Matrix beefs up advisory team

The group has hired former Swiss banking veteran Vincenzo Narciso for its placement team.

Matrix Group, a financial services firm, has hired former Swiss banking private equity specialist Vincenzo Narciso as a partner in its private funds division, which provides advisory and fundraising services to private equity funds.

“I actually think it’s a really good time to be in the business,” said Narciso in an interview with PEO. “I am very excited about what can be done in a post-recession period.”

Narciso previously headed private equity activity at Geneva-based bank Union Bancaire Privée (UBT), a stalwart of the Swiss banking world whose reputation was tarnished after its connection with Bernie Madoff, who lost $700 million of its clients’ money through its M-Invest hedge fund vehicle.

Narciso built an eight-person private equity team from scratch at UBT, but eventually left after the financial crisis and the Madoff scandal hit the bank hard.

He turned his attention to the advisory and placement market, which he thinks has changed dramatically over the last 12 months.

As a result of the financial crisis “many LPs have been a little burnt” and will therefore become more selective in identifying new managers. As such, “The role of a placement agent has to be much more geared toward identifying opportunities which are not necessarily obvious to the LP community,” said Narciso.

Narciso began his career at Zurich-based fund of funds Adveq Management and was later head of fund of funds at Swiss Re.