[Addendum 2/20/2020: Following a legal complaint, the Guardian removed its article of 14 June 2019 and apologised to Mrs Peel. We are happy to clarify that Yana Peel is not, and was not, personally involved in the operation or decisions of the regulated Novalpina Capital investment fund, which is managed by her husband Stephen Peel, and others. Mrs Peel was not involved in any decision-making relating to the fund’s acquisition of NSO. Mrs Peel only has a small, indirect and passive interest in the fund. She does not own, whether directly or indirectly, any Novalpina Capital entity or any stake in NSO Group.]
The NSO Group (previously
) is one of the world's most notorious cyber-arms dealers, linked to horrific human rights abuses, extrajudicial killing of human rights activists, and the dirtiest of dirty trick campaigns
against its critics (and their lawyers
) -- they're also accused of helping with the Saudi government's murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The company has changed hands several times
, and its ownership structure is predictably obscure. It's well understood, however, that a regulated investment fund, managed by a private equity firm called Novalpina, owns a controlling interest in the company; Novalpina's co-founder is Stephen Peel.
On Friday, The Guardian published an article revealing the NSO Group’s ownership structure
. Peel has no involvement in the operations or decisions of Novalpina, which is managed by her husband, Stephen Peel, and his partners.
The report set off a firestorm in the art and human rights world over the weekend, and by Monday, Peel had resigned as CEO, while issuing a statement condemning her critics, characterising their concerns as "a concerted lobbying campaign against my husband’s recent investment." Read the rest