Crosby joins advisory committee at Bridgepoint

Bridgepoint, a European mid-market private equity firm, has bolstered its European advisory committee with the appointment of Sir James Crosby, former chief executive officer of HBOS.

Sir James Crosby, the former chief executive of HBOS, the Scottish bank transformed by its merger with Halifax under Crosby, has joined private equity firm Bridgepoint ’s advisory committee.
Crosby, 50, stepped down from his position as chief executive of HBOS at the end of July. He started his career at Scottish Amicable, where he spent 10 years as a fund manager followed by senior positions in marketing, IT, finance and corporate development.

Crosby: providing external perspective to Bridgepoint

In 1994, he joined Halifax Building Society as managing director of Halifax Life, an insurance subsidiary. After a 1996 merger with Clerical Medical, an insurance business, Crosby became financial services and insurance director of Halifax before becoming chief executive in 1999.
In September 2001, following the merger of Bank of Scotland and Halifax, Crosby took on the position of chief executive of HBOS. In addition to his new role at Bridgepoint, Crosby is also a non-executive director of the Financial Services Authority and ITV, a UK broadcaster.
A spokesperson for Bridgepoint said that the advisory committee’s general remit is to provide an external perspective on the business and individual sectors. “The committee meets formally four times a year with some individual meetings depending on individual transactions. It provides an external perspective on business matters that affect us and the companies we own.”
Crosby will work alongside a number of other high profile members at Bridgepoint. The European advisory committee, formed in 2004, also boasts Lord Patten, the former Governor of Hong Kong and former commissioner in charge of external relations at the European Commission; Francis Mer, former Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry in France; Penny Hughes, formerly president of Coca Cola UK; and Sir George Matthewson, former chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland and current non-executive of Santander Central Hispano, a Spanish bank.
Other corporate executives to move into private equity include John Studzinski, co-head of investment banking at HSBC, who will join the merger advisory group at The Blackstone Group, a US private equity firm, later this year. In January, Star Capital Partners, a European infrastructure specialist, hired Rick Haythornthwaite, the former chief executive of Invensys, a listed engineering group, as a managing director.
The previous year, Lord Hollick, a former chief exec of United Business Media, a media business information provider, joined Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a US buyout firm, as a managing director in its London office. Greg Dyke and Lord John Birt, former director generals at the BBC, also sit on advisory committees for Apax Partners and Terra Firma Capital Partners respectively.
Bridgepoint said that it has returned more than €1.5 billion ($1.93 billion) to investors from realisations in 2006, including last week’s £320 million sale of All3Media, a UK television production company, which generated a 5.5 times money multiple. The firm added that it has invested €800 million in four companies this year from its Bridgepoint Europe III fund, which closed on €2.5 billion last May.