HgCapital, a UK-based mid-market buyout firm, has moved to address the thorny issue of succession by re-shuffling its senior management team, with technology, media and telecoms specialist Nic Humphries the biggest beneficiary.
The re-shuffle will see Humphries, head of Hg’s TMT sector team, promoted to become chief executive of the firm, with current head Ian Armitage moving to the role of chairman.
Armitage told PEO: “We always want to be making way for the young people, and we’ve been thinking for some time about how best to address the question of succession. We believe Nic is the best candidate to carry the firm forward. He’ll do an excellent job.” Armitage said the firm was keen to make the decision early, while there was still a year or so to go before its next fundraising round.
Humphries gets his reward for his role in a number if the firm’s biggest recent successes, including the £500 million sale of IRIS Software and CS Group to Hellman & Friedman, which generated an IRR of 79 percent, and the £382 million public-to-private acquisition of Visma. He has been with the company for six years, after previous roles with Geocapital Partners and Barclays Private Equity.
In his new role, he will take control of the running of the firm, with responsibility for recruitment, retention, development, marketing and strategy. Armitage will retain his place on the investment committee and continue to work on new deals, while also spending some more time working with Tom Murley’s burgeoning renewable energy team – which, he says, the firm are in the process of “scaling up” after a number of recent hires.
Hg’s current chairman Leonard Licht will officially retire at the end of September, although he will continue to act a senior adviser to the firm. Armitage praised his “wisdom, humour, unconventional thinking and natural genius”, describing him as “a great judge of people and markets.”
In other promotions, chief investment officer Frances Jacob has been appointed deputy chairman, where she will remain the chair of Hg’s investment committee. The firm has also appointed two new partners: M&A specialist Richard Donner, who was previously been a banker with Granville Baird and has become the firm’s key deal tactician, and Munich-based Karsten Hartmann, the architect of a number of the firm’s successes in the industrials sector.
Elsewhere, Alex King from Humphries’ TMT team has been promoted to director, along with Emma Tinker from the renewable energy team, healthcare specialist Philipp Schwalber and German-based industrial specialist Justin von Simson.