Capital Dynamics swaps CEO for ExCo

The Swiss fund manager is handing strategic decision-making over to an expanded executive committee

Switzerland-headquartered private asset manager Capital Dynamics is restructuring its management following a strategic review, replacing its CEO with an expanded executive committee.

The firm has selected Martin Hahn, head of business development, to be the president of the executive committee, which has expanded from five members to nine. Its new members include Angela Willetts and Andrew Bernstein, who have been promoted to co-heads of private equity investment management.

“It’s no secret that the private equity industry is under pressure from the market, and I think it behoves a company to periodically check where things are and what should be done,” Thomas Kubr, executive chairman and founder, told Private Equity International regarding the strategic review. “What we’ve come back with is that we very much like our investment teams and what they’re doing, but frankly our corporate overhead has gotten a little out of bounds and we have to fix that.”

Following the restructure, CEO Stefan Ammann and chief operating officer of private equity Gila Cohen will leave the firm. Harald Zeiter has been named general counsel and head of legal and compliance.

Kubr said the new structure will “focus the mandate of the executive committee on more strategic issues”.

“The most important benefit is that the investment teams have more authority to act on the business. We significantly pushed responsibility down further to give people more freedom and to become more entrepreneurial.”

Hahn said in a statement that the expanded executive committee allows “leaders from various geographies and departments within our organisation to contribute to the firm’s strategic decision making process.”

“This change will empower our business leaders and bring them in closer touch to our clients and markets, and ultimately put us in a more optimal position to deliver highly customised solutions to our clients,” Hahn said.

Along with the restructure, Capital Dynamics has hired Simon Eaves from the infrastructure investment team at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority as managing director and head of Europe in its clean energy and infrastructure team, and Yvan Chene as a director in its secondaries team.

The firm’s private equity and clean energy infrastructure businesses “will be expanded by new strategies in due course”, according to the statement.

“Fundamentally what we’re seeing is that the ‘one-size-fits-all’ classic fund of funds product is increasingly less attractive to most investors, so you really have to customise them much more” Kubr told PEI.

“For example, we are out there with a very specific solution for LGPS [Local Government Pension Scheme], the UK local government pension fund,” Kubr said, which is an example of the firm responding to the needs of “smaller, less resourced, cost-conscious investors.”