Wednesday, March 18, 2009

EMI: Hands off, Pryce is up

It's being spun as a fantastic move for Guy Hands, but his move from CEO of Terra Firma, with day-to-day control of the company, to being group chairman and chief investment officer instead, is hardly a promotion. Especially with that massive write-down on investments. He's being replaced by Tim Pryce.

The press release makes it all sound exciting, though:

Guy Hands said:

"Having worked closely with Tim for nine years, I am delighted that he has agreed to take up this position. He will make an excellent CEO of Terra Firma. Tim has been an integral part of Terra Firma since its formation and has done an outstanding job in his previous roles at the firm. Terra Firma has grown significantly since its creation in 2002. Over this period, staff numbers have increased from approximately 60 to over 110 people, investor relationships have expanded from one UK party to over 200 relationships in 26 countries, and assets under management have grown from €2 billion to €11 billion while 80% of our portfolio businesses’ revenues are now from outside the UK. As Chief Executive, Tim will be responsible for Terra Firma’s day to day operations while I will concentrate on investments, investors and developing the business internationally."

That might read a little oddly, but Guy made his statement while on a sponsored 'how many times can you say Terra Firma' challenge.

Pryce, meanwhile, did his best to make it sound like he was slipping onto a well-run deck and not being handed a bucket of manure with no bottom or handle:
"I am delighted to take on this role. Guy has built one of the leading private equity groups in Europe in a very short space of time which now manages and invests money on behalf of institutions all over the world. I look forward to making sure that the organisation works optimally in supporting Terra Firma's global investment and fundraising activities and to continuing to work with Guy on developing the business."

... once Guy has finished emptying the bins and given a polish to my new name plaque, of course.