a senior advisor. Wachovia’s board of directors forced Thompson to resign last June after the company experienced months of losses as the economy melted down.

Thompson resided over Wachovia’s troubled $24 billion purchase California-based savings and loan Golden West. Golden West had loans concentrated in California, which was hit hard when the housing market crashed last year, and Wachovia was forced to raise capital and slash dividends in an attempt to make up for losses. Wells Fargo eventually acquired Wachovia for about $13 billion.

One of Aquiline’s most recent investments was the June purchase of Conning & Company, an insurance services provider, from Swiss Reinsurance Company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Aquiline was founded in 2005 as a joint venture between Venturion Capital and Marsh & McLennan chief Jeffrey Greenberg. The firm closed its debut fund on $1.1 billion in 2007.

The firm has steadily built up its bench of investment professionals and senior advisors.

Last year, the firm hired former E*TRADE Financial chief executive Mitchell Caplan as an executive advisor. Caplan was hired to assist Aquiline in evaluating global opportunities in the retail financial services sector.

Also last year, the firm hired Deborah Bernstein from tech-focused venture firm FirstMark Capital, formerly known as Pequot Ventures, and Jason Rotman, former head of alternative investments for the United States at Swiss Re.