Nova grows portfolio management team

Patrick Austen, former executive director of CRBFL Investment Trust and chief executive of Liberty plc, has joined Nova Capital Management.

Nova Capital Management, the UK-based private equity portfolio management firm, has appointed Patrick Austen, former executive director of CRFBL private investment trust.

Austen has operational experience in a variety of industries, specialising in turnarounds and corporate restructuring. Before joining CRBFL in 1996, he was chief executive of Liberty Plc, a London-based retailer and textile manufacturer.

Commenting on the appointment, Michael Kelly, managing partner of Nova Capital, said: “Our unique offering is based around the operational management resource that we bring to venture and private equity assets to help them grow in value. Patrick is one of the most experienced executives operating in this field. He is a great addition to our team.”

In February, Nova made two senior hires to add a venture capital operation to its existing buyout-focused business, recruiting Olav Ostin and David Tate.

Nova Capital Management was set up in June 2002 by Kelly, former senior partner of Executive Interim Management, Lord Hodgson and David Williamson, former chairman and CEO respectively of Granville Baird.

The firm’s initial deal was the acquisition of a £70 million (€107 million; $129 million) portfolio of investments acquired from Lica Development Capital. The deal was financed by the firm's management.

The firm has said that it will not raise a fund itself nor make new investments, but will focus exclusively on active management of portfolio companies, either by acquisition or on a profit share basis with the current owners of a portfolio.

In early 2003, Caledonia, the UK-listed investment company acquired a 33 percent stake in Nova Capital for an undisclosed sum.