Tikehau hires Peter Westmacott as president to advisory board

Sir Peter Westmacott in the Financial Times – 24/01/2019

Tikehau Capital has hired Peter Westmacott, a former British ambassador to the US, France and Turkey, to be president of its advisory board as the French asset manager seeks new deals in Europe and Asia.

The Paris-based company, which has roughly doubled assets under management since listing in 2017 from €10bn to €20bn, has also hired new members to the board.

Some of these members include Nobuyuki Idei, former chairman and chief executive of Sony Corporation, and François Pauly, chairman of Compagnie Financière La Luxembourgeoise.

“We want our network to be gatekeepers or firewalls to filter our local connections,” said a person with direct involvement of the new hires.

It comes as Tikehau is exploring opening offices in Germany and Japan, people with direct knowledge of its plans said.

An announcement of Sir Peter’s appointment is expected later on Wednesday. Sir Peter, who is also an independent non-executive director of EY among other advisory roles, said Brexit will play a key part in the dynamics of sourcing deals for private equity groups.

He said London remained an important hub when it came to private equity activity but that in “a post-Brexit world things will change. Some value has gone (out of the UK). It does mean that France, which has its doors wide open to investment, will pick up new business.”

He added private equity has become less of a “fringe area of the capitalist system”. People no longer thought of the industry as executives “making lots of money while others were missing out, or as predators flipping firms after a few years”, he said. “People see private equity has the ability to take the longer term view.”

Tikehau has a tradition of hiring top financiers and more recently political figures, including François Fillon, the former French presidential candidate whose campaign was mired in scandal.

The asset manager was founded in 2004 with €4m of assets under management by Mathieu Chabran and Antoine Flamarion, two former bankers. The company was mostly focused on private debt but it has increasingly diversified its investments into real estate and private equity as pension funds increase their allocation to these asset classes.

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