BVCA chief executive Linthwaite resigns(3)

Peter Linthwaite, chief executive of the UK’s industry trade association, has stepped down after a turbulent week, which saw him suffer a verbal mauling at the hands of a UK Treasury Select Committee while he defended the industry.

Peter Linthwaite has resigned as chief Executive of the BVCA, The British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, with immediate effect. He had held the role for two years.

BVCA chairman Wol Kolade had suggested Linthwaite’s departure was imminent yesterday when he told PEO: “We need to set the agenda, not react to it and build something interesting to deliver it. Maybe with a different chief executive, because the association is heading into different waters than when Peter joined. We cannot be precious. And we cannot afford to lose the battle in the UK, because of the precedent that will set for Europe.”

Kolade’s comments came in the wake of a turbulent evidence session before the UK parliament’s Treasury Select Committee, which attacked the industry for tax avoidance, asset-stripping and quick flips.

Following the performance BVCA members briefed against their own executive, claiming it had gone into the meeting unprepared and was made to look naive.

Today Kolade thanked Linthwaite for his “hard work over the last two years in a very challenging environment”.

He said: “Our job now with the industry is to promote the private equity and venture capital industry as the force for good which it is. There is a debate to be had about private equity but we need to make sure that a political campaign being run by the unions doesn’t end up damaging the overall strength of the economy.”

Linthwaite said: “This has been a fascinating and challenging two years. Over this time the BVCA has grown and achieved much for its members. However the role of chief executive has changed immeasurably and I believe that it is now time for new leadership to take the BVCA forward to the next stage.”

The BVCA has started to look for a replacement.

In the meantime, former BVCA chief executive John Mackie will return to the BVCA as a part-time consultant until a new chief executive is appointed.

In 2004, Mackie told one interviewer: “The relationship between investor and private equity firm is just about the most transparent commercial arrangement I have ever seen in my working life. I have never fully understood who would benefit from [third-party] disclosure – other than the media.”

See Feature: John Mackie returns to the BVCA