Clessidra CEO Claudio Sposito dies

Sposito founded the firm exclusively focused on the Italian market in 2003.

Claudio Sposito, the founder, president and CEO of Milan-based private equity firm Clessidra died on Monday following a short illness, a spokesperson confirmed to Private Equity International.

On Thursday Clessidra approved the appointment of a new chairman and CEO. Francesco Trapani, currently executive vice chairman, will take on the chairman’s role, while partner and head of the investment team Maurizio Bottinelli will become the new CEO.

The appointments are “in accordance with what was envisaged and agreed by Claudio Sposito himself”, the firm said.

“The demise of Claudio, whom we were close to both professionally and personally, is a moment of deep emotion and suffering for us,” Trapani said in a statement. “We have decided to pursue a path consistent with his leadership and will, in respect of how much he meant to the company and the entire industry.”

Sposito founded Clessidra in 2003, having served for five years as CEO of Fininvest, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s holding company, and for 10 years as a managing director at Morgan Stanley, where he was responsible for investment banking activities in Italy, according to Clessidra’s website.

Clessidra is currently in market with its third fund targeting €1 billion. The firm held a €400 million first close in January 2015, as reported by PEI.

Park Hill Group is helping Clessidra with the fundraising process.

Investors in the fund’s 2009-vintage, €1.41 billion predecessor include the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System, the West Midlands Pension Fund and fund of funds manager Pantheon, according to PEI Research & Analytics.

In June 2015 Clessidra teamed up with global buyout houses Advent International and Bain Capital to acquired Italian financial services company Instituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari Italiane (ICBPI) for €2.15 billion.

Concurrent with Fund III’s first close, Clessidra signed a deal to acquire 90 percent of luxury Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli for between €300 million and €350 million, as reported by PEI.