Two new partners at Permira

Private equity firm Permira has awarded partnerships to Philip Bassett and Martin Clarke, both of whom are based in the company’s London office.

Philip Bassett and Martin Clarke have been promoted to partners at Permira, the private equity firm with five European offices and one in New York. The appointments take effect from 1 January 2004.

Bassett’s promotion is a reward for his role in spearheading the firm’s much-vaunted fundraising for Permira Europe III, which closed at E5.1bn in October 2003. Bassett joined Permira in 1995 and has led its investor relations team with responsibility for marketing and investor liaison since 1999.

Speaking of the promotion, Bassett said it “reflects the importance attached by Permira to the investor side of the business”. He added the five-strong investor relations team was now liasing with some 154 investors in Permira’s funds and was providing a much greater quality and quantity of information than in previous years.       

Clarke has enjoyed more immediate recognition, having only joined Permira from PPM Ventures in 2002 to develop the firm’s presence in the consumer sector. The sector now boasts the largest investment team within Permira, having recruited two members last year when Alex Emery joined from McKinsey & Co and Leanne Buckham from PwC Transaction Services.

Clarke has not yet closed a deal for his new employer, having led Permira’s unsuccessful bid for department store chain Debenhams, which was acquired by CVC, Texas Pacific and Merrill Lynch for £1.72bn in October 2003. While at PPM, Clarke led the buyout of Tetley Tea in 1995 alongside Permira (then known as Schroder Ventures). He also led PPM’s investments in retail chains New Look and Oasis.

Clarke said the likelihood of trading pressure over the next few months would make for an “interesting time” in the retail sector and would create opportunities. Both Clarke and Bassett said their roles would remain essentially the same following the promotions.