Industry foundation recruits CEO

The Private Equity Foundation, the industry’s recently-launched charitable initiative, has hired Shaks Ghosh, the former head of homelessness charity Crisis, to be its first chief executive.

The Private Equity Foundation, a charitable initiative launched by a number of buyout firms earlier this year, has hired Shaks Ghosh, the former head of UK charity Crisis, as its chief executive.

The hire of Ghosh, one of the most respected figures in the UK charity sector, is a significant coup for the fledgling organisation, which has so far raised more than £5 million from some of the industry’s leading lights.

Ghosh previously spent ten years as chief executive of Crisis, a national homelessness charity, where she was credited with significantly improving its profile and effectiveness. Before that held senior positions at the London Housing Federation and the National Housing Federation.

Ghosh said the job was a “fantastic opportunity to work with a foundation in its infancy to build it into a significant force for good.” She added: “Throughout my career I have been passionate about working in communities, for social justice and the physical, economic and social outcomes of regeneration. With the support of PEF I believe we have a tremendous chance to make a real impact in these areas.”

The foundation aims to apply private equity techniques to charitable giving, selecting charities according to stringent criteria, providing ongoing operational and management assistance, and monitoring performance on an ongoing basis. It has already committed funds to five children’s charities in the UK.

More than 70 firms have already signed up to the Private Equity Foundation, and industry luminaries like The Blackstone Group’s David Blitzer and Texas Pacific Group’s Stephen Peel have joined the board of trustees.

Ramez Sousou, managing director of TowerBrook and the chairman of the board of trustees, told PEO that he hopes the Foundation will be able to raise as much as £15 million a year for charity, once it has proven its “private equity meets charity” concept.