Private equity leaders feast on IPOs and deals

Kenneth Caplan, Blackstone’s senior managing director and head of real estate Europe, won last year’s award
PRIVATE EQUITY MANAGER of the year

Private equity groups have feasted on fresh opportunities thrown up by ongoing financial trends this year, from the rise of China’s market economy to the dissipation of traditional bank lending.

This year’s nominations include some of London’s most senior dealmakers and executives and reflect the capital’s pivotal importance at the vanguard of private equity’s changing remit from pure buyout firms to broader alternative asset managers.

Our nominees celebrate the salient trends which have emerged in the industry this year, from the onslaught of private equity-backed initial public offerings to the unremitting growth of private equity credit and the rise of a new breed of talented executives taking their place at the top of established firms.

AND THE NOMINEES ARE…

ON FRIDAY: PROPERTY FIRM OF THE YEAR

CHERYL POTTER, PERMIRA
Potter is head of Permira’s London office and was made partner in 2005. She heads the consumer sector’s team at the private equity giant, overseeing investments in a host of high street favourites. Her nomination is in recognition of the strong performance of Permira’s consumer portfolio this year, and on her overall role heading the group’s offices on Pall Mall. The group has made both strong divestments, such as its partial sell down of Hugo Boss, and strategic acquisitions including its purchase of Dr Martens last November while also driving operational growth, seen in New Look’s sales increases.

ANDREW SILLITOE, APAX
Sillitoe is co-chief executive officer at Apax and parter in the group’s well regarded tech and telecoms team. Sillitoe rose to head the firm this year after being promoted to co-CEO for the London office last December – a sign of his pivotal role at the company. He was one of the driving forces in the group’s acquisition of King in 2005, a shrewd bet in hindsight after the tech giant’s float this year. Deals to sell foreign exchange operator Travelex and acquire the rest of Trader Media Group have also strengthened Sillitoe’s position as an executive not afraid to make bold deals.

SANJAY PATEL, APOLLO
Patel only joined Apollo in 2010, but has risen through the ranks fast, currently holding the role of senior partner and Apollo’s overall head of Europe. US-based Apollo has proven itself to be one of best performing of the listed US private equity titans this year, helped in no small measure by its smart bets on Europe’s recovering economies. Patel has helped position Apollo as the vanguard in private equity’s shift from dealmakers to credit provider, stepping into the lending space left vacant by banks. He helps oversee the group’s two European Principal Finance funds, which this year bought Evo Banco for €60m (£47m).

DONALD MACKENZIE, CVC
Mackenzie is co-founder, co-chairman and managing partner of CVC Capital Partners. He is best known for driving CVC’s investment in F1, which is expected to net the group further handsome returns this year. CVC has not rested on its laurels, however, closing six further deals already this year, including UK-based online payment systems Skrill and a host of Asian-focused deal. Mackenzie’s leadership has also guided CVC to raise even more cash in the form of its fourth Asian-focused buyout fund, which generated $3.5bn (£2.1bn) from investors earlier this year.

JOSEPH SCHULL, WARBURG PINCUS
Schull is managing director and head of Europe for Warburg Pincus, making him responsible for all of the group’s investment activities across the continent. Based in London, Schull’s nomination reflects the strong performance of Warburg’s initial public offering of Poundland this year, testament to its strong stewardship of a portfolio company in a year when private equity-backed floats have come in for criticism. It has also pushed into fresh areas of finance, buying a stake in fund manager Santander Asset Management and also made a bold move for ETP provider Source.