ICG adds three senior members to North American PE team; opens search for analyst/associate

Intermediate Capital Group, the London-based asset manager with $46 billion in AUM, this week announced three senior additions to its start-up mid-market private equity team based in New York City. It also launched a search for an analyst/associate to provide them with junior-level support.

Climbing aboard the team led by Senior Managing Director Alan “AJ” Jones are senior members Uzair Dossani, Evan Eason and Kevin Gregory. Dossani most recently was a partner at Harvest Partners, where he specialized in backing chemical, industrial, logistics and packaging companies.

Eason was a partner at Olympus Partners specializing in business services, financial services, consumer, and industrial companies. Gregory most recently led the healthcare practice at Aquiline Capital Partners, while also covering financial services and business services for the firm.

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William Riedlinger launches placement agency to help emerging managers raise early funds

Will Riedlinger

Will Riedlinger has started a new firm to help emerging managers, both U.S. and European, raise their early institutional funds.

Late last year Riedlinger launched placement agency WHR Capital based in New York City, PECN has learned. The firm plans to help spin-out groups and other young firms raising funds of $150 million to $300 million or so. Investment strategies of interest include private equity, private credit, pharmaceutical royalties, music royalties, aircraft leasing and turnarounds.

Over the previous year Riedlinger had served as head of institutional sales-Americas at Global Founders Capital, the seed-stage and growth-equity arm of Berlin, Germany-based Rocket Internet.

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Philip Lo joins GPI Capital to head IR, biz dev; hints at hiring plans

Philip Lo

Philip Lo this month joined minority-stake and growth equity investor GPI Capital as managing director-investor relations and business development. In an interview with PECN this week Lo said he sees fundraising in the firm’s future, as well as an opportunity for hiring.

Lo most recently served as managing director of investor relations at fast-growing tech specialist Siris Capital, which last year closed a fourth fund at $3.45 billion. Lo was a founding member of the investment team, joining them at hedge fund manager SAC Capitalin 2007, four years before they spun out to form Siris Capital.

Siris Capital quickly became a fundraising force, adding some $6 billion in committed capital to its war chest as well as offering equity co-investments to consummate larger transactions. About five to six years ago, Lo switched from the investment team to investor relations in part to take charge of the co-investment syndication process.

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In game of risk, it’s always the board’s move

Jay Heilbrunn, president of The Distributor Board Inc and a director on the boards of private companies and organizations over the years, recalls a board meeting at a company whose biggest customer represented a substantial slice of its business.

“What’s the plan for taking $2 million out of expenses next week?” Heilbrunn recalled asking the managers. “They kind of looked at me like this is really a strange question.” Heilbrunn said he persisted: “Well, when this customer leaves, we’re going to have to jettison $2 million of expenses, and where’s it going to come from?”

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Women executives cite progress toward diversity but describe big challenges ahead; sometimes you have to ‘shake it off’

Olga Kaplan, a technology investor at Goldman Sachs, recalls a time earlier in her career when she was in her 20s sourcing new investments in b-to-b software. That meant spending a lot of time with male executives 20 to 30 years her senior.

“I would say probably once every two weeks there was some sort of inappropriate comment…or an offer to fly to Paris in a private jet, which happened multiple times,” said Kaplan (seated at left in picture). Then again, she added, “It’s a lot better now than it used to be.”

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Kinzie Capital’s Suzanne Yoon looks ahead to next fund, more hiring

Suzanne Yoon

“I do feel that as a female minority in our industry that I have an obligation to elevate women [and minorities] in all fields and industries,” said Suzanne Yoon, founder and managing partner at Chicago-based Kinzie Capital.

And Yoon said that it’s not just diversity in gender and race that she’s after in building her private-equity firm. It’s also diversity in age, experience, ways of thinking. “I know that diversity produces good results,” she said.


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Accelerator for women-run funds to expand to Los Angeles, London

Kelly Williams

Private Equity Women Investor Network plans to expand Project Pinklight–an accelerator program designed to help women launch their own private equity funds. The program addresses an appalling lack of diversity among founding partners.

From beachheads in New York City and San Francisco, where participating firms have closed on a total of some $300 million, the organization plans to roll out the program to Los Angeles and London, Kelly Williams, PEWIN founding chair,  told PECW.

In each of its regional headquarters PEWIN expects to usher three to four firms through the accelerator every year, said Williams.

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Private-equity investment committees with women make better calls

Research by consulting firm McKinsey & Co suggests that companies perform best when they have women represented on their boards and in senior management. So it’s perhaps not surprising that fresh research suggests a similar phenomena in private equity.

Speaking last evening at the National Arts Club in New York City, Oliver Gottschalg, professor at HEC Paris, presented research from his business school and from placement agent MVision suggesting that deals approved by diverse investment committees at buyout firms–those with at least one woman member–significantly outperform those approved by all-male investment committees.

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Trevor Noah to private equity minorities: Embrace outsider status

“People don’t realize that one of the greatest gifts you can have in life is being an outsider,” said South African comedian, author, and political commentator Trevor Noah to a packed ballroom in New York City last Thursday night, June 13.

“When you’re an outsider you acknowledge that the world you’re existing in is not your own,” said Noah. “You understand that you are trying to get to something that belongs to someone else. You are the other. And when you’re the other you become comfortable…”

Noah added: “When you’re an insider, few things are more terrifying than being threatened with being an outsider. You feel as though people are taking away something from you. You feel like you’re losing your grip on being part of.”


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Clearlake’s José E. Feliciano makes $500K gift to Toigo Foundation

José E. Feliciano, co-founder and managing partner of Clearlake Capital Group, announced a $500,000 gift to the Toigo Foundation, made jointly by his firm and by the Kwanza Jones & José E. Feliciano Supercharged Initiative.

Feliciano disclosed the gift last night during a short but rousing speech at the Toigo Foundation’s annual gala in New York City during which he challenged the industry to do more to fulfill the foundation’s mission of bringing more diversity to financial services.

“I’m a firm believer that financial success, financial prowess, investment judgment doesn’t have a color, doesn’t have a religion, doesn’t have a gender, doesn’t have a sexual preference,” Feliciano told a packed house in the ballroom of Cipriani Wall Street. “Investment judgment is color-blind and gender-neutral.” Attendees pledged at least another $394,000 during the event via text message.