Investcorp axes COO role

Gary Long has departed from the firm after 15 years as Investcorp looks to streamline management and cut costs.

Bahrain-based private equity firm Investcorp has done away with the role of chief operating officer in a bid to “streamline its management structure”.

Gary Long, until recently the chief operating officer of the firm, has stepped down from his role, the firm said in a statement.

Nemir Kirdar, executive chairman and chief executive officer of Investcorp, has assumed direct responsibility for business areas formerly handled by Long, who joined Investcorp in 1994 as the chief financial officer and was appointed chief operating officer in 2003.

In the six months ending 31 December 2008, Investcorp booked an overall loss for the first time, making a $511 million net loss. In the same period, the firm saw its net asset income decrease by $526 million. The firm also suffered unrealised losses of $95 million on its private equity portfolio for the six months ended 31 December 2008.

In January, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services lowered Investcorp’s credit ratings by two notches, from 'BBB/A-2' to 'BB+/B'. The downgrade reflected the plummeting valuations of the firm’s investments due to the financial crisis as well as the firm’s high leverage and narrow business diversification, according to S&P.

Last December, the firm laid off 20 percent of its staff across its offices in Bahrain, London and New York in an attempt to cut costs.