BC Partners loses IR rainmaker, appoints top Citi banker as global head

The move comes as the buyout firm seeks to raise its biggest-ever flagship fund.

BC Partners, one of Europe’s longest-standing private equity firms, is losing its co-head of investor relations and long-time executive as it seeks to raise its biggest-ever fund.

Richard Kunzer will leave the buyout firm “in the near future” to set up his own venture, according to a letter to BC’s investors seen by Private Equity International. Kunzer informed the firm in November of his plans to launch his own entrepreneurial venture focused on diversity and inclusion with a “different approach to private investing”, the letter noted.

“We sincerely thank Richard for his partnership and contributions to our fundraising and investor relations initiatives and wish him the very best in his next chapter,” the letter, by BC chairman and partner Raymond Svider, noted.

In Kunzer’s place, the firm has appointed a seasoned M&A banker to a new role. Alexis Maskell joins as a partner and global head of investor relations. Maskell, who has more than two decades’ experience in investment banking and more than a decade of experience in alternatives, joins from Citi where he was head of the bank’s global asset managers group, the letter noted.

“Having covered us and our peers for many years, Alexis understands BC Partners, the broader private equity market, the deal environment, and our portfolio extremely well,” the letter noted.

At Citi, Maskell has been responsible for covering private equity, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and family offices, according to the letter. Prior to Citi, he held senior positions at HSBC and Deutsche Bank in their financial sponsors groups.

Maskell and Kunzer will work together to ensure a “seamless and efficient transition”, according to the letter.

The move comes as London-headquartered BC seeks to raise €8.5 billion for BC European Capital XI. The fund launched early last year and has thus far received commitments from Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System and New York City Police Pension Fund, according to PEI data.

New York-based Kunzer joined BC from Credit Suisse in 2009. He began co-heading BC’s investor relations team in 2018 alongside London-based Laurent de Rosière.

In 2018, PEI named Kunzer in its Rainmaker 50 list of most influential fundraisers. He was noted as having seen the firm through two post-crisis flagship fundraises totalling nearly €14 billion, having led the charge with North American and Asian investors and for spearheading the firm’s 2017 move into private credit.

Maskell will work with De Rosière and the firm’s other IR professionals and will lead the group from New York.

BC Partners is the ninth biggest private equity firm in Europe, according to the latest PEI 300 ranking. It raised $13.3 billion in the five years through April 2020.

A spokesman for BC declined to comment on the moves.