Vision changes capital structure, builds team

The UK investment firm has added Lorenzo Russo and Daryl Cohen to its investment team and converted to a limited liability partnership in what is becoming an extremely promising market for private equity secondary investors.

London-based Vision Capital, which invests potfolios of companies, has boosted its headcount to 27 with the hires of Lorenzo Russo and Daryl Cohen to is investment team. At the same time, the firm has formally become a limited liability partnership.

 

Russo, an Italian national, joins from retail and consumer specialist Change Capital, where he was a director. Before joining Change in 2003, he was at TD Capital.

Lorenzo Russo

 

Cohen’s career includes stints in Goldman Sachs’ leveraged finance team, Hicks Muse Tate & Furst and Silver Point Principal Finance Europe.

 

The change in Vision’s capital structure is driven only by the natural evolution of the firm, managing partner Andrew Hawkins told PEO.

 

Darryl Cohen

“There is something more culturally attractive about partnerships. It will generate a more inclusive feeling, which is more appropriate to the firm’s development,” he said.

 

The current turbulence in the financial markets is likely to throw up increasing opportunities for those investing in secondaries. Bank of America’s recent acquisition of Merrill Lynch included a private equity portfolio thought to be worth around $6 billion (€4 billion), which the new owner may wish to divest, while the asset management arm of Lehman Brothers, which manages around $30 billion in private equity assets, is still in search of a buyer.

 

Vision Capital buys both portfolios of companies and control positions in buyout stage companies from private equity firms, financial institutions and corporations, where the sale is for strategic reasons. Its previous investments include the £160 million acquisition of four non-core businesses from UK food group Northern Foods in 2007.