EUROPE/US – The US venture capital firm, Accel Partners, is expanding into Europe and has appointed Kevin Comolli to lead its European operations from London, with a team of technology experts.

“Kevin’s extensive experience in developing pan-European businesses and structuring pan-European transactions brings a new dimension to our management team,” says Jim Swartz, founding partner of Accell.
“ We are looking forward to leveraging his international expertise as we develop our European business and start working with more European technology companies.”

Other appointments have also been made to the company’s London office. Kaj-Erik Relander, the current managing director of the Finnish telecommunications company Sonera, is moving to London to join the company on August 1. He will be responsible for the wireless technology market at the manager.
Joe Golden, the former managing director of mergers and acquisitions for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Cisco Systems has joined the Accel team as well.

“ I think Europe is a very good market, it’s a very good time to be entering it. Valuations have come down, we have no baggage in the portfolio that we have to sort out, and the competition is a bit distracted because there are some problem portfolios out there,” says Comolli.

The Finnish national daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, suggested that the move was the first time a Finnish managing director has resigned from such a high position, and that more often top managers are fired from their jobs. Relander says he is leaving Sonera for personal reasons.

In a separate move, investment banking group Rothschild has established a private equity company and has named Lloyd Campbell as managing director and group head of the new firm, Equity Private Placement. He joins the company from Credit Suisse Boston, where he was managing director and co-head of its Private Finance group.