OMERS hires former Cognetas founder

OMERS has strengthened its direct private equity team by adding its tenth dealmaker in Europe.

OMERS Private Equity (OPE), the private equity arm of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), one of Canada’s largest pension funds, has expanded its London team by hiring Jonathan Mussellwhite as a managing director.

Mussellwhite was one of the founding partners of Cognetas, a pan-European firm, which rebranded as Motion Equity Partners in 2012. He left the firm in April 2012 as part of the restructuring.  

Prior to Cognetas, Mussellwhite was a director at Electra Fleming, where he was involved in a wide range of buyout transactions. He began his career at Arthur Andersen in London, where he qualified as a chartered accountant.

The appointment of Mussellwhite takes OPE’s European team to 13, which includes 10 investment professionals.

OPE has completed five transactions since establishing the London office in 2009, investing $1.3bn. In 2013, OPE teamed up with Alberta Investment Management Corporation to acquire Vue Entertainment for £935 million. It also led the acquisition of specialist software, cloud-based IT services and technical outsourcing provider Civica for £390 million.

In 2012, OPE acquired supported living provider Lifeways in a £207 million transaction and in 2011, led the $520 million buyout of global shipping services provider V.Group. In 2009, OPE also supported the $700m start-up of Hayfin Capital Management, an independent specialist provider of credit financing to mid-market European businesses.