News: Private People

DrKC to groom Eastern Europe's buyout talent
Dresdner Kleinwort Capital (DrKC), the private equity firm, has set up a buyout-networking group for entrepreneurs in Poland. The group, which already has around 20 members, aims to meet four times a year to discuss the key issues facing management in buyout transactions.

According to DrKC, CEOs and senior managers are prime targets for investors, advisers and headhunters working on MBO/MBI projects in the Central European region.

?MBOs and MBIs are a established way of buying and selling companies in Western Europe, but they will soon be seen in Central Europe too,? said Janusz Heath, DrKC's managing director of private equity in Central Europe. ?And whilst the club is limited to Poland at the moment, we will be launching similar networks in Hungary and the Czech Republic next year,? he said.

DrKC operates a $225m Emerging Europe fund in Central Europe. The fund recently closed having secured backing from Dresdner Bank, CalPERS, GIMV and Donator.

Pantheon sees European demand
Pantheon Ventures, the European fund of funds group, has hired Peter Flynn to work in the newly created position of marketing director.

Previously Flynn was a manager at InvestorForce, an online search platform covering alternative and traditional investment products for the institutional market. He was responsible for the company's strategy and expansion in Europe. Prior to that he was a managing director at Fleming Investment Management, responsible for the group's European institutional business, a position he took after six years with Rothschild Asset Management.

Based in Pantheon's London office, Flynn will mainly be looking to establish new institutional relationships for the group. The appointment comes as Pantheon is encountering increasing interest in private equity as an asset class among institutions, particularly in the UK and continental Europe, the firm said.

The group, which manages around $5.4bn on behalf of clients, has recently won a $100m European private equity funds of funds mandate for the Consignia Pension Fund. It will also be running a £40m global mandate for the West Sussex County Council Pension Fund.

SVL expands fund of funds team
Guy Eastman has left Hermes Investment Management to join Schroder Ventures London (SVL) and work on funds of funds opportunities for the group.

At Hermes, Eastman was responsible for managing the €116m Hermes UOB Private Equity Fund. He also ran the £400m private equity funds investment programme on behalf of the BT Pension Scheme.

At SVL, Eastman joins a 20-strong team, based in London and Boston. He will work on the Schroder Private Equity Fund of Funds, which is the firm's first fund of funds that was launched with asset manager Schroders in September. This was established to focus on private equity management groups in the US and Europe.

Eastman takes up the new role less than 15 months after joining Hermes Investment Management Limited. Another of his colleagues, Anne-Maree Byworth, has also left the group. Byworth has joined Morley Fund Management, which manages private equity investments on behalf of CGNU. Hermes' private equity business is run by Robert Padgett.

More Wizards in Paris
Italian private equity group Wizard Partners has appointed Francesco Noseda as managing partner to head up a team of four in its recently established Paris office, where he will primarily manage the group's hotel deals.

Royal Bank expands team
Royal Bank Private Equity (RBPE), the private equity arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland that is focused on the European mid-market, has appointed Ian Beattie finance director, Scott Coates investment manager, and Freddie Lee investment analyst. RBPE has hired 18 new staff so far this year.

SJ Berwin reinforces French practice
SJ Berwin, the UK headquartered law firm, has recruited Pierre-Louis Périn to build its private equity practice in Paris. Périn is a lawyer specialising in private equity and venture capital, capital investment, M&A and corporate law.

Seikovsky joins DB Capital Partners
DB Capital Partners, the private equity division of Deutsche Bank, has hired Fritz Seikovsky as head of the firm's Frankfurt office. A former senior executive at Bain Consulting, Seikovsky will report directly to DB Capital's managing partner in Europe, Graham Clempson.

Adveq hires Scott Johnson
Graeme Scott Johnson has joined Adveq Management, the Zurich-based fund of funds business, from rival LGT Capital Partners. He will take up his role as managing director and head of business development at the start of 2002.

Index brings in AOL executive
Geneva-based venture capitalist Index Ventures has appointed Barry Appleman, CTO of America Online, to its Technology & Scientific Advisory Board.