Hand, Darcy, Truex, Murphy, O’Neill and Messerschmidt are among those making moves this week

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing May 17, 2021

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Hand joins Quantum Energy Partners as head of ESG

Quantum Energy Partners adds Keila Hand to its team after enhancing its environmental, social and governance efforts. The Houston private equity firm named Keila as the head of ESG. The move follows Quantum becoming a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment to expand and improve how it incorporates material ESG factors into investment decision-making; becoming a signatory to the Institutional Limited Partners Association’s new diversity in action initiative; and collaborating with the Environmental Defense Fund on best practices in methane detection and reporting.

In her new role, Keila will work closely with Quantum’s executive leadership, limited partners and other industry stakeholders to expand the impact of the energy-focused firm’s ESG strategy and implementation programs. She will also work closely with Quantum’s portfolio companies to support the continued innovation and implementation of best practices and technologies across the Quantum portfolio.

In her prior experience, she led Crown Holding’s global sustainably program, was part of environmental science projects at NASA, led corporate sustainability partnerships at the World Wildlife Fund and was a sustainability director at PepsiCo.

Darcy leaves Victress Capital for CircleUp

Madeline Darcy has left her role as a vice president with Victress Capital to join CircleUp. Madeline is now a general partner with the consumer-focused firm. She tells Women’s PE Briefs that she “is thrilled for the adventure to come in backing early-stage consumer brands and to continue to push forward the growing number of women GPs in VC.”

Madeline first joined Victress in 2018 as an MBA intern. She joined the firm on a full-time basis in 2019. Victress was co-founded by Lori Cashman and Suzanne Norris to invest in gender-diverse teams.

Zhang is chosen to lead Huobi Ventures

Lily Zhang is chosen to lead Huobi Group’s new blockchain-focused venture arm. Lily will pilot Huobi Ventures, a subsidiary focused on growing the company’s venture investment portfolio and supporting innovative blockchain projects through long-term investment strategies.

Huobi Group is a London-based global blockchain asset financial service provider with a mission to make investing in alternative assets more efficient and adaptable. The new venture arm will deploy $100 million into early stage blockchain and decentralized finance projects over a three-year period, make strategic acquisitions to diversify and expand the company’s offerings and establish a dedicated $10 million NFT fund. Huobi Ventures consolidates several existing investment vehicles including Huobi Eco Fund, Huobi Capital and Huobi DeFi Labs into a single entity that will drive Huobi’s investment strategy.

In a statement, Lily said, “while we’ve made significant progress in our investments already, the formation of Huobi Ventures is a more concerted effort to accelerate our growth at a pivotal point for Huobi. We have had separate teams focus on different investment strategies, but by bringing everyone together under a single entity, we can create a more cohesive strategy and continue to invest in and support the most innovative projects that are shaping the blockchain and DeFi spaces.”

Huobi has invested $69.42 million across hundreds of projects in blockchain, media, public blockchains, stablecoins and more. The return and balance on hand has reached approximately $215 million.

Truex joins Atlas Ventures as a venture partner

Samantha Truex has joined Atlas Ventures. Sam is now a venture partner and will work with the Atlas team to start and build new biotech companies aimed at bringing therapeutic innovations to patients. She has worked closely with the Atlas team since 2014 as both an executive and board member across multiple portfolio companies.

In 2014, Sam joined Atlas-founded Padlock Therapeutics as chief business officer and subsequently served as chief operating officer at Synlogic. Most recently, she was chief executive officer of Atlas-founded Quench Bio. Sam also serves as an independent board member at HotSpot Therapeutics and has consulted with Disc Medicine, Ikena Oncology, Kymera Therapeutics and Obsidian Therapeutics. Previously, Sam served as vice president of corporate development at Biogen and in various roles at Genzyme, Chiron and Health Advances.

Atlas is an early-stage venture capital firm based in Cambridge, Mass. that invests in life science startup companies.

Murphy joins Artemis

Artemis adds Taylor Murphy to its team. Taylor joins the private equity firm as an associate and will focus on due diligence, transaction support, reporting and portfolio company support. She joins from Canaccord Genuity’s global capital markets division where she was involved in more than 25 deals during the three years she spent with the firm. Artemis specializes in investing in differentiated industrial technologies.

