Terra Firma drops top manager Darragh

LONDON Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:56am EST

LONDON Feb 13 (Reuters) - Terra Firma, the private equity fund controlled by British financier Guy Hands, said on Thursday it had asked star manager and veteran Damian Darragh to leave.

The surprise departure of Darragh, after almost twenty years with the group, comes as Terra Firma seeks investors for its key $2 billion Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund (REIF).

Darragh, a managing director at Terra Firma, had been due to head up the company's renewable energy fund alongside six other people.

Terra Firma said only that it had asked Darragh to leave after a review and appointed Mike Kinski, Stefan Thiele and Ingmar Wilhelm to jointly lead the Renewable Energy Infrastructure team going forward.

"Mike, Stefan and Ingmar have outstanding financial, operational and transactional skills. In addition, as a team they bring strong leadership experience from corporate backgrounds, a proven talent for fundraising and a true passion for the sector," it said in a statement.

Hands and Darragh began working together as colleagues at Japanese bank Nomura before the founding of Terra Firma in 1994.

Darragh, who could not be contacted for a comment, said on his LinkedIn page that he was "on gardening leave."

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