Tony De Nunzio, former chief executive of Asda, has been appointed senior advisor at private equity firm KKR.

De Nunzio, who is also a board member of three of KKR’s companies, has been hired to seek out new retail and consumer acquisitions, and help review its companies in Europe. He is already involved with Alliance Boots, Pets at Home, and Netherlands-based business Maxeda.

De Nunzio said he will look for companies that “are differentiated, have a strong brand, and the potential for operational improvement and to grow stores”.

He said uncertainty around the Eurozone financial crisis makes the market “more challenging”. He added: “Governments need to instil confidence and take action. The lack of leadership to resolve the crisis means companies and consumers are spending less.”

However, he said: “We expect liquidity to resume once the financial crisis becomes clearer, and while 2012 will still be subdued, I would expect it to improve in the second half.”