Clarke emerges at Permira

Martin Clarke, the former PPM Ventures dealmaker, has joined Permira to help the firm invest in retail and consumer businesses.

Martin Clarke, until recently a senior executive in the London office of PPM Ventures, the private equity arm of Prudential, has joined Permira, the European buyout firm.


In his new role, Clarke will be concentrating on deals in retail and consumer-facing industries including branded goods and leisure, predominantly in the UK. While at PPM, he was involved in several transactions in these sectors including fashion retailers New Look and Oasis as well as Tetley, the tea supplier.


He will be working with Charles Sherwood, a veteran partner at the firm, and Cheryl Potter, who joined Permira two years ago from Royal Bank Development Capital. Both have a retail and consumer focus and were instrumental in Permira’s investment in Homebase two years ago, the firm’s most high profile retail investment in the UK to date. 


After leaving PPM Ventures, Clarke considered setting up his own private equity business, but in light of current market conditions decided against launching a fund. “Joining Permira was a logical step, given my background and their appetite for new investment”, he said.


The firm, which has over 100 staff in six European offices, is currently investing its E3.5bn second European fund, which it closed in October 2000.


Earlier this week it announced the appointment Philippe Robert, a former investment banker with Credit Suisse First Boston, to head up its Paris office.