CVC brings in former RBS finance chief

Fred Watt, who a year ago was set to work with Doughty Hanson on a publicly listed fund that never went ahead, has joined the European LBO house as chief operating officer.

In a bid to professionalise its operations, CVC Capital Partners has appointed Fred Watt as chief operating officer in a newly created role.

Watt: bank to buyouts

Watt has spent more than 25 years working for a succession of public and private companies, primarily in financial roles. From 2000 to 2006, he served as chief financial officer at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

After leaving RBS, Watt was involved in a number of projects. Last summer, he was hired by Doughty Hanson as chief financial officer of a €1 billion listed private equity fund the mid-market firm was marketing at the time. In October, Doughty abandoned the project when the IPO market proved unreceptive to listed private equity products.  

At CVC, Watt will sit on the Group Management Committee and the board of directors.

Michael Smith, chairman of CVC Group, cited the firm’s rapid growth, the convergence of public and private markets and the demands on the industry for greater transparency among the reasons for creating Watt’s role.

CVC, one of Europe’s largest LBO sponsors, is currently investing its fourth European buyout fund, which has a total of €10 billion of equity capital to deploy. In Asia, the firm is investing its second Asia-Pacific fund, a $2 billion vehicle.

The firm has 46 companies in the portfolio. 150 professionals in 18 offices are managing CVC’s investments.