Commerzbank chairman joins ICG

Martin Kohlhausen, one of the most senior figures in German banking, has been appointed to Intermediate Capital Group’s board of non-executive directors.

Intermediate Capital Group, Europe’s largest listed provider of mezzanine capital, has announced the appointment of Martin Kohlhausen as non-executive director.

Kohlhausen, 68, is one of the leading figures in German banking. Having served as chairman of the board of managing directors at Commerzbank from 1991 to 2001, he currently chairs the bank’s supervisory board. Other supervisory board seats he holds include German blue chip companies Bayer, Schering and Thyssen Krupp.

According to Tom Attwood, a London-based director and co-founder of ICG, Kohlhausen was introduced to the firm by John Manser, ICG chairman.

Other non-executive directors at ICG are UK professionals James Nelson and Peter Stone as well as Eric Lycois, a Frenchman.

“We’re a truly international firm, and it’s proper that the board of non-executives should reflect that,” said Attwood. ICG has offices in Madrid, Hong Kong, France and Stockholm.

Commenting on ICG’s prospects in Germany, Attwood said after limited activity throughout the 1990s, there were now signs of the market becoming livelier. Investments recently added to the firm’s portfolio such as publishing concern Bertelsmann Springer, automotive supplier Edscha and the merged chemical operations of Haarmann & Reimer and Dragoco were evidence of higher quality deals now coming to the German market, he said.

“Historically, German investments accounted for less than 10 percent of our portfolio, but in the past couple of years, it has grown to approximately 15 percent,” Attwood said, adding that with Kohlhausen on board, Germany as a place for ICG to do business in was expected to further gain in importance over the coming years.

In April, ICG closed ICG Mezzanine Fund 2003 on €668 million ($825 million), a vehicle which including leverage is expected to invest up to €1.5 billion, more than three times the size of the firm’s previous mezzanine fund which closed in 2000.