HSBC hires ex-Nikko executive

The banking giant’s captive private equity firm has made two hires, including Grant O’Neill, formerly at Nikko, who joins as investment manager.

HSBC Private Equity, the UK-based mid-market investor, has appointed Grant O’Neill as investment manager. 

O’Neill joins from Nikko Principle Investments’ UK team. Nikko was recently involved in a protracted battle with its counterpart in Australia to acquire Nikko Citi Holdings’ entire private equity portfolio and spin-out from its parent bank.

Prior to his time at Nikko, O’Neill worked in corporate recovery and audit at big four accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In related news, Helen Posner has joins as an associate from HSBC Principal Investments. Posner previously worked on the private equity due diligence team at HSBC Private Bank.

HSBC had been largely absent from the UK mid-market since 2003 when the bank’s UK private equity division spun out to create Montagu Private Equity.

November 2007 “mark[ed] our return to the UK mid-market proper for the first time in five years”, said Mahmoud Atalla, who now leads the firm after having rejoined HSBC from Montagu.

In March, HSBC Private Equity has led a management buyout of UK plastic company Britton Group from UK private equity firm LDC for £77 million ($153 million; €100 million).