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‘Outsider’ Ball is new 3i FD

3i has confirmed its second senior hire from outside the organisation with the announcement that Simon Ball will join the firm as finance director in February 2005.

Simon Ball has become 3i Group’s latest external recruit at senior management level. The experienced finance director will join the London-listed international private equity firm on 7 February 2005.

Ball, 44, is currently director general of finance at the Department for Constitutional Affairs, a UK government department responsible for upholding justice, rights and democracy. He has held the position since January 2003.

Ball started his career at Price Waterhouse & Co in 1981, moving on to Kleinwort Benson Group in 1985 where he held various roles before becoming chief operating officer (UK) of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in 1996. Two years later, he was appointed group finance director at Robert Fleming and, in 2000, became a managing director at Chase Manhattan International. Since 2001, he has been a board member at Leica Geosystems, the German laser scanning solutions specialist.

During his spell at UK investment bank Robert Fleming, Ball is credited with having played a major role in the bank’s reorganisation and subsequent sale to Chase Manhattan Corporation of the US for around £7 billion (€10.1 billion; $12.9 billion).

The appointment of Ball is in keeping with 3i’s newfound willingness to recruit externally. In May 2004 Philip Yea was hired as 3i’s first ever chief executive to be recruited from outside the group. Yea, who succeeded Brian Larcombe, was previously a managing director at Bahrain-based private equity firm Investcorp.

In a statement, Yea said of Ball’s appointment: “He has a wide range of experience, combining a strong career in the financial services sector, experience of start-ups and a track record of change management.”

When Ball joins next February, 3i’s current finance director Michael Queen will be moved to head of growth capital in place of Chris Rowlands, who will assume the newly created role of head of group markets.