News: People

Siemens venture manager joins PolyTechnos
PolyTechnos Venture Partners, the Munich-based venture capitalist, has hired Dr Dirk Lupberger, the former president and CEO of Siemens Venture Capital, to work in its ITC practice.

During his 14 years at Siemens, Lupberger built up Siemens' corporate venture arm and oversaw direct as well as fund of funds investment worth more than €150m.

At PolyTechnos, he will help to manage PolyTechnos Venture Fund II, which recently held a first closing on €120m. He will also be in charge of a number of portfolio investments to support their expansion into international markets and form strategic alliances with industry partners.

Lupberger said PolyTechnos' team of both business builders and technologists was well equipped to deal with the challenging market environment for venture capitalists in Germany. ?With the ongoing VC market consolidation, only companies with this special combination can achieve long-term returns and help drive the German VC industry forward,? he commented.

Watts, Curatolo emerge at TLcom
Colin Watts and Giuseppe Curatolo, formerly of US investor Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), have joined London-based venture capital firm TLcom Capital Partners as general partners. The two will work with general partners Maurizio Caio, Gianpaolo di Dio and Mauro Pretaloni to manage TLCom's €185m fund and invest the remaining 60 per cent of its capital in communication and IT companies. TLcom is focused primarily on Europe, but the firm has also invested in Israel and the US. Investments include iobox, Netscalibur and Sphera.

Having helped establish DFJ's European operations, Curatolo and Watts decided they wanted to run their own business. Said Curatolo: ?We thought a lot about what it takes to run a venture capital fund in today's market and concluded that stability and a long-term commitment were important factors. I am extremely excited about the opportunity to build my own firm with people I have known for a while.?

The duo's split from DFJ is said to be amicable. ?Our relationship with DFJ remains excellent and we plan to work closely in the near future,? Curatolo said.

Prior to joining DFJ in 2000, Curatolo worked in the private equity division of Morgan Stanley, which is a significant investor in TLcom's fund.

Danny Rimer moves to Index
Index Ventures has hired Danny Rimer, a former partner at Barksdale Group, the Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

At Index, Rimer will be joining his three brothers who already work for the firm. He will be responsible for establishing a London office for the Geneva-based partnership.

?He has extensive experience of technology investing, which made him a perfect fit for this role, and he has shown he can add value to portfolio companies?, said Giuseppe Zocco, a general partner at the firm.

Whilst at Barksdale, a group renowned for its contacts in US venture capital, Rimer was part of a team of general partners that raised and invested a $180m venture fund at the height of the internet boom. Following the decline of the technology market, the company scrapped plans to raise a follow-on fund. Barksdale's cofounders Jim Barksdale and Peter Currie have since joined General Atlantic Partners, the US venture group.

Index Ventures was founded in 1992 and has invested over $500m in technology and life science companies in Western Europe .

L&G Ventures moves Insam
Legal & General Ventures (L&GV), the private equity unit of Legal & General, the insurer, has moved Alex Insam from London to Frankfurt to head up the firm's German investment team. ?The German market on the face of it is an area with many opportunities, but it is also a market that needs a cautious approach because the culture for buyouts is not as developed as it is in the UK and the economic climate is not ideal,? commented Adrian Johnson, CEO of L&GV. To date, L&GV has made five investments in the country.

Spanish leveraged arm for RBS
The Royal Bank of Scotland has appointed Beltrán Paredes and Rocio Cuenca-Torres as directors responsible for forming a new leveraged finance team based in the firm's Madrid office. The Spanish team is the latest addition to the bank's European leveraged finance division. RBS has continental European offices in Germany, France and Italy.

Baker & McKenzie grows Munich team
International law firm Baker & McKenzie is welcoming Dr Lutz Zimmer, formerly of WestLB Panmure, back to the firm where he was an associate from 1997 to 1999. Zimmer will advise on private equity and M&A as a partner and legal advisor in the firm's Munich office.

SEB expands Frankfurt office
SEB Merchant Banking, a part of Swedish financial services group, has expanded with two new appointments to its acquisition finance and mezzanine team in Frankfurt. The unit has hired Andrea Szekelyi and Mârten Sennerup, taking the total number in the Frankfurt office to three.