Equistone snaps up Vision COO – Exclusive

Steven Whitaker joins the pan-European firm after 7 years at Vision.

Equistone Partners Europe has hired Steven Whitaker as chief operating officer with immediate effect, Private Equity International has learned.

Whitaker, who will be based in the firm’s London office, is joining Equistone from mid-market private equity firm Vision Capital, where he spent seven years, most recently as COO and prior to that, chief financial and compliance officer.

Before joining Vision, Whitaker held a number of senior finance and operations-focused roles at hedge fund management company Brevan Howard and at London-listed 3i Group in London and Frankfurt.

Whitaker was also previously chairman of the taxation committee at industry body the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) from 2013 to 2014 and is a member of the BVCA’s UK and European capital committee.

“Steven brings with him deep experience in the European private equity industry having worked in other leading firms in both the UK and Germany as well as significant operational expertise,” Equistone managing partner Guillaume Jacqueau said in a statement.

“Steven’s tenure as a committee member in a number of highly regarded bodies including the BVCA is impressive and will be extremely valuable to our team’s capabilities.”

Last month Equistone expanded its investment team with the hire of an investment manager in London and an associate in Zurich, as reported by PEI.

Richard Briault-Hutter joined the firm in London from corporate advisory Duff & Phelps, where he was a director, and Roman Hegglin, previously an associate at Credit Suisse in its investment banking team, joined in Zurich. Following those appointments Equistone’s investment team stood at 36, operating across its offices in the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland.

The firm is currently investing Equistone Partners Europe Fund V, a 2015-vintage, €2 billion vehicle. The firm is targeting investments of €25 million to €125 million in businesses with an enterprise value of between €50 million and €300 million.

On Monday, Equistone acquired a majority stake in French cloud computing operator Adista alongside founding management Gilles and Pascal Caumont, regional investment fund GEI, a current shareholder, and long-term shareholder Institut Lorrain de Participation.