Cinven Boss Steps Down After 22 Years

LONDON (Reuters) – Robin Hall, one of Europe’s longest-standing private equity bosses, is swapping his role as managing partner of European buyout firm Cinven, the firm said on Monday.

Hall, who has been managing partner of Cinven since 1988, will take up the newly created role of executive chairman, overseeing the day-to-day management of the firm and its 6.5 billion euro ($9.1 billion) fourth fund, which closed in mid-2006.

Hugh Langmuir succeeds him as managing partner and will gradually wind down his daily investment duties to lead the medium- and long-term strategic development of the business.

After 22 years at the helm of the private equity group, Hall said it was now the “natural time to bring in a fresh perspective on our future strategy”.

“The timing fits with my longstanding wish to relinquish the managing partner role at the age of 60,” said Hall, adding he would continue to manage the business through the investment cycle of the fund.

Most unlisted private equity funds have a 10-year closed cycle, with the first five years spent investing and the second five years selling portfolio companies. By mid-2011, Cinven should have completed the investment phase of its fund.

Cinven’s portfolio includes Dutch Cable operator Ziggo, British restaurant operator Gondola [GNDHG.UL] and German publisher Springer Science and Business Media [SPSBM.UL].

Rival buyout firms have shaken up their management structures as they seek to deal with troubled companies in their portfolios and mend relations with their investors.

Guy Hands relinquished his role as chief executive of Terra Firma [TERA.UL] in March to concentrate on investments and build relations with investors. Meanwhile, Damon Buffini, who became chairman of Permira [PERM.UL] two years ago, has agreed to step down from the role as of next year, focusing instead on potential new deals and managing existing investments. (Reporting by Simon Meads, editing by Will Waterman) ($1=.7154 Euro)