Phoenix makes double hire

Tim Dunn from Monitor Clipper Partners and Kathryn Purves of Deutsche Bank have joined the UK mid-market private equity firm.

London-headquartered Phoenix Equity Partners has announced the appointment of Tim Dunn and Kathryn Purves, who join the firm as investment managers.

Dunn joins from the London office of US-based private equity firm Monitor Clipper Partners (MCP), where he was an associate. Dunn joined MCP from strategic consultancy The Kalchas Group in June 2000.

Purves joins Phoenix from the London-based fund of funds team at Deutsche Bank. Prior to that she worked for UBS’ private equity business in Australia.

Dunn and Purves will report into the executive management committee, which comprises managing partners Hugh Lenon, Sandy Muirhead and James Thomas.

In an interview with PEO, Lenon said the two new recruits will “focus entirely on deal generation and deal execution and their backgrounds will add significantly to the execution strength of the team.”

Lenon added that the hirings were not merely as a result of increased dealflow and a likely fundraising in 2005, but also the fact that the business had changed a lot over the last five years.

“Nowadays, it’s an extremely competitive marketplace and you need to move quickly. You need to have more resources and more people, both in terms of marketing and getting the deals in, but also executing them. It’s a much more labour-intensive business these days,” he said.

Phoenix has completed two significant transactions in the last two months, with the sale last month of UK car status information provider HPI to Norwich Union Insurance for £120 million (€180 million; $220 million), which realised a profit of £30 million in just 14 months.

In July, Phoenix acquired a majority stake alongside management in Palletways, a Lichfield, England-based freight logistics distributor, from pan-European private equity firm 3i. That investment was made from its £300 million Phoenix Equity Partners IV fund, which is understood to be approximately 50 percent committed at this stage.

Phoenix used executive search firm Walker Hamill to find its two new recruits. Phoenix now comprises 29 staff of which around half are investment professionals. Lenon confirmed that the firm may also seek to add further resource to the research team and on the investment management side later this year.