Javier Echarri, longtime secretary general of the European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, is to leave the organisation before the end of the year. The search for a successor is now underway, although a spokesman for EVCA declined to comment on progress and said that further information would be announced in due course.
News of Echarri’s departure comes as the private equity industry in Europe faces a significant regulatory challenge in the form of the proposed Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive.
Echarri will stay on until the end of the year if necessary. In a letter to contacts, he said the organisation had not achieved “everything that we set out to gain” in lobbying on the AIFM Directive, but that it had “succeeded in having many of the most egregious proposals excluded”.
“I will continue to fight in the remaining months of this process on the important issues of third country investment and levels of disclosure for smaller portfolio companies,” he continued. He also praised 3i’s Jonathan Russell and Apax Partner’s Richard Wilson – former and current chairman of EVCA respectively – for “pulling the whole industry together to speak with a single voice over the past three years.”
Former banker Echarri joined the organisation in 1999 and took over as secretary general in 2000. In the latter years of his tenure, EVCA has grown and evolved significantly, gearing up to lobby on its members’ behalf in the face of proposed pan-European rules governing alternative investments.
In 2006 Echarri helped devise a new governance structure for EVCA with the aim of better representing the various different groups of the association’s members, including the new LP Platform. This has now been fully implemented.
Prior to joining EVCA, Echarri was the director of retail and institutional banking at Argentaria bank – now BBVA – from 1995. As well as his position at EVCA, he also holds board positions at private equity firm GED, secondary exchange platform Triago X and Asia Pacific Venture Capital Association.
Over the next few months Echarri will work with the incoming EVCA chairwoman, Uli Fricke, to arrange his succession.