Fund of funds launches advisory arm and products(3)

Private Equity Investor, the quoted group chaired by Peter Dicks, has hired former banker Allen Latta to spearhead its investment advisory arm and to grow a fund of funds business.

Private Equity Investor, a quoted fund of venture funds, has set up a subsidiary investment adviser to advise it on its existing portfolio, and to develop a complementary private equity fund of funds management business.

It has founded Campton in association with Allen Latta, formerly director of business development and head of the US office of global private equity fund of funds manager VenCap International.

Peter Dicks, PEI’s chairman, was recently arrested in the US as part of the country’s clamp down on internet gaming for his other role as the former non-executive chairman of Sportingbet.
Latta, who will be based in San Francisco, is president and chief executive of Campton, which PEI is seeding with $1 million in return for a 63 percent stake.

Its holding will reduce to a minimum of 51 percent as Campton’s management team is built up. PEI may make further capital available to Campton to assist it in developing its fund raising and investment management activities. 

Before joining VenCap, Latta was an executive director in the telecommunications investment banking group at Bear, Stearns and before that a director in the media and telecommunications group at CIBC World Markets.

PEI intends to raise new capital which it will invest over a period of years, in a spread of investment vintages and sectors. In addition, Campton and PEI will develop new relationships with other private equity managers with a view to making investments in their future funds.

From 30 June 2005 to now PEI has received approximately $53.2 million from distributions compared with $9.2 million in the previous eighteen month period. This increased level of portfolio activity is also reflected in the company’s net asset value which has risen by 46 percent from 30 June 2005 to 30 November this year, or from $2.20 per share to $3.22 per share.

PEI is seeking ways to return cash to shareholders in a tax efficient manner.