Former Morgan Stanley Germany Head to Lead Asset Manager

Dirk Notheis, who stepped down as Morgan Stanley’s Germany head last year amid a dispute over a utility acquisition managed by the U.S. investment bank, has joined an asset manager set up to boost lending to small- and medium-sized companies.

Notheis and Marc Pahlow, formerly of private equity firm Carlyle Group, will lead Rantum Capital Management GmbH, the Frankfurt-based company said in a statement today. Rantum will offer “three digit million” euros of subordinated loans in its first fund, according to the statement.

Rantum is trying to fill a gap left by banks as some so-called Mittelstand companies, which form the backbone of Germany’s economy, encounter borrowing difficulties because of equity levels that are lower than those of peers in other countries. The move marks a return to the business stage for Notheis, who left Morgan Stanley as lawmakers probed the 2011 sale of Electricite de France SA’s stake in EnBW Baden-Wuerttemberg AG to the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Rantum will probably lend 2 million euros ($2.7 million) to 20 million euros at a time and will raise funds from investors including insurance companies, pension funds, foundations and family offices, according to the statement.

Founders of the fund include Hans-Joachim Koerber, the former chief executive officer of retailer Metro AG, Joachim Hunold, the founder of Air Berlin Plc, Lothar Steinebach, the former finance chief of consumer chemicals maker Henkel AG, and Michael Rogowski, the former CEO of machinery maker Voith GmbH.

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