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Transatlantic private equity house GI Partners appoints new general counsel

Transatlantic mid-market private equity firm and UK pub owner GI Partners has announced the appointment of new general counsel (GC) and chief compliance officer (COO) David Smolen, who joins from US technology investor Silver Lake, where he was senior counsel and COO.

Smolen has already joined the California-headquartered company, which has more than $10 billion in capital investments for recognised institutional investors, including a series of pubs and hotels in the UK. He will be based in its Menlo Park head office, the home of Facebook.

Advisers to GI include Trowers & Hamlins, which led on its £571m acquisition of 290 managed pubs from Punch Taverns in 2006. CMS Cameron McKenna has also advised the private equity firm on a number of M&A deals, such as its £155m acquisition of Yates Group in 2004 and its subsequent £202m sale of the business to property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz last year.

Prior to Silver Lake, Smolen spent four years as GC, COO and chief financial officer (CFO) at hedge fund Fort Mason Funds between 2007 and 2011, having previously founded quantitative international equity arbitrage hedge fund Girvan Capital Management and co-founded venture capital firm Latinvalley, which focused on the Latin American technology sector.

Before moving in-house, Smolen was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York between 1997 and 2000.

‘We are very pleased to welcome David to GI Partners,’ commented Rick Magnuson, GI’s founder and executive managing director. ‘As we continue to grow, David will play a key role in spearheading our legal and compliance activities. His joining will enable GI to maintain our firm’s high compliance standards and guide us through today’s changing regulatory environment. We are confident that his significant experience and perspective will provide an immediate and meaningful contribution to our firm.’