Byrne to head NBC-GE fund


NEW YORK -- GE Commercial Finance's Media, Communications & Entertainment business and NBC Universal said Thursday that Thomas Byrne has been appointed managing director of new $250 million joint-venture investment vehicle Peacock Equity Fund.

Megumi Ikeda, 37, was named executive director of the vehicle. Based in London, she will report to Byrne, 40.

Peacock Equity is a joint venture of the two General Electric units that invests in "media and technology companies with high growth potential," the companies said.

In April, the fund announced its first investment in Adify, a provider of online ad serving technology.

Further investments are targeting companies that fit with NBC Universal "in a wide range of areas, including advertising services, wireless, digital content and communities, and international platforms," the companies said.

Michael Chen, president and CEO, GE Media, Communications & Entertainment, lauded Byrne's "sector insight and leadership," saying they will "help fuel the fund's success and continue the collaborative momentum that the GE and NBC Universal teams have created."

Byrne has held positions at GE, ABN Amro and Royal Bank of Canada.

"The European media landscape is developing at a rapid pace and continues to create innovative new technologies, distribution networks and business models," Byrne said.

Ikeda, previously vp strategic initiatives and new media for NBC Universal in New York, will lead the charge in Europe. In her previous role, she was responsible for developing strategy, as well as negotiating and launching new-media channels and products.

Ikeda previously worked in a number of roles at Time Warner, Conde Naste Publications and Dow Jones.