Phoenix hires partner from rival firm

The UK mid-marker firm has hired deal-maker Chris Neale from LDC.

Chris Neale has joined Phoenix Equity Partners as a partner from rival UK mid-market firm LDC, according to a statement from the firm. 

Neale joins Phoenix after four years at LDC, the buyout arm of Lloyds Banking Group, where he was an investment director, prior to which he was an investment director at AAC Capital Partners.

“We are delighted to welcome Chris to the team. He has extensive experience of the UK mid-market and is a great addition to the team as we continue to support the growth of businesses across the country,” David Burns, a managing partner at Phoenix said.

At LDC Neale led investments in companies such as Capital Economics, Magicard and Private Equity International publisher PEI Media.

The appointment comes as Phoenix is in the process of raising its latest fund, for which it is targeting £500 million ($639 million; €597 million). It is understood the firm held a £250 million first close on the vehicle in the first quarter of 2016.

Earlier this week Phoenix sold Key Retirement Group to Partners Group in a deal valuing the business at £208 million. The sale is set to generate a return of around 4.5x for investors in the firm’s 2010 fund, which closed on £450 million.