This J.P. Morgan associate has just quit to become the only employee of a new PE start-up

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Junior bankers and traders are increasingly leaving large financial institutions to get in on the ground at start-up private equity companies or new hedge funds.

The latest to make the leap into a newly-formed company is J.P. Morgan associate Bertrand Fontaine. He’s spent the past three years working in J.P. Morgan’s corporate finance and Benelux M&A team, but has just quit for an investment role at newly-formed private equity venture Telemos Capital.

Fontaine joined Telemos as an associate earlier this month, and is so far the only investment-focused employee at the firm aside from its chief investment officer, Jacob Polny.

Polny was a principal at $70bn private equity firm TPG Capital, where he focused on the Nordic market and the consumer and retail sectors in Europe. He left in July to join Telemos Capital as it was being set up, describing the move in a note to colleagues and friends as a “unique, entrepreneurial challenge that I couldn’t reject”.

Telemos also has Philippe Jacobs, co-chairman of Swiss-based firm Jacobs Holding, as an executive chairman and Sean Carney, the former chief operating officer of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, as its COO and chief financial officer.

The firm says that it will target investments of between €50m and €200m within the consumer goods and services, healthcare and business services sectors.

Junior bankers are increasingly deciding to quit large institutions for start-ups in the alternative investments space. Salma Kalisvaart, an executive director with J.P. Morgan’s M&A team in London, left in late November to join a new fintech-focused VC firm called Monument Partners. She was the only employee.

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