Phoenix appoints part-time chairman

Former BVCA chairman Hugh Lenon will take on the role immediately leaving Phoenix’s two other managing partners to assume his previous duties.

UK mid-market private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners has appointed Hugh Lenon to part-time chairman, filling the vacant seat left by David Gregson who stepped down last year.

Since co-founding the firm in 2001, Lenon has been one of three managing partners, alongside other co-founders Sandy Muirhead and James Thomas.

Taking on this role was a personal decision for Lenon, who has spent nearly 26 years in the industry including a stint as chairman of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association in 2010 and 2011. 

Hugh Lenon

With Lenon assuming the firm's chairmanship, Muirhead will become chairman of Phoenix’s investment committee, while Thomas will chair its management committee – roles previously held by Lenon. 

However, very little has actually changed, according to Lenon. “It’s a clear message to investors that there is a degree of change on the way here at Phoenix, but not radical change. It is the same people here.”

The time was right for this change as the firm is not planning a fundraise any time soon, he added. Phoenix is halfway through the investment period of its current fund, which is nearly 50 percent deployed.

Phoenix's £450 million fund, raised in 2010, invested in trade exhibition organisers CloserStill, marine navigation company Global Navigation Solutions and valve manufacturer Signum Technology last year.

Phoenix typically focuses on medium-sized UK businesses with a value of up to £200 million (€234 million; $315 million).