MissionOG taps Saunders as senior adviser

Philadelphia-based MissionOG, a B2B high-growth venture firm, has named Ted Saunders as a senior adviser. Currently, Saunders is chairman and CEO of Community Choice Financial. PRESS RELEASE PHILADELPHIA (PRWEB) DECEMBER 13, 2018 MissionOG, a leading B2B high-growth investment firm, announced today that it has expanded its leadership team with the addition of Ted Saunders as a senior advisor. With the addition of Mr. Saunders, MissionOG further broadens its experience within the targeted investment segments of the firm — financial services and payments, data platforms, and software. As a senior advisor, Mr. Saunders will offer deep domain knowledge, identify and evaluate investment opportunities, and work with existing and future portfolio companies to maximize outcomes. “Ted brings a wealth of operating expertise and a strong knowledge of the lending sector,” remarked MissionOG managing partner Gene Lockhart. Mr. Saunders is currently the Chairman & CEO at Community Choice Financial, which was established
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Brightstar announces promotions and hires

Brightstar Capital Partners has promoted Renee Noto to president, Matthew Allard to partner and Ronak Amin, Ross Kilroy and Lindsey Tannenbaum to principals. The firm also hired Reidar Brekke as a senior partner and Jarrett Arkin as a vice president. PRESS RELEASE NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Brightstar Capital Partners (“Brightstar”), a private investment firm that partners with closely-held, family-owned middle market companies, has announced the promotions of Renee Noto to President, Matthew Allard to Partner and Ronak Amin, Ross Kilroy and Lindsey Tannenbaum to Principals. The firm also announced that Reidar Brekke has joined as a Senior Partner and Jarrett Arkin as a Vice President. On making the announcement, Andrew Weinberg, Founder, CEO and Managing Partner said: “These promotions and appointments further ensure the firm’s leadership is well positioned as we continue to grow and pursue new investment opportunities in the middle market.” Mr. Weinberg continued:
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VC-backed AEye appoints LaCorte as president

Pleasanton, California-based AEye Inc, a developer of advanced vision hardware, software and algorithms for self-driving vehicles, has named Blair LaCorte as president. He is the former global president of Production Resource Group. AEye’s backers include Taiwania Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Intel Capital, Airbus Ventures and Tychee Partners. PRESS RELEASE AEye’s former Chief of Staff will lead the company’s growth and expansion as its iDAR™ system is set to scale production for the global automotive market
AEye Inc., a leader in artificial perception systems and the creators of iDAR™, today announced the appointment of Blair LaCorte as president. LaCorte initially invested in AEye’s Series A in 2016, and was named chairman of the advisory board. He joined the management team as chief of staff in August 2017. An accomplished executive and strategist, LaCorte will now bring to bear his extensive leadership experience as the company’s new president. LaCorte has run
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VC-backed AEye appoints LaCorte as president

Pleasanton, California-based AEye Inc, a developer of advanced vision hardware, software and algorithms for self-driving vehicles, has named Blair LaCorte as president. He is the former global president of Production Resource Group. AEye’s backers include Taiwania Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Intel Capital, Airbus Ventures and Tychee Partners. PRESS RELEASE AEye’s former Chief of Staff will lead the company’s growth and expansion as its iDAR™ system is set to scale production for the global automotive market
AEye Inc., a leader in artificial perception systems and the creators of iDAR™, today announced the appointment of Blair LaCorte as president. LaCorte initially invested in AEye’s Series A in 2016, and was named chairman of the advisory board. He joined the management team as chief of staff in August 2017. An accomplished executive and strategist, LaCorte will now bring to bear his extensive leadership experience as the company’s new president. LaCorte has run
™
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Battistoni joins Charlesbank Capital Partners

Darren Battistoni has joined Charlesbank Capital Partners as a managing director. Battistoni is the founding partner of Pamplona TMT. PRESS RELEASE
Charlesbank Capital Partners is pleased to announce the appointment of Darren Battistoni as Managing Director, the latest addition to the private equity firm’s senior investment team. Darren brings 14 years of experience in technology investing to the role.
Darren began his investment career at Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe in 2004. In 2016 he became a founding partner at Pamplona TMT, where he co-led a $1 billion technology-focused fund that invested in several segments including cloud computing, cybersecurity, healthcare technology and software. While at Pamplona, Darren worked closely with Hiren Mankodi, who joined Charlesbank as a Managing Director in October. Together they will lead the firm’s efforts in the technology industry.
“We are thrilled to welcome Darren to the Charlesbank partnership,” says Michael Choe, Charlesbank CEO. “His deep knowledge
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Nives joins Gridiron Capital

