Report: Buffini to step down from SVG board

Damon Buffini’s reported departure coincides with the listed fund of funds' ongoing strategic review, which, when it is finalised at the end of April, will reportedly result in a greater focus on its fund management business.

Damon Buffini, founder and chairman of buyout firm Permira, is reportedly to step down from his position on the board of SVG Capital, the listed fund of funds in which Permira owns a stake of roughly 4 percent.

The pending departure is part of an ongoing strategic review that will usher in a changed relationship between Permira and SVG, according to UK newspaper The Telegraph.

Damon Buffini

A spokesman for SVG said that no decisions relating to the review had yet been made.

Buffini’s position on SVG’s board has always presented a potential conflict of interest, as the listed vehicle has historically been focused on Permira’s funds. SVG is currently more than 80 percent invested in funds managed by the UK-headquartered buyout group.

In December Permira extended an olive branch to cash-strapped investors by allowing them to cap commitments to its fourth buyout fund – which at that point was an €11.1 billion vehicle – at 60 percent. The action was widely viewed as a move to prevent SVG, which had publicly disclosed liquidity concerns, from defaulting.

The strategic review will also result in an increased focus on the firm’s third party fund management business, SVG Advisers, according to the Telegraph report. SVG Advisers’ chief executive, Andrew Williams, stepped down last week when the division announced a reduction in assets under management from €4.4 billion to €4.2 billion during 2008. The business will be run on an interim basis by SVG chairman Nick Ferguson.