SVB bolsters private equity team in London

The US bank is expanding its UK operations for the second time this year, viewing the UK as ‘a hub’ for Europe.

Silicon Valley Bank has expanded its Private Equity Services Group in London as it plans to strengthen its position in the UK and Irish market. 

The US bank has hired Allan Majotra, a former partner at Spain-based Axon Capital, as the group’s director. At Axon, Majotra was responsible for fundraising, investor relations and investments, according to his LinkedIn page. Prior to Axon, Majotra was the head of business development and marketing at auction giant eBay and a vice president of Union Bank, based in Los Angeles.

We want to grow our relationship with private equity firms and clearly felt the need to have a dedicated team in the UK as well

Allan Majotra

Relationship manager Namita Anand, who has been with SVB for five years, has also joined the UK team, having recently moved from SVB’s Palo Alto office. SVB provides senior and mezzanine debt to private equity and venture capital firms and specialises in the technology, life science and clean tech sectors.

“We want to grow our relationship with private equity firms and clearly felt the need to have a dedicated team in the UK as well,” Majotra told Private Equity International, adding that the bank has previously managed some private equity relationships out of the US.

Allan
Majotra

SVB declined to comment on how much capital it has available to lend to UK-based firms, though the bank’s balance sheet is very healthy, according to Majotra.

“We have four times the amount of deposits as loans outstanding and we can lend to as many funds that meet our criteria,” he said. The bank focuses primarily on funds below $1 billion, he added. It finances one-off deals but also has the ability to do syndicated loans, Majotra said. 

SVB considers the UK to be “a hub for Europe”, according to spokesperson. “There are a lot of opportunities here, there’s strong government backing, so we start by focusing on the UK and Ireland and [then] we will look to Europe”, she said. SVB currently lends to 850 private equity firms and venture capital firms in the US. The bank declined to comment on the amount of UK-based clients.

The appointments mark the second time this year SVB is expanding its UK operations. In June, it broadened its UK operation to offer a full service commercial banking service, a move that was welcomed by the UK government.