Palamon, Bowmark bolster deal teams

Ali Rahmatollahi joins Palamon from Morgan Stanley, while Bowmark has hired a former Darwin exec

Bowmark Capital and Palamon Capital Partners, two UK-based mid-market buyout firms, have expanded their deal teams, according to two separate statements.

Stephen Delaney, a former principal at Darwin Private Equity, has joined the firm as an investment director, while Antonia Cheong and Tom Elliott have joined as investment managers, according to a statement.

Delaney spent seven years at Darwin, having joined the firm in September 2007, according to his LinkedIn page. At Darwin, he worked on a number of investments in the technology, financial services and consumer sectors. Prior to that, Stephen worked in corporate finance at Citigroup and KPMG.

Antonia Cheong joins Bowmark from DC Advisory, where she was part of the corporate finance team focusing on the business services sector. She has advised on a range of acquisitions and debt transactions, including the £85 million refinancing of Leaders Lettings, a Bowmark portfolio company.

Tom Elliott spent eight years at PwC. In recent years he was a member of the corporate finance team focusing on the consumer and leisure sectors. He advised on the £80 million sale of JacTravel Group by Bowmark to Vitruvian Partners.

The appointments come after Bowmark closed its fifth fund, Bowmark Capital Partners V, on its £375 million hard-cap last year, having officially spent just 10 weeks in market.

Bowmark, which was founded in 1997, invests in the UK mid-market and typically targets companies in the healthcare, education, business services, consumer and leisure, IT services and media sectors.

Current investments include: Autodata Publishing Group, a European provider of technical information to the automotive aftermarket; Leaders Lettings, a UK’s specialist residential lettings agency; CARE Fertility, a UK-based provider of fertility services; Las Iguanas, a chain of Latin American restaurants; and Drake & Morgan, a London-based bar and restaurant group.

Meanwhile, Palamon Capital Partners has also strengthened its team with the appointments of Ali Rahmatollahi as an associate partner and Christian Beck as a member of the firm’s board of advisors.

Ali Rahmatollahi joins Palamon from Morgan Stanley where he spent nearly eight years in its investment banking division, most recently as an executive director with responsibility for financial sponsor coverage. Prior to this he was a manager at McKinsey & Company in its general strategy consulting and private equity practices. He also co-founded OP Capital Partners, a Middle Eastern opportunity fund, in 2004.

Beck has been chief executive of several growth businesses including Banqsoft ASA, Sakhalin Petroleum and Small Shops Gruppen, a Warburg Pincus portfolio company. Over the past 10 years, Mr Beck has played an active role in Palamon’s Scandinavian portfolio development serving as founder chairman of Nordax Finans, a 2004 start-up in the consumer loans industry and chairman of Espresso House, built from 22 branded coffee outlets to 120 which netted Palamon a 3.4x investment return.