UK – Close Brothers Private Equity, private equity arm of the UK merchant bank Close Brothers Group, has hired two new investment managers as the private equity business has taken off, expanding the team’s headcount to 13.

Ted Bell joins from UK private equity firm 3i where he specialised in buy-outs and growth capital investments.

Mathew Hutchinson joins following eight years at Andersen working in corporate finance, specialising in private equity and leveraged transactions.

Close Brothers Private Equity also employed Ben Alexander, previously of Deutsche Bank, as an investment manager in the summer.

Close Brothers’ managing director John Snook believes the market is solid. “The UK mid-market continues to offer investment opportunities – 60% of our fund VI is already invested and we have a strong pipeline of work in progress.”

CBPE has funds under management of over 553 million euros , and its investors include a range of blue chip UK, European and US institutions. The company focuses on developments in business support services, specialist manufacturing, leisure and tourism and transport and logistics.