Warburg Pincus has appointed LCH.Clearnet chairman Jacques Aigrain as senior adviser to help find financial services deals in Europe.
Mr Aigrain, a Frenchman who is also a director on the boards of Lufthansa, the London Stock Exchange and WPP, was previously chief executive of reinsurer Swiss Re and global co-head of mergers and acquisitions at JPMorgan in New York.
The appointment is part of a push to target assets from the region’s banks, which need to shrink their balance sheets as they seek to meet regulators’ more stringent capital requirements. Daniel Zilberman, a Warburg Pincus partner, last summer moved from the buyout group’s New York headquarters to London and has since built a team of seven dealmakers in Europe.
Buyout groups from Apollo to Carlyle have increased their teams or even raised dedicated funds to take advantage of opportunities in Europe, as lenders dispose of units as they continue to grapple with the regulatory consequences of the financial crisis.
The US-based private equity group acquired a stake in the asset management arm of Santander in May and in January purchased a majority stake in Source, a European exchange traded funds provider, from a group of banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.
With a third investment currently being negotiated, the group will have invested about $500m of its own equity in Europe, according to Mr Zilberman. Warburg Pincus manages a $11.2bn buyout fund it can invest globally.
“We’ve been encouraged by the level of activity over the past six months that we’ve seen and executed on,” Mr Zilberman said. “Jacques not only brings his experience but also a network of relationships. It’s important for people in this sector to work with other people they trust.”