Feared investment firm Elliott has called in a former BT chairman to advise it as it looks to ramp up its private equity operation and soften its reputation around the City.
New York-headquartered Elliott, which has built a name for hostile activist campaigns against companies including GSK and energy firm SSE, has called in the former CBI president and BT chair Sir Michael Rake to advise across its existing portfolio of investments as well as scope out new opportunities for the the firm, City A.M. understands.
The investment firm has been running a headhunting campaign for new advisers in the UK and called in Rake due to his experience running “large complex organisations” and dealing with private equity investors from the boardroom, a source told City A.M.
The for will now join a network of advisers across Europe including Paolo Scaroni, who was chairman of AC Milan – an Elliott private equity portfolio company until last year.
In a statement shared with City A.M., Sir Michael Rake said he was “delighted to have been appointed as an advisor to Elliott”.
“I have always admired Elliott’s track record and its commitment to constructive, engaged ownership in both the private and public markets. I look forward to working with the team,” he added.
The appointment comes as Elliott prepares to ramp up its private equity investments which currently include Waterstones in the UK and US-based bookseller Barnes and Noble.
Elliott is also looking to soften its feared reputation in the City after a series of high-profile run-ins with top listed firms.
Elliott was among the firms publicly agitating for GSK to carve off its consumer arm in 2021. Energy giant SSE has also come under public pressure from Elliott to separate its renewables arm.
Sky News first reported the appointment.