Christian Dummett, the former head of UK bank Abbey National’s private equity unit, has been appointed head of Merrill Lynch’s placement team in London.
Kevin Albert, global head of Merrill’s private equity fundraising team in New York, is planning to re-build the team after nine professionals quit the bank to join Lazard, itself currently in the process of building a third-party placement team. The team at Merrill currently comprises 17 professionals, which Albert hopes to increase to 25 by mid-April, according to a report on Bloomberg.
Initially, managing directors Ben Sullivan and William Riddle resigned from Merrill in February to join Lazard’s New York office. They were later joined by Mike Sutka, Scott Church, Tim O’Gara, Greg Myers, Robert White, Mark Christopher and Fran Lolli.
Dummett left Abbey National Treasury Services (ANTS) in July of last year after the bank chose to adopt what it described as a lower risk strategy. During his time at ANTS, the firm built up a portfolio of 70 private equity and venture capital investments worth a total of £850m. ANTS is now in the process of managing an exit from this portfolio.
Merrill Lynch is currently co-ordinating fundraising for Doughty Hanson, the London-based firm which is hoping to raise a E3bn buyout fund. Other Merrill clients include Terra Firma Capital Partners, Intermediate Capital, TDR Capital and Charterhouse Group International. It is not known whether any of Merrill’s clients have attempted to move their placement mandates after the recent departures.
According to Albert, Dummett will also be responsible for winning new contracts. “As a former investor in private equity, he can see the fundraising process from both sides.”