Mezzanine Management rebuilds team

Europe’s oldest independent mezzanine lender can concentrate on closing its latest fund now it has hired two 3i executives, reaffirming its commitment to sponsorless deals.

Mezzanine Management, a mezzanine and private equity firm, has plugged the gap left by a trio of departures almost a year ago by hiring Bal Johal and Ian Wallis as directors. 

The duo are set to join at the beginning of November and will be based in the London office bringing Mezzanine Management back to full strength since it lost Nathalie Faure Beaulieu, Jerry Tebbutt and Matthew Gordon Clark to European Capital, a rival start-up.

Johal and Wallis have left 3i, where they were both investment directors in the group’s growth capital team.  The firm said the appointments reflected its commitment to its investment strategy of backing transactions with mezzanine and equity instruments.

More than 60 per cent of the capital in its last fund was invested in self-sponsored investments.

Rory Brooks, founder director of Mezzanine Management, said:  “The European mezzanine market has become far more segmented over the last few years with a clear distinction between the providers of mezzanine for large syndicated buyout transactions and firms, like Mezzanine Management, which focus on smaller and frequently sponsorless transactions. “
 
Johal joined 3i in 1996 and has worked on and led a wide range of buyouts and growth capital transactions across several sectors. His deals include Huntswood, Ascent Technology, Freecom, Actinic, Workplace Group, GWK Group and Tradesource.  Before joining 3i, he was a business analyst at HSBC.  He started his career as a management consultant at Accenture.

Wallis joined 3i in 1999 and has worked on and led a wide range of transactions during his time at 3i.  Key deals include buyouts such as Early Learning Centre, Fairways and Petrochem Carless and growth capital deals such as Hayley Conference Centres.  He started his career as a commodity trader at Cargill plc.

Johal and Wallis will be part of Mezzanine Management’s 13-strong investment team who are currently investing capital from its latest fund, Mezzanine Management Fund IV, which held a first closing in June 2006.  It made its first investment in June 2006, providing warranted mezzanine to support Centrale 21 in its buyout of Vulcanic.