The Royal Bank of Scotland is a household name in European leveraged finance. According to Dealogic, the data provider, it has been inside the top three in leveraged loans, mezzanine finance and leveraged finance revenue since 2004. Large LBO transactions across the continent, such as the buyout of Danish telecom TDC earlier this year, are its staple diet.
In the US, where RBS began building a team in 2001, the bank is less ubiquitous when it comes to financing buyouts. Still, RBS already has a team of more than 40 people in New York, and currently lies in 11th place for leveraged loans so far this year.
Given the size of the US buyout market, 11th place translates into a medium-sized slice of a very large pie. To make sure future slices will grow bigger, the bank announced in September that Euan Hamilton, its highly regarded global head of leveraged finance, would swap his London base for a new home in New York City.
Commenting on the transfer, Hamilton said he had already been splitting his time between the two financial centres and was now likely to commute the other way. Once installed in his new office, he would focus both on leveraged finance and the debt side of the business.
Hamilton also said the US operation had been exceeding targets every year since its formation five years ago. To grow further, the team would seek to build on the relationships with US sponsors active in Europe that it has developed in recent years.
Hamilton would not be drawn on whether RBS intended to reach a particular ranking in the US league tables in the foreseeable future.
In New York, Hamilton will be working with Ron Kantowitz, head of leveraged finance in the US.
In London, John Hourican has been installed as new head of leveraged finance for Europe and Asia.
SCOTTISH WIDOWS BOOSTS INSTITUTIONAL TEAM
Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, the asset management arm of the Lloyds TSB Group, has hired Mirja Lehmer-Brown as an investment manager in its private equity team. In a career spanning over 13 years, Lehmler-Brown has held a number of senior positions in the industry, including executive director at Goldman Sachs International, where she was a member of its European leveraged finance team, covering the Nordic and German regions.
MEZZANINE MANAGEMENT REBUILDS TEAM
Mezzanine Management, a mezzanine and private equity firm, has plugged the gap left by a trio of departures almost a year ago by hiring Bal Johal and Ian Wallis as directors. The duo are set to join at the beginning of November and will be based in the London office, bringing Mezzanine Management back to full strength since it lost Nathalie Faure Beaulieu, Jerry Tebbutt and Matthew Gordon Clark to European Capital, a rival start-up. Johal and Wallis have left 3i, where they were both investment directors in the group's growth capital team.
KELTING TO HEAD EUROPEAN LEVERAGE AT BARCLAYS
Barclays Capital, the investment arm of the UK's Barclays Bank, has appointed John Kelting as head of European leveraged finance. Kelting is currently joint head of Barclays Capital's sponsor origination team, having joined the bank in 1998. He replaces Chris Coles, who is taking a sabbatical at the end of September to complete a master's degree in international become sole head of the sponsor origination team as part of the move. In his new role, Kelting will also work closely with the bank's US and Asia operations in order to service clients looking for global coverage.
FIDELITY HIRES CISCO VETERAN FOR LONDON
Fidelity Ventures, an early-stage technology focused venture capital firm, has expanded its London office with the appointment of venture partner Baruk Pilo. Pilo joined Fidelity Ventures in late July from Cisco Systems' European corporate mergers and acquisitions group, where he spent the last six years. From 1998 to 2000, Pilo was business development manager in Oracle's Europe, Middle East and Africa communications industries group. Before Oracle, he was manager of the information technology and communications group at Cap Gemini.
INDUSTRI KAPITAL LOSES TWO PARTNERS
Industri Kapital, a European buyout firm, has made two partners' roles redundant ahead of raising its sixth fund, expected to launch with a €1.5bn target in the first quarter next year. Thomas Ramsay, head of the firm's team in Finland, and Samir Kamal, head of its Swedish team, are leaving the firm, according to an investor in the most recent fund. A departure date has not been finalised and the two partners' plans are not clear. According to the investor, the redundancies stem partly from IK's plans for a flatter structure, after Gustav Öhman, a partner and member of the firm's management team, returned to Stockholm and a more hands-on role (see p. 90).
HELIX'S BARBER TO JOIN BRIDGEPOINT IN 2007
John Barber, after 10 years at private equity placement agent Helix Associates, is to leave his position as a managing director in November and join Bridgepoint, a European mid-market buyout firm, in February 2007 as a partner. At Bridgepoint, Barber will lead the London-based firm's investor services team following the retirement of Graham Dewhirst, who has been with Bridgepoint since 1988. He will also serve on Bridgepoint's operating and investment committees. Barber joined Helix in 1997 and has worked on a number of private equity fundraisings, including Bridgepoint Europe III, which closed on €2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) in May 2005. Helix was acquired by US investment bank Jefferies the same month.