After a period of relative quiet following the financial crisis, private equity firms have this year found their feet again with a host of audacious deals and mega money fundraisings. This year’s award recognises those firms leading the pack to combine cutting edge dealmaking with strong corporate structures.
DONALD MACKENZIE CVC
CVC’s co-founder Donald Mackenzie has overseen a busy year for the buyout shop with no let up in sight. The firm raised the third largest buyout fund of all time this year closing at a staggering €10.5bn. Top deal making abroad, including selling a stake in Matahari for $1.3bn and floating part of Belgian postal service bpost, have also helped boost returns for investors. And if that was not enough, the firm showed its audacious streak by mounting an ultimately unsuccessful $1.5bn takeover bid for Betfair in April.
HUGH LANGMUIR CINVEN
Cinven’s managing partner Hugh Langmuir has had a busy and successful year helping the firm raise money and make successful exits from its portfolio investments. The group raised its fifth buy out fund this year, closing the pool of money at a healthy €5.3bn. More prominently the group sold out of its stake in insurer Partnership after floating the company on the stock market and netting eight times its investments. It also made an above average return on its sale of Ziggo, which has netted its investors €1.7bn.
JOHN BERNSTEIN GENERAL ATLANTIC
General Atlantic’s John Bernstein, the man overseeing the company’s investments across Europe, has made waves in the insurance and asset management sector this year by helping strike a clutch of deals. He joined the board of insurer Hyperion after General Atlantic bought a 30 per cent stake in the company in March. Also high on the deal list was the firm’s acquisition of a stake in Santander’s asset management division after joining forces with Warburg Pincus to snap up half of the business.
KENNETH CAPLAN BLACKSTONE
Blackstone’s balance sheet has been boosted this year by a host of deals, none more so than mega money property investments overseen by Kenneth Caplan, the company’s head of European real estate. The company is set to receive a decent windfall from its stake in the city’s landmark Broadgate Estate, which is on the verge of being sold at a huge profit. Blackstone has also been involved in a £600m refinancing of Chiswick Park, and a deal to buy Dublin’s famous Burlington Hotel for €67m.
DWIGHT POLER BAIN CAPITAL
Bain Capital’s Dwight Poler, a managing director in the firm’s London office, celebrates two decades at the company next year and helped support a host of deals so far this year. Bain’s marque UK deal was its £200m buy of a majority stake in Plasma Resources UK from the Department of Health. Bain has also been boosted by its pharmaceutical interest in Irish firm Warner Chilcott, one of its portfolio companies, which was acquired in May for $8.5bn by US drugmaker Actavis.