European private equity firm Candover has named Piers Dennison as its first dedicated investor relations director.
Dennison joins Candover from Boston Consulting Group, where he was a management consultant specialising in retail and telecommunications. He started his career in 1988 as an investment banker with SG Warburg, spending two years in London and four years in New York, where he worked on private placements of non-US securities to US investors.
Dennison will be responsible for co-ordinating Candover’s fund raising activities with third parties, and for managing relationships with existing and potential limited partners in the Candover funds.
Dennison arrives at Candover at a time when LP relations are quickly moving up the list of priorities of general partners. Other European LBO houses where former investment banking executives run an in-house investor relations function include Doughty Hanson, which brought in Stephen Marquardt from Merrill Lynch's Private Equity Group in 2000; Hg Capital, which also in 2000 hired Craig Donaldson, an alternative investment professional who has worked for UBS and Prudential; BC Partners, which appointed Kevin O'Donohoe from Merrill Lynch as early as 1991; and Terra Firma, where former Goldman Sachs executive Bill Myers is in charge of fundraising and investor relations.
“The size of Candover’s funds has increased from around E400m in 1994 to over E2.7bn for the recently raised 2001 Fund which has 110 investors,” said Colin Buffin, managing director at Candover. “Our priority is to maintain strong relationships with our current investors, as well as to identify new limited partners for future Candover funds.”
Earlier this month, Candover Investments, the publicly quoted unit of the UK private equity firm, reported a 6.3 per cent increase in annual profits. The PLC achieved profits of £15.3m, up from £14.4m in the previous year, the result of a number of successful exits for the firm.
Recent deals completed by Candover include the E141m acquisition Wellstream, a manufacturer of flexible pipe applications for the offshore deepwater oil and gas sector, the E1.9bn buyout of Gala, the retail gaming company, the E1bn buyout of Belgium-based Ontex, a European producer of hygiene products. The firm is also bidding alongside Cinven for BertelsmannSpringer, the science and business publishing unit of Bertelsmann.