O'Neill joins MetaProp as a partner

MetaProp adds Monica O’Neill to its team. Monica is joining the proptech venture capital firm as partner. In her new role, she will help supercharge MetaProp’s investment management capabilities going forward, further positioning the firm to prosper in the months and years ahead. She will build the New York-based company’s new institutional client program, and oversee investor relations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia endowments, foundations, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurance companies.

Monica has over 30 years of experience as an international investment executive. Prior to her move to MetaProp, she was CEO of ENSO Advisors, an equity capital, marketing and investment product development consulting firm that she founded in 2015.

Messerschmidt steps down at Lightspeed to focus on #ANGELS

Jana Messerschmidt steps down from her role as a partner with Lightspeed Venture Partners to focus on #ANGELS – which she and five other former or current Twitter executives formed six years ago. Jana joined Lightspeed in December 2018 and led investments in Level, The Nudge, Runway and Locker Room, which was acquired by Spotify.

Jana formed #ANGELS with April Underwood, Katie Jacobs Stanton, Jessica Verrilli, Vijaya Gadde and Chloe Sladden. April is now a venture partner with Obvious Ventures and the founder of Nearby; Katie founded Moxxie; Jessica is a general partner with GV Ventures; Vijaya is Twitter’s chief legal officer and general counsel; and Cloe founded Honeycomb. Jana was previously a vice president, global business development and platform at Twitter.

#ANGELS investments include Carta, Clubhouse, Color, Bird, Lambda School, Nurx, Carrot, Pacaso, Snackpass and Streamlit.

Messina launches Portside Capital Solutions

Daniela Messina launches Portside Capital Solutions. Portside will provide strategic counsel to private equity funds, single and multi-family offices, emerging funds, independent sponsors and corporate clients. Daniela previously served as director of business development for Nixon Peabody’s private equity and family office practice. She also launched a women-in private equity effort in Boston and New York City and continues to help make progress with helping advance efforts of women and minorities in the private equity and family offices industry.

In a statement, Daniela said, “Portside Capital brings together my decades of experience and expertise with highly personalized and targeted counsel to help clients source deals, raise capital and provide value to dealmakers across various industries. I’m committed to recognizing meaningful synergies and connecting deal making stakeholders with a purpose.”

Lichnock named first female CEO of CalSTRS

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System will be led for the first time by a woman. Cassandra Lichnock was named CEO of the world’s largest educator-only pension fund – a fund with 75 percent female membership. She will begin her role on July 1.

Cassandra has been with CalSTRS since August 2008 and has served since March 2013 as chief operating officer. In that role, she has overseen the audit services, enterprise strategy management, administrative services, benefits and services, public affairs and technology services divisions as well as the Ombuds office.

In a statement, Cassandra said, “I am already working with the board and executives to build on the progress we’ve made on sustainability, social responsibility, diversity, equity and inclusion. It’s not lost on me that I am the first woman to lead CalSTRS. I am so proud of our culture. Our staff’s dedication to our mission and their work is what makes CalSTRS an outstanding organization and destination employer. I am excited to lead this organization as we take on the challenges and opportunities the future will present.”

CalSTRS has more than 975,000 members and approximately $299.8 billion in assets under management as of April 30.

Tannenbaum leaves Brightstar Capital to join Astara

Lindsey Tannenbaum leaves her role as a principal with Brightstar Capital Partners to join another investment firm. Lindsey is now an investor with Astara Capital Partners. Based in New York, Astara focuses on a value-oriented and special situations investment strategy in the middle market and invests in a variety of sectors.

Lindsey spent nearly four years at Brightstar where she was on the boards of Amerit Fleet Solutions, QualTek USA and Capstone Nutrition. Brightstar, in fact, just closed its second fund at $1.27 billion. Lindsey’s background also includes roles with Arlon Group and KPS Capital Partners.

David leaves L Catterton to join Vista Equity Partners

Monica Davis leaves her role as managing director, investor relations with L Catterton to join another private equity firm. Monica is now with Vista Equity Partners’ capital and partner solutions group.

Monica was at L Catterton for just over two years. She previously was a director in the client and partner group at KKR and worked in Merrill Lynch & Co.’s Private Equity Funds Group.

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