He told Private Equity News that his main motivation for taking up the position was that he “really believes in the sector and that it needs more attention”.
He continued: “Private equity and venture capital does a lot of good in driving change and improving the state of businesses. Even in relatively weak economies, which we might have, you need private equity and venture capitalists to step forward and drive growth and improve companies.”
Florman said it was important to raise the profile of listed-private equity as it gave smaller investors access to an asset class that generated strong returns but was dominated by massive institutional investors with billions of pounds to invest.
He said the biggest barrier to investors looking to put capital to work in listed-private equity was the fact it is “very complicated.”
He added: “A large number of investment managers and their clients look at the industry and it is quite difficult to understand…what we want to do is bring much greater clarity and promote it and explain it. I’ve already said to a number of investment managers; let’s make it crystal clear to investors how you add value.”
His appointment comes after a high-profile career spanning some 30 years in the banking and private equity sectors.
Florman, who was educated at Winston Churchill’s alma mater Harrow School, began his career in financial services at Chicago-based Northern Trust bank in 1981. He founded his own boutique investment bank Maizels Westerberg in 1992, becoming managing partner in 1994.
Florman joined London-based buyout firm Doughty Hanson as a senior principal in 2001 where he stayed for seven years before leaving to co-found African-focused investment firm 8Miles alongside Bob Geldof, the activist former lead singer of The Boomtown Rats, and the former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan.
The role won’t be Florman’s first working for a private equity trade body.
He was previously chief executive of another private equity trade body, the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association from 2011 until April 2013, stepping down to be replaced by the BVCA’s current director general Tim Hames.
He will replace Graphite Capital’s finance director Tim Spence who has held the role at LPEQ since July 2015.