Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A new hire at Silver Lake

A very prominent manager of private equity funds, Silver Lake Partners LP, has brought a new senior adviser on board.

He's Miles Flint, until last September president of Sony Ericsson.

The Financial Times has a brief piece on this new hire this morning, at the bottom of page 17. It caught my eye because I would have supposed that the ongoing credit squeeze would make corporate types like Mr. Flint wary of joining PE firms. A Silver Lake, as a rule, is much more dependent on leverage, and much more vulnerable to a squeeze there, than is a Sony Ericcson.

But ... there you go. If I had "supposed" that, I would have been wrong.

By the way, the California Public Employees Retirement System, CalPERS, the huge pension fund, owns nearly 10% of Silver Lake. (This wasn't an investment in SL funds, it was an investment in the management company itself.) That was only the latest cozying-up in a long-term relationship.

In 1999, CalPERS invested $73.2 million in one of Silver Lake's funds, a fund that has earned a 26% annualized return since then.

In 2004, CalPERS invested $125 million into another SL fund, and it has gotten a 22.3% return on that one.

Best wishes then, from this blogger, to all the parties mentioned above, and especially to the now retired folk who used to grind out their daily labor on the public payroll in California and who now rely on CalPERS' decisions as if they were their own. My Miles Flint and his new colleagues do well for you.


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