Yucaipa gains Altius’ former head of Europe

Michael Russell, former head of Europe for Altius Associates, has resurfaced at billionaire supermarket mogul Ron Burkle’s private equity firm.

Just four months after leaving UK-headquartered advisor and gatekeeper Altius Associates, Michael Russell, a former PCG executive, has joined investment firm The Yucaipa Companies.

Russell, who started in September, is based in London with a focus on connecting investors and investment opportunities for Yucaipa in Europe.

“When I left Altius it was really just about having a desire to explore opportunities and do something still in private equity but a different angle on the industry,” he said.

“Working with Yucaipa is the best way for me to do that. It's an excellent firm doing interesting things with investors in Europe and various investment opportunities in the European theatre,” he added.

However Russell was quick to point out that Yucaipa’s focus will remain in the US and that his role “is really just to deepen our relationships with investors and to be involved in investment opportunities as they arise in Europe”.

“There are European angles to what we do as a firm with the investor base and even with the investment opportunity base but the firm’s central focus will continue to be the US market,” he said.

Los Angeles-based Yucaipa has recently hit the fund raising trail for Yucaipa American Alliance Fund III which aims to raise $1.65 billion, according to in-house database PE Connect.

Russell spent five years at Altius during which time the firm worked with the Kentucky Retirement System and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a US government development finance institution. 

In July Altius held a first close for its second fund of funds with $50 million in commitments.

“I enjoyed working with my colleagues at Altius. It's a great firm and continues to do top-notch work for its clients,” said Russell.