French veteran to lead BPE spin-out

As it prepares to spin out from parent Barclays Capital, the private equity firm has finalised its senior management line-up. Paul Goodson, formerly the UK country head, will leave the 25-year-old mid-market firm.

Barclays Private Equity, the mid-market firm which is set to spin out from parent Barclays Capital, will be led from its Paris office by French veteran Guillaume Jacqueau.

Jacqueau, 45, is currently a managing director and a member of the European executive committee. Post spin-out, which will happen when the latest fund reaches its first close, Jacqueau will be elevated to managing partner and country head for France, according to a memo sent to investors and seen by PEO.

Guillaume Jacqueau

Jacqueau has been with BPE since 1995 and had responsibility for co-managing the French investment team. He has led some of BPE’s most successful transactions, including Converteam, a power storage business which was partially exited in 2008 in a deal understood to have generated a 12 times multiple and 170 percent IRR.

Since 2005, when chief executive Graeme White passed away, BPE has been led by three co-heads, based in Paris, London and Munich.

The reshuffle at the top of the firm sees Gonzague de Blignieres, formerly one of the three co-heads and the country head for France, stay on as a senior partner and member of the investment committee. The German head, Peter Hammerman, will stay on as the German head and investment committee member.

Paul Goodson, who has since 2005 led the UK business, will be leaving BPE to pursue other interests but will remain co-head and managing director for the UK until the first close of Fund IV, which is currently being pre-marketed with a target of €1.5 billion. The new management structure and spin-out will take effect after the first close.

Goodson will be replaced at the top of the UK business by Rob Myers, a senior partner and the deal-maker responsible for the firm’s successful investment in Deb Group, which was exited earlier this year for a 5.7 times money multiple in a sale to Charterhouse Capital Partners for £325 million (€384 million; $521 million).

Dominic Geer, a director in the London office who had focused on the financial services sector, will also leave the firm following a decision to take time out from the City, while John Walker, a Manchester-based partner, will move down to London. Director Steve O’Hare will head up the Manchester investment team.

Post spin-out the management board will comprise Jacqueau and Myers as well as Michael Bork, a senior partner based in Munich, and Owen Clarke, a London-based partner who also fills the newly created role of chief investment officer. Christiian Marriott, who has spearheaded the firm’s investor relations since 2007, will sit on the management board in an observational capacity.

The spin-out of BPE from its parent Barclays Bank has been the subject of much industry speculation for years now. The firm, which comes under the umbrella of investment banking division Barclays Capital, has been investing in the mid-market – initially in the UK and latterly across Europe – for 25 years.

BPE declined to comment.