John Nives has joined Gridiron Capital LLC as an operating partner. Nives helped launched Watson at IBM. PRESS RELEASE Gridiron Capital Continues Digital, Data, and Artificial Intelligence Capability Build New Canaan, CT, December 13, 2018 — Gridiron Capital, LLC (“Gridiron Capital”) continues to invest in its capabilities in digital marketing, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to boost its portfolio companies’ capabilities. Gridiron Capital is pleased to announce the addition of John Nives as Operating Partner. Mr. Nives brings additional expertise in Digital, Predictive Analytics, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) transformation. He will apply his Digital Transformation leadership and experience across our existing portfolio and as we evaluate new investment opportunities. Prior to joining Gridiron Capital, Mr. Nives has relevant experience at IBM where he helped launch Watson. Concurrently, Mr. Nives is on the Rutgers University faculty where he teaches Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for Executives. His prior relevant experience
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Partners Capital to open San Francisco office in July ’19

Partners Capital, an outsourced investment office acting for endowments, foundations and ultra high-net-worth families in Europe, North America and Asia, is planning to open a West Coast office in San Francisco in July 2019. Sudharshan Murugesu, who joined the firm in 2013, will lead the new office. Prior to joining Partners Capital, Murugesu worked at Bain Capital, Marshall Wace and Vantage Investment Management. PRESS RELEASE Partners Capital, the $24 billion assets under management Outsourced Investment Office acting for endowments and foundations and ultra-high-net-worth families in Europe, North America and Asia, today announces the planned opening of its West Coast office in July 2019 to be headed by Sudharshan (“Sud”) Murugesu. Sud joined Partners Capital in 2013 after five years of principal investing roles with private equity firm Bain Capital and hedge funds Marshall Wace and Vantage Investment Management. Sud is a graduate of Cambridge University where he was
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Partners Capital to open San Francisco office in July ’19

Partners Capital, an outsourced investment office acting for endowments, foundations and ultra high-net-worth families in Europe, North America and Asia, is planning to open a West Coast office in San Francisco in July 2019. Sudharshan Murugesu, who joined the firm in 2013, will lead the new office. Prior to joining Partners Capital, Murugesu worked at Bain Capital, Marshall Wace and Vantage Investment Management. PRESS RELEASE Partners Capital, the $24 billion assets under management Outsourced Investment Office acting for endowments and foundations and ultra-high-net-worth families in Europe, North America and Asia, today announces the planned opening of its West Coast office in July 2019 to be headed by Sudharshan (“Sud”) Murugesu. Sud joined Partners Capital in 2013 after five years of principal investing roles with private equity firm Bain Capital and hedge funds Marshall Wace and Vantage Investment Management. Sud is a graduate of Cambridge University where he was
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Thoma Bravo-backed Apttus appoints chief legal officer

Apttus, which is backed by Thoma Bravo, has named Omer Rafatullah as chief legal officer. Previously, he worked at Kirkland & Ellis LLP where he was a corporate partner. PRESS RELEASE SAN MATEO, Calif., Dec. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Apttus, the global Middle Office leader, today announced Omer Rafatullah as its Chief Legal Officer (CLO). He has a proven track record of delivering innovative, strategic, and business-oriented solutions to complex legal, business, and regulatory issues. As CLO, Omer will provide legal direction and guidance to Apttus’ leadership team. “Omer Rafatullah is a proven legal executive and business leader with expertise in business growth strategies, corporate governance and complex services transactions,” said David Murphy, Executive Chairman at Apttus. “As we continue to grow and lead the Middle Office opportunity, Omer will work across our organization to ensure that we fulfill the market opportunity Apttus has created.” Omer
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DCM promotes two to partner

DCM, an early-stage venture firm, has promoted Kyle Lui and Ray Zhao to partner. Lui is based in the U.S. and Zhao is in China. Prior to joining DCM, Lui was co-founder and CEO of ChoicePass, which was acquired by SalesForce. And, Zhao worked at Tencent Investment. PRESS RELEASE SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today DCM, an early stage global venture capital firm, announced it promoted Kyle Lui in the U.S. and Ray Zhao in China, to Partner. With these new additions, DCM now has seven partners across its three geographic locations in China, the U.S., and Japan.
Before joining DCM in 2014, Lui was co-founder and CEO of ChoicePass which was acquired by SalesForce. At DCM, Lui has focused on early stage consumer internet, enterprise software and financial technology investments. During 2018, Lui was deeply involved with three exits: BitTorrent, Wrike and Tapingo. During his
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Star Mountain hires Glennon as VP

