5 additions to private equity’s London footprint

Blackstone, Thoma Bravo and One Rock Capital are among the firms strengthening their positions in London.

A slew of PE firms have recently opened new offices in the UK capital, or otherwise consolidated their position with larger spaces or staff appointments.

PE Hub Europe has covered many instances of firms increasing their foothold in London. Here are five recent ones that caught our attention (in reverse chronological order):

1. Great Hill Partners sets up hub in London

In mid-March, Great Hill Partners opened a London office to support its investment activity in the UK and Europe.

Great Hill’s Drew Loucks, MD, will lead the new office and grow the London team.

“With a presence in London, we believe we can further bolster our investment activity throughout Europe, as well as strengthen our ability to support our US-based portfolio companies as they look to potentially expand their businesses overseas,” said Loucks.

Boston-based Great Hill recently invested €180 million to merge Germany-based Echobot, and Finland-based Leadfeeder.

2. One Rock Capital sets foot in London

At the start of February, One Rock Capital Partners opened its new office in London, a move to assist the firm’s plans to pursue European investment opportunities.

The New York-headquartered firm appointed Telmo Valido as a partner to co-lead the London-based team with Kurt Beyer, a partner who relocated to the London office from New York.

This development also saw Jeremy Xia, a principal from the New York office, relocate to London to support the firm’s investment activity in London.

Further, the firm appointed Lukas Zeitlberger as a London-based principal.

“The establishment of One Rock’s presence in London is intended to bolster our European investment activity as well as oversight of our portfolio company operations across the region, and Telmo is the ideal leader for our efforts in Europe,” said One Rock managing partner Tony W Lee.

3. Blackstone expands its London HQ

Blackstone is not new to London by any means, but it is also looking to strengthen its European presence. The firm announced in October that it had reached an agreement to establish a purpose-built, European headquarters in Berkeley Square, its long-term London home.

The agreement will see Blackstone occupy a 226,000-square-foot, 10-storey building. Construction is expected to be completed by 2028.

The firm’s headcount in the city has doubled over the past three years, standing at more than 500 people. Blackstone has invested more than $27 billion across 88 businesses headquartered across the UK over the past 20 years.

The firm continues to operate other European offices in Dublin, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris.

4. McDermott Will & Emery hires Garrett Hayes

Also in October, law firm McDermott Will & Emery hired Garrett Hayes as transactions partner, based in London. He will work on M&A and private equity, as well as corporate advisory.

“Garrett’s appointment is a great addition to the team and is in line with our strategy to grow our corporate and private equity offering in London and Europe,” said Harris Siskind, global head of McDermott’s transactions practice, in a statement. “His telecom and infrastructure M&A practice will also provide notable synergies with our teams in Germany and the US.”

5. Thoma Bravo heads to London with Irina Hemmers at the helm

In early September, Thoma Bravo announced that it will expand its European presence with the opening of an office in London. The office will be the firm’s hub for UK and European deals as it looks for greater access to Europe’s software and technology companies.

Irina Hemmers will head the new office and joins Thoma Bravo as a partner. Hemmers moves from Inflexion, where she led the technology investment team as partner and head of technology. Before that, Hemmers was a partner at Apax Partners.

“Europe is a critical market for the growth of Thoma Bravo, and the launch of a London office represents a significant step forward in our ability to partner with some of the best software companies in the world as we continue to extend our investment strategy globally,” said Orlando Bravo, a founder and managing partner at Thoma Bravo.

At the start of March, Thoma Bravo announced an investment in health analytics provider LOGEX. While the firm has deployed $11 billion across 11 deals in Europe over the last 12 years, the investment in LOGEX is the first by its Europe-based team.

PE Hub Europe expects to see more activity in London in the coming months.