Former Rothschild biotech specialist to launch fund

Jeremy Curnock Cook is preparing to launch a private equity fund two years after his falling-out with former employer Rothschild.

Jeremy Curnock Cook, until two years ago Rothschild Asset Management’s most widely known biotech investment specialist, is to resurface in the industry with his own private equity fund.

Curnock Cook told the Financial Times that he intended to launch a “substantial” private equity fund in the second half of 2002 to invest in privately owned early stage companies and public enterprises. The plan was to field a team staffed with former RAM colleagues of around eight professionals who will be based in the UK, the US and Australia, said the newspaper.

Curnock Cook spent 13 years managing investment trusts at RAM before leaving the firm amid allegations he had taken inappropriate options to buy equity in companies that the trusts were investing in.

During his time at RAM, Curnock Cook’s investment trusts performed well. According to the Financial Times, International Biotechnology Trust, the largest of his biotechnology-focused vehicles which is now run by Schroder Ventures Life Science, generated a return on investment of over 200 per cent in the five years preceding his departure.