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Decade of Excellence Award

Andrea Bonomi - Founder, and Senior Partner, Investindustrial

Bonomi established Italian private equity firm Investindustrial in 1990, and has since secured himself a position as one of southern Europe’s most prominent investors. With €3.1 billion in assets under management, Bonomi has continued to make canny investments across Spain and Italy through a decade of highs and lows for the region. Investindustrial’s fund sizes have continued to grow from the €185 million committed to its first fund, through to its record €1.25 billion raised for fund five in the tough fundraising climate of 2013. In 2014, Bonomi was pipped to the post in the longest-running takeover battle in France when he gave up the fight for control of holiday group Club Méditerranée as the price went too high. In 2014, Investindustrial and KKR sold Avincis, a supplier of air-based emergency services, to Babcock for €2 billion, and acquired 80% of the share capital of Goldcar, a hire car business.

Jeremy Coller - Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Coller Capital

Coller founded secondaries business Coller Capital in 1990 and has since become synonymous with the complex trade in investor stakes in private equity firms. Coller took a step back from the day-to-day running of the business in 2013 but remains at the front line as chief investment officer, and the firm continues to be one of the biggest players in the market. In 2014, the firm broke new ground when it invested in a fund targeting collateralised loan obligations. Credited with almost single-handedly creating an industry, Jeremy Coller has been one of the most influential players in European private equity for at least the last 10 years.

William Jackson - Managing Partner, Bridgepoint Capital

Jackson joined Bridgepoint in 1986 and led the UK business before becoming managing partner in 2011. He is chairman of the firm’s investment advisory and operating committees, and in 2014 drove the latest fundraising. Bridgepoint’s fifth fund, the largest buyout vehicle in the market in 2014, focused on deals in Europe, achieved a first close at just over €2 billion in October, against a target of €3.5 billion. Bridgepoint owns sandwich chain Pret A Manger and online cycle retailer Wiggle. In 2014, it focused on selling businesses and preparing exits to return money to investors. The sale of Quilter Cheviot to Old Mutual was a standout exit that generated a 3.1x multiple and a 51% IRR for investors.

Danny and Neil Rimer - Partners, Index Ventures

The year 2014 was a heady one for Index Ventures, the Scandinavian venture firm founded in 1996 by Neil Rimer, his brother David and Giuseppe Zocco. Index raised its seventh early-stage fund for tech start-ups in 2014, securing €400 million and bringing to €3 billion the amount raised by the firm since launch. Younger brother Danny joined Index in 2002 to set up the London office, and the Canadian-born pair are now the driving force behind the firm, which is one of Europe’s biggest investors in tech companies. Between them, Danny and Neil have backed such European VC successes as Skype, Dropbox, Etsy, Betfair and LoveFilm. Ahead of the fund close in June 2014, Index had exited seven companies for over $1 billion in 12 months, through the IPOs of Just Eat, King, Zendesk, Criteo and Arista Networks, and the sales of The Climate Corporation to Monsanto and Supercell to SoftBank.

Marc St John - Partner and Head of Investor Relations, CVC Capital Partners

St John joined CVC in 1999 having previously worked for Citicorp for 13 years, and is responsible for investor relations across the European and Asian funds. He has helped CVC raise more than $50 billion in equity capital, including its mammoth €10.5 billion fundraising for CVC European Equity Partners IV that reached a final close ahead of the target of €9 billion in just six months in 2013. That fundraise secured CVC’s rise to the top tier of private equity firms globally, while 2014 saw the momentum hold up with the $3.5 billion fundraising for its fourth Asia Pacific fund. In 2014 CVC set  up a separate private equity fund for its biggest investors to hold stakes in companies for a longer period and generate lower returns than its main vehicle. The strategic opportunities fund secured a €1.6 billion commitment from a sovereign wealth fund and long-standing investor of CVCs.