Star Mountain Capital LLC, an investment manager focused on the U.S. lower middle-market, has named Michael Glennon as a vice president. His work background includes stints at Blackstone and Marakon. He also worked at the White House as an economic associate focusing on economic policy, research and political appointments. PRESS RELEASE NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Star Mountain Capital, LLC (“Star Mountain”), a specialized investment manager focused exclusively on the large and underserved U.S. lower middle-market, is pleased to announce that Michael Glennon recently joined as a Vice President. Michael is another example of Star Mountain bringing proven large market expertise and resources to established, private small and medium-sized businesses as a differentiator for both the companies it invests in, as well as for the institutional and individual investors who are aligned with Star Mountain. Mr. Glennon has over 10 years of business development, investment, operations and investor relations experience
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Tailwind promotes two to partner and another to managing director

Tailwind Capital has promoted Brian Berkin and Andrew Mayer to partner and Will Fleder to managing director. Berkin joined the middle-market private equity firm in 2017 while Mayer came on board in 2012. And, Fleder joined Tailwind in 2011. PRESS RELEASE NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tailwind Capital (“Tailwind”), a middle market private equity firm investing in targeted sectors within healthcare, business services and industrial services, announced the promotions of Brian Berkin and Andrew Mayer to Partner and Will Fleder to Managing Director. Larry Sorrel, Managing Partner at Tailwind, commented, “Brian, Andrew and Will are incredibly valuable members of our team and have played a significant role in Tailwind’s accomplishments to date. We are thrilled to recognize these individuals and their contributions to the firm. Tailwind is committed to the development of our professionals and believe Brian, Andrew and Will represent the next generation of leaders at the firm.” Brian, Andrew and
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Nixon Peabody beefs up corporate practice with new hire

Law firm Nixon Peabody has hired Lior Zorea as a partner to its national corporate practice. Based in the San Francisco office, Zorea represents emerging growth companies and venture capital funds. Previously, he worked at Perkins Coie LLP. PRESS RELEASE San Francisco, CA. Lior Zorea, an experienced, well-regarded emerging growth companies, venture capital and mergers and acquisitions partner, has joined global Top 100 law firm Nixon Peabody’s national corporate practice as part of a strategic move by the firm to expand its capabilities on the West Coast. The firm has a strong reputation in the areas of securities law, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions. Based in the San Francisco office, Lior represents emerging growth companies and venture capital funds with respect to their financing and general corporate needs. He has worked with clients in virtually every information technology industry, including internet, consumer-interfacing and enterprise software, digital media, semiconductor, mobile
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Foresite recruits Smith as IR head

Foresite Capital, a healthcare and life sciences investment firm, has named Nick Smith as head of investor relations. Previously, Smith opened Winton Group‘s San Francisco office and data center. PRESS RELEASE San Francisco, CA — December 11, 2018 — Foresite Capital, a multi-stage healthcare and life sciences investment firm, today announced the appointment of Nick Smith as head of investor relations. Nick will lead Foresite Capital’s investor relations team, assuming responsibility for deepening relationships with the firm’s existing and prospective limited partners. Nick will be based in San Francisco. Before joining Foresite Capital, Smith opened Winton Group’s San Francisco office and data science center, where he served the company as director and regional head of client advisory. In addition to servicing Winton’s clients and prospective clients, Nick was responsible for broad business development, including strategic collaborations within the technology and venture capital communities. Previously, Nick led marketing and
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Siris appoints Cozzolino as exec partner

Siris Capital Group LLC has named Joe Cozzolino as an executive partner. Previously, he worked at Cisco Services where he was a senior vice president and worldwide general manager. PRESS RELEASE NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Siris Capital Group, LLC (“Siris”), a leading private equity firm focused on making control investments in data, telecommunications, technology and technology-enabled business service companies, today announced that Joe Cozzolino has joined Siris as an executive partner. Mr. Cozzolino was most recently Senior Vice President and Worldwide General Manager at Cisco Services. In his new role at Siris, Mr. Cozzolino will work closely with the firm’s investment professionals and other executive partners to identify and validate potential investment opportunities for Siris as well as assist in the oversight and operations of Siris’ portfolio companies. With more than 30 years of experience in the technology and telecommunications industry, Mr. Cozzolino brings a wealth of
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Kleiner Perkins GP Feng to leave firm

Eric Feng, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins, is leaving the Silicon Valley-based venture firm in the next few weeks, he announced in a post. Feng said the reason for the exit are that his “passions and interests have changed for something different,” adding he will disclose more later. Feng joined Kleiner Perkins in 2010. In addition to his work at Kleiner Perkins, Feng was CTO of Flipboard and Hulu.

