Former Alliance Boots chief executive Richard Baker has joined private equity group Advent International as an operating partner.

Baker, who left led the merger of Boots and Alliance Unichem in 2006 and subsequently oversaw the sale of the business to Stefano Pessina and buy-out form KKR, will advise Advent on investment opportunities across the retail and consumer sectors.

Baker has been an advisor to Advent since the beginning of 2009. He said: “I am delighted to be formalising my partnership with Advent having built a strong relationship with the retail, consumer and leisure sector team over the last few months.

“I believe that the firm operates the right model to perform well in an evolving private equity market.”

Advent retail, consumer and leisure sector team head Tim Franks said he was very pleased at Baker’s appointment. Franks said: “We have found his insights to be incredibly useful in identifying and evaluating a number of investment opportunities. Richard’s operational knowhow and extensive networks should help to further strengthen our position.”

Baker is non-executive chairman of health club group Virgin Active and before joining Alliance Boots was chief operating officer of Asda.