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ESO Capital trio leave to launch new firm

July 17, 2013: 11:21 AM ET

shield-logoRoundShield Partners plans to raise $500 million.

FORTUNE -- Three investors from ESO Capital Group have left to launch their own firm, Fortune has learned. The new group is called RoundShield Partners, and will seek to raise $500 million for a fund that will focus on European asset-backed special opportunities.

The three investors are Driss Benkirane, an ESO partners for the past six years, and ESO managing directors Jonas Hybinette and Kristian Lokka.

I rang ESO to learn what this may mean in terms of future staffing or keyman issues, but instead was asked "what is your motivation for asking?" Kind of weird, since I had already identified myself as a reporter.

Anyway, I later received the following emailed statement: "ESO wishes our former colleagues the best in their future endeavours. Several new senior professionals have joined ESO and we remain very excited about our business and team. We continue to move toward closing our most recent fund. None of our existing fund vehicles is affected by these departures."

Shortly after receiving the email, the departing trio's biographies were removed from the ESO website. New ESO employees in London include managing director Natalia Nowak (formerly with Arrowgrass Captial Partners and Cerberus) and director Karim Askar (ex-AEA Investors).

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About This Author
Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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