New operating partner at Duke Street

Duke Street Capital, the London-based private equity firm, has appointed former Threshers Group chief executive David Williams as an operating partner.

David Williams, who was most recently chief executive at UK off license retailer Threshers Group, has become an operating partner at Duke Street Capital with responsibility for consumer-facing investments.

Prior to joining Threshers in 2001, Williams was chairman of listed bar chain Slug & Lettuce, where he oversaw the firm’s strategic review and sale. He had previously spent five years as head of Burger King in Europe and the Middle East and also had senior roles at Pizza Hut International and Pepsico Restaurants International.

The move is the latest addition to Duke Street’s operational team, which saw three new arrivals in April when Didier Gros, Nick Irens and Richard Stephenson were given responsibility for strategic development, deal origination and portfolio company management respectively.

“Our operating partners play a vital part in our deal programme, from origination through to exit, adding value at every step of the way,” said Duke Street chief executive Peter Taylor. “David’s experience of consumer facing businesses is second to none and we look forward to working together to capitalise on his expertise.”

Other operating partners at the firm include Peter Macielinski, the former managing director of Geest; Eric Priestley, the former COO of Jefferson Smurfit and president and CEO of Rexam; and John Robinson, the former chairman and CEO of Smith & Nephew.

Duke Street Capital, which has offices in London and Paris, focuses on mid-market pan-European businesses with an enterprise value of up to €300 million. It has raised five private equity funds to date and manages in excess of €2 billion.