DEGREES OF SEPARATION

The degrees of separation between Sir Ronald Cohen, founder and chairman of London-based global private equity firm Apax Partners, and David Beckham, England and Real Madrid football star and leading celebrity.

 – Sir Ronald Cohen is founder and chairman of Apax Partners, the 30 year-old global private equity firm with $12 billion of assets. Towards the end of last year, his firm was a joint lead investor in the second-round financing of Mobixell Networks, a provider of multimedia processing and delivery solutions for mobile systems with offices in Israel and New York. The other joint lead investor was Siemens Mobile Acceleration, a corporate venturing outfit headed by …

…Dietrich Ulmer, CEO and President. Ulmer's team provides seed financing and value-added services for start-up companies focused on wireless applications and technologies for mobile communication. His ultimate superior at technology and engineering giant Siemens is …

…Heinrich von Pierer, chairman of the board of one of Germany's most highly regarded companies. Through its Siemens Mobile arm, the company owns one of the world's largest suppliers of mobile phones, cordless phones, wireless modules and mobile infrastructure. Siemens Mobile is also the main sponsor and exclusive technology partner of …

…Real Madrid, the famous Spanish football club that in June 2003 added to its impressive array of stars by paying leading English club Manchester United £24.5 million for …
 
…David Beckham, the current England football captain, who has made 66 appearances for his country and scored 13 goals. While at previous club Manchester United, he won five English league championships, two FA Cups and a European Cup. He is also one of the world's leading media celebrities.

Cohen is not known to be a fan of the beautiful game, but is on the same team as Nottingham Forest football club chairman and fellow venture capitalist Nigel Doughty at Bridges Community Ventures (BCV). Doughty is an investor in BCV, the community development fund established by Cohen. Unfortunately for Doughty, the struggling English first division club is unlikely ever to be in a position to afford Beckham's reported annual salary of £4.2 million. Unless of course Doughty picked up the ticket himself.