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Cheyne changes its man on the board of Clerys company

As well as Cheyne’s Clerys man, Lycée Lakanal’s past pupils include Jacques Chirac, Voltaire and Victor Hugo

Clerys: liquidated last June. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Cheyne Capital, the London hedge fund that gave the developer Deirdre Foley the financial welly for her €29 million Natrium buyout of Clerys, has changed its nominee to the board of the now shuttered department store.

Cheyne, which owned 80 per cent of Natrium via a Cayman Islands outfit but has since transferred its stake to a trust service, was previously represented on the board of Natrium and Clerys’ owner, OCS Investment Holdings, by Ronan Daly, a director of several Cheyne funds in Ireland.

Faithful night

Daly was part of the crew that gathered in the offices of A&L Goodbody the night before Clerys was liquidated in June, to put in place the sequence of events that ensured the department store’s trading arm was killed off.

It was Daly who signed a letter to Clerys’ operating company from OCS Investment withdrawing all financial support. Its death warrant.

He has resigned and been replaced on the Clerys-linked boards by London-based Cheyne debt specialist Raphael Smadja, a former Moody’s analyst.

Smadja appears to have had a rarefied upbringing and attended some of the top schools in France, according to his LinkedIn profile.

As well as attending Lycée Lakanal, well-known for writers and philosophers, Smadja also attended the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris, one of the most famous schools in the country.

As well as Cheyne’s Clerys man, its past pupils include former French president Jacques Chirac and the writers Voltaire and Victor Hugo.

Hugo wrote Les Misérables, which is how many of the Clerys workers felt after they were unceremoniously locked out of their jobs by Cheyne and its friends.