SeventySix Capital adds ex-NFL player Westbrook to athlete venture group

SeventySix Capital, a sports-focused venture firm, has added ex-NFL player Brian Westbrook as an investor to its athlete venture group. SeventySix Capital’s athlete venture group allows professional athletes to invest, learn and work directly with sports tech startups and entrepreneurs. During his career, Westbrook played for the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers. PRESS RELEASE PHILADELPHIA, December 6, 2018 – Today, SeventySix Capital, a sports tech venture capital fund led by former MLB superstar Ryan Howard, announced that NFL legend Brian Westbrook has joined the firm’s Athlete Venture Group as an investor. Westbrook joins a growing team of athlete investors at SeventySix Capital, including Howard, DeMarco Murray and Ralph Sampson, which is becoming the go-to platform for professional athletes looking to partner with an experienced venture capital investment team. SeventySix Capital’s Athlete Venture Group allows players to invest, learn, and work directly with top sports tech startups
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PE-backed Tronair names Schwarzbaum as CEO

Tronair Inc, a portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital, has appointed Paul Schwarzbaum as CEO. Schwarzbaum succeeds Harley Kaplan, who has retired. Previously, Schwarzbaum was president and CEO of GT Technologies Inc. Based in Swanton, Ohio, Tronair is a maker and seller of ground support equipment for business, commercial and military aircraft. PRESS RELEASE SWANTON, OHIO (PRWEB) DECEMBER 10, 2018 Tronair, Inc. (“Tronair” or “the Company”), a portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital, today announced the appointment of Paul Schwarzbaum as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Schwarzbaum succeeds Harley Kaplan, who has retired. Mr. Schwarzbaum has over 30 years of business leadership experience in publicly-traded and privately owned manufacturing companies. Most recently, Mr. Schwarzbaum was President and CEO of GT Technologies, Inc. (“GTT”), an international supplier of automotive engine components. During his six-year tenure, Mr. Schwarzbaum oversaw the transformation of this business into a highly profitable
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Specialty pharma company Moksha8 adds Garcia-Valiño to board

Moksha8, which is backed by Montreux Equity Partners, has named Mariano Garcia-Valiño as a board member and chairman of its compensation and business development committees. Recently, Garcia-Valiño stepped down as CEO of Biotoscana Investments, a company he launched and took public in 2017. Moksha8 is a specialty pharmaceutical company. PRESS RELEASE BERWIN, Pa., Dec. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — MOKSHA8, a specialty pharmaceutical company, announces the appointment of Mariano Garcia-Valiño as a Board Member and Chairman of its Compensation and Business Development Committees. Mariano has been active at the intersection of healthcare, deal-making and entrepreneurship for over 25 years, experiencing the space from many different angles, be it by building and operating companies, leading M&A and licensing transactions, working for some of the premier players in the business or managing investments for professional equity firms. Recently, Mariano stepped down as CEO of Biotoscana Investments, a company he
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Frazier-backed VCA recruits Shader as president and CEO

Vein Clinics of America, a portfolio company of Frazier Healthcare Partners, has named Alton Shader as president and CEO. The appointment becomes effective December 10, 2018. Shader previously worked at Hill-Rom. VCA is a provider of treatments for chronic venous insufficiency. PRESS RELEASE SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Vein Clinics of America (“VCA”), a Frazier Healthcare Partners (“Frazier”) portfolio company, today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Alton Shader as President and Chief Executive Officer effective December 10. Hans Thunem, VCA’s current CEO, made the decision earlier this year to retire from CEO work. VCA, headquartered in suburban Chicago, is a leading provider of treatments for chronic venous insufficiency (“CVI”) operating through a network of 64 outpatient clinics in 14 states across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. “After a very thorough search for a new CEO, we are thrilled that Alton is joining VCA as our new leader,” said Nathan Every,
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