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London venture capital firm poaches Amazon director to head up talent search

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The hiring is the latest in a string of new personnel additions made by Balderton, including the recruitment of former Autonomy employee and blinkx founder Suranga Chandratillake as partner and ex-Level 39 head of content Ben Goldsmith as head of PR and content.

According to the firm, Stephan will be head of Balderton’s talent team and help portfolio companies “optimise” talent strategies and scale up teams. He will also raise employer branding, develop internal talent and cultivate a “talent-focused community” through events.

As part of his role with Amazon, which spanned nearly three years across two positions, he helped the online retailer open new fulfilment locations in eastern European countries and supplement new initiatives in the likes of UK and Germany.

Explaining his decision to join Balderton, Stephen said: We are creating an environment for our portfolio companies to receive the comprehensive support they need to build a perfect team. If a company succeeds, usually a lot of that success is because of their unique skills, capabilities and passion. Having the right talent in your team is the cornerstone of that.”

As well as recently relocating to Kings Cross, Balderton closed a fifth venture capital investment fund in April 2014 – banking $305m to back European businesses. Back then, the total value of companies supported by Balderton was in excess of $10bn, with funds under management then standing at $2.2bn.

However, the firm recently lost principle Harry Briggs to the newly-formed venture capital arm of the bank-backed Business Growth Fund, where he is joined by Rory Stirling from MMC Ventures and ex-LOVEFiLM CEO Simon Calver.

Bernard Liautaud, general partner at Balderton Capital, added: “At Balderton, we have long been committed to providing added value for our portfolio companies. Managing talent is one of the most important things that a growing business needs to master, as an effective and well-motivated team can be the difference between success and failure.

“Gilles [Stephan] brings a wealth of relevant experience to the table, and we look forward to watching our talent department grow with him at the helm.”

Active investments in the Balderton portfolio include equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, mapping service Citymapper, financial technology firm Nutmeg and peer-to-peer lending company Zopa.

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