VCM hires for new buyout fund of funds

German fund of funds manager VCM Capital Management has appointed former CAM Private Equity investment director Peter Schwanitz as it launches a new buyout fund of funds vehicle.

Munich-based fund of funds manager VCM Capital Management has appointed Peter Schwanitz as a managing director to lead the firm’s move into the buyout segment.

At VCM, Schwanitz will be responsible for the firm’s buyout investments as well as institutional marketing and client relationships. Schwanitz joined VCM at the beginning of the month.

Schwanitz, 45, has 11 years of private equity experience, most recently at Cologne and Munich-based fund of funds manager CAM Private Equity, where he has been an investment director since April 2004.

Prior to CAM Private Equity, Schwanitz was at private bank and asset manager Sal Oppenheim, which merged its private equity fund activities with those of CAM in late 2003. At Sal Oppenheim, Schwanitz was responsible for building up the firm’s fund of funds portfolio.

Schwanitz has also managed Colonia Nordstern Group’s private equity investments and has been a member of AXA’s first European fund of funds investment committee.

Helmut Kirchner, founding partner of VCM, said in an interview with PEO that Schwanitz will help VCM to raise its first buyout fund of funds vehicle, with a target of €150 million to €200 million ($191 million to $255 million). “We’ll be looking to raise that over the next twelve to eighteen months, and I’m optimistic that we will hold a first closing this year,” said Kirchner. “We are in very promising talks with a number of large institutions for a mid-market buyout fund of funds.”

Kirchner said that VCM, which closed its sixth US venture and growth capital-focused fund of funds with $100 million (€78 million) of commitments in April, had made the move into the buyout segment due to a need to be flexible. “We started our business in the classical venture capital area, which has had its ups and downs,” said Kirchner.

“We developed a number of mezzanine funds in 2004 and 2005 and felt that there was a gap between venture and mezzanine and that was buyouts. We now have flexibility and can offer the full range of venture capital, mezzanine and buyouts.”

Kirchner added that VCM is currently raising its latest mezzanine fund of funds vehicle, VCM Golding Mezzanine SICAV II, which is expected to reach the lower end of its $100 million to $150 million target by June.