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Flowers Said to Move to London in Push to Buy Local Banks

J. Christopher Flowers, founder of private-equity firm JC Flowers & Co., has moved to London from the U.S. to take advantage of what he sees as more investment opportunities in Europe, according to a company official.

While Flowers still has a residence in the U.S., he will mainly live in Europe for the time being, said the official for the New York-based company, asking not to be named.

JC Flowers & Co. makes private-equity investments in financial companies. It is seeking to buy financial-services companies including banks and insurers in the U.K., Ireland, Spain, Italy, France, Poland and Germany, Flowers said during an interview at the SuperReturn International conference in Berlin in March.

“There will be significant consolidation in the banking industry in Europe and the process is being considerably accelerated by the crisis,” he said at the time.

Flowers’s move to London was reported earlier by the Financial Times.

The firm is investing out of its third fund, which closed at $2.3 billion in 2009. In October, JC Flowers agreed to buy insurance broker Fidea NV from KBC Groep NV, the recipient of 7 billion euros ($9.3 billion) in Belgian rescue funds, for 243.6 million euros. The firm also invested in the U.K.’s Kent Reliance Building Society.

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