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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

Jeremy Coller

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

Jeremy Coller pioneered the development of private equity ‘secondaries’: the acquisition of original investors’ stakes in venture capital/private equity funds and of portfolios of companies from corporate venturers. The secondaries market is credited with significantly enhancing the attractiveness of early stage technology investing by boosting liquidity and flexibility – and reducing risk – for investors. In 1990, he founded Coller Capital – a firm whose name is synonymous with the development of the secondaries market. In 1994, Coller Capital launched Europe’s first secondaries fund and in 1998 the first global secondaries fund. The firm’s fourth, $2.6 billion, fund, launched in 2002, is the largest-ever secondaries fund, with commitments from 150 international institutional investors. Jeremy has led many of the market’s landmark transactions, including the purchase of venture capital/private equity portfolios from Shell’s US pension fund and from the Royal Bank of Scotland (Bridgepoint Capital). Another milestone for technology investing was achieved in December 2001, when he led the first significant purchase of a US corporate venture portfolio, acquiring 27 technology companies from Lucent’s Bell Labs. Coller capital subsequently repeated this feat by way of a joint venture with British Telecom’s corporate incubator, Brightstar. The rationale for these deals was to optimise the exploitation of, and returns from, the intellectual property locked in early-stage corporate-backed technology companies. In a June 2004 feature entitled ‘The Top 30 Private Equity Deals of All Time’, the global publication Private Equity International says: "Many suggested that Coller Capital would be worthy of mention, not least for its groundbreaking £670 million purchase of funds advised by Bridgepoint Capital – a deal that pushed secondaries into the industry mainstream – and the perhaps equally notable purchase of a portfolio of venture assets from Lucent, at a time when such a transaction seemed daringly contrarian." Other firms have subsequently followed the trail that Jeremy blazed, buying corporate hi-tech venture portfolios – for example, CIBC World Capital Markets from Accenture; Goldman Sachs/W Capital Partners from Tredegar; and Global Asset Capital from Vivendi Universal. This new source of liquidity has changed the landscape for corporate technology investors. A robust secondaries market is of strategic importance to technology investing because it boosts the efficiency and effectiveness of the primary market, allowing institutional investors to exit poorly performing funds and re-allocate resources to more skilled private equity fund managers, and permitting corporate venturers to exit or refinance under-exploited companies. Under Jeremy’s active lead, Coller Capital is continuing to drive the evolution of a global secondaries market in venture capital/private equity, and is widely acknowledged as an innovator – continuously pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of what and how secondaries are done.

Brief Biography

Jeremy Coller is the founder and chief executive of Coller Capital, the leading global investor in private equity ‘secondaries’ – the purchase of original investors’ stakes in private equity funds (venture capital, buyout and mezzanine) or the acquisition of portfolios of companies from corporate owners/backers.

Before establishing Coller Capital in 1990, Jeremy spent five years at ICI Investment Management where, as a public equities analyst and venture capital/buyout manager, he pioneered the purchase of secondary interests from European investors.

Jeremy attended Carmel College, and holds: an MA in Philosophy from Sussex University; a BSc (Honours) in Management Sciences from the School of Management, UMIST; and the Diplome Cours de Civilisation from Sorbonne University.

Jeremy is or has been a director or advisory committee member of Baronsmead Investment Trust, Baring Capital Investors, BridgePoint (formerly NatWest), Causeway Capital, ECI Ventures, GranIberia, and the US Prudential Equity Investors. Jeremy is secretary of the Venture Investors’ Circle, whose members are institutional investors in private equity funds.

Jeremy was recently voted the British Venture Capital Association’s 2004 Personality of the Year.