EVCA refreshes board

The EVCA has appointed 11 new mid-market members to its board of directors. Named as its board chairman in June, 3i's Jonathan Russell has said the EVCA must help the public understand that most market participants are not mega-firms involved in headline-grabbing deals, but focus on fuelling SME growth.

The European Venture Capital Association (EVCA), the industry body representing European private equity companies in Brussels, has replaced 11 board members coming to the end of their mandate or stepping down.

The newly appointed board members each hail from a different country and represent firms that target the small- to mid-markets.

The new members are:

  • André-Xavier Cooreman of Belgian development capital firm Sofinim;
  • Andreas Schober of German mid-market operator Hannover Finanz;
  • Pantelis Vernikos of Alpha Ventures, part of Greece’s Alpha Bank which typically invests in start-ups;
  • Craig Butcher from the Hungary office of Central and Eastern Europe-focused buyout firm Mid-Europa Partners;
  • Fred Van Efferink of Dutch cleantech investor ICOS Capital Management;
  • Kathryn Baker of Norweigen mid-market investor Reiten & Co;
  • Paulo Caetano of Portuguese mid-market firm FomentInvest;
  • Jaime Hernandez Soto of MCH Private Equity, a Madrid-based firm focused on Iberian mid-market companies;
  • Anne Rannaleet from the Swedish office of IK Investment Partners, a Pan-European mid-market firm;
  • Jirí Beneš from the Prague office of Central and Eastern European growth investor 3TS Capital;
  • Ole Mikkelsen of Danish private equity firm Scandinavian Equity Partners.

Jonathan Russell

Jonathan Russell, managing partner of buyouts at FTSE 100-listed private equity firm 3i, took over the chair of the EVCA board in June, with the message that the private equity in Europe would face a tough 12 months.

Much of the difficulty envisaged by Russell stems from a lack of public awareness of private equity's role fuelling early-stage and growth companies.

“The larger deals grab the headlines generating public interest, which in turn focuses the public attention on the entire PE industry,” he said at the organisation's Madrid symposium in June.

“The lack of information and knowledge on our industry then creates a vacuum that has been filled by negative stories of leverage, job losses and asset-stripping. Uninformed opinion was not going to talk about the value, growth and success that our business creates.”

Members of the EVCA board are elected annually by the EVCA Assembly General. The board is composed of up to 30 people, who may serve up to four terms. Countries with at least three full members of the association are eligible to have one board member. Countries with at least 25 EVCA full members are entitled to two board members.