Hg rewards German team

HgCapital has promoted Martin Block, Karsten Hartmann and Justin von Simson in its Frankfurt office while making Nick Humphries a partner in London.

HgCapital, the mid-market private equity investor with offices in London and Frankfurt, has announced the promotion of Martin Block and Nick Humphries to partners. 

Block, who joined the firm from Royal Bank of Scotland in 2001, heads up the firm’s industrials investment group. The Frankfurt-based executive sits on the board of Hg’s German portfolio companies W.E.T. Automotive, FTE Automotive and Hirschmann Electronics.

Block’s Frankfurt-based colleagues Karsten Hartmann and Justin von Simson have also been promoted, to director and associate director respectively.

Trevor Bayley, who has overall responsibility for Hg’s Frankfurt office, said in a statement that the promotions reflected the German team’s “outstanding contributions” in developing the firm’s franchise in Germany. “In the last two years, we have acquired three world-class companies [WET, FTW and Hirschmann]. We now have a leading business and an experienced, established team which is well positioned for future growth.”  

Hg opened the Frankfurt office in May 1999, which currently comprises Bailey, Block, Hartmann and von Simson.

In London, Nick Humphries has been made partner. Holding board seats at Axiom, Rolfe & Nolan, Iris Software and Xyratex, Humphries is in charge of the firm’s technology buyout team. In July, he led Hg’s £102 million purchase of Iris Software, as well as the floatation on NASDAQ of Xyratex. Prior to joining Hg, Humphries worked for private equity groups Geocapital Partners, Barclays Private Equity and 3i.

The promotions, which take the numbers of partners at Hg to 16, come ahead of a new fundraising campaign, which is expected to launch in 2005.

The firm, which was part of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers in London until a management-led buyout in December 2000, currently manages some €1.3 billion on behalf of more than 200 institutional investors. It invests in the consumer, healthcare, industrials, leisure, media and technology sectors. The firm is run by chief executive Ian Armitage.