Marissa Epstein and Rhea Hamilton join new firms while Maggie Littlefield Sahlman, Carolyn Wintner and Mary Kate Bertke earn promotions

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing July 19, 2021

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Angela Miller-May set to become the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund’s next CIO

The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund taps Angela Miller-May to be its next chief investment officer. She fills a role that has been open since Dhvani Shah left late last year to become come CIO of JM Family Enterprises.

Angela has been CIO of the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund. She previously worked in the financial services industry, including for the Chicago-based Northern Trust Co. Angela will start with IMRF next month where she will be responsible for its $54 billion investment portfolio. She will also manage a staff of 16 investment professionals who partner with more than 100 investment management firms.

In a statement, Angela said, “it’s an honor to join an institution that embodies excellence and values a culture of collaboration, teamwork and diversity. I am so excited to hit the ground running next month. Every day, I am going to be laser-focused on seeking out the very best investment opportunities and investment partners, to help IMRF deliver on its pension promises to Illinois’ public servants, while keeping costs manageable and predictable for our participating units of government.”

Angela spoke at the Virtual Women’s Leadership Unbound Summit. IMRF is Illinois’ best-funded statewide public pension. Based in Oak Brook, Ill., it is Illinois’ second-largest pension plan, with more than 440,000 members and more than 3,000 participating units of local government.

Marissa Epstein joins Springdale Ventures as a partner

Springdale Ventures, whose co-founder is Genevieve Gilbreath, brings aboard Marissa Epstein as its third general partner. Marissa, who has advised Springdale for the past two years, joins Genevieve and co-founder Dan Graham in guiding the Austin, Texas venture firm. In her new role, Marissa will seek to deepen the firm’s ecosystem, source potential investments, serve on portfolio company boards and help raise its second fund.

Most recently, Marissa was the director of The University of Texas Nutrition Institute, where she developed programs and courses that guide early-stage food and beverage entrepreneurs from ideation to product-market fit through iterative, consumer-centered design. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, Marissa has spent nearly a decade partnering with business leaders to build innovative brands after driving nutrition initiatives at The White House. She served there as associate director of the Let’s Move! campaign for Michelle Obama. She went on to lead health education technology and services for Stanford Health Care.

In a statement, Genevieve said, “we are thrilled to welcome Marissa to the team. She adds a fresh perspective, has extensive experience in nutrition innovation, deep insights into what makes products successful in the market, and knows how to tap into public and private research to help our portfolio companies scale.” Springdale partners with founders to accelerate growth of transformative, early-stage consumer brands that are both digitally native and retail ready.

Rhea Hamilton is leaving OGCI Climate Investments to join BeyondNetZero

Rhea Hamilton is leaving her role as a managing director with OGCI Climate Investments to join a new venture that will make growth equity investments related to climate change. Rhea will join BeyondNetZero as a managing director next month. Private equity firm General Atlantic formed BnZ with John Browne, a senior advisor to the firm and former group chief executive with BP. The BnZ team will identify and scale innovative solutions that focus on meeting and exceeding Net Zero emissions targets.

At OGCI Climate, Rhea led the venture and growth investments globally. OGCI, whose CEO is Pratima Rangarajan, is a more than $1 billion fund that invests in solutions to decarbonize sectors like oil and gas, industrials and commercial transport. Rhea’s background also includes leading private equity transactions for RobecoSAM and a large European family office.

BnZ’s advisors include Enass Abo-Hamed, co-founder and CEO of H2GO Power, Ltd.; Diana Fox Carney, a senior advisor at Eurasia Group; Lynn Gladden, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge; Rachel Kyte, dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University; and Elizabeth Littlefield, who is former president and CEO of OPIC – now known as the U.S. International Development Corp.

Maggie Littlefield Sahlman and Carolyn Wintner are promoted to managing directors at Charlesbank Capital Partners

Charlesbank Capital Partners, LLC promotes Maggie Littlefield Sahlman and Carolyn Wintner. Maggie and Carolyn are now managing directors at the firm. Maggie joined Charlesbank in 2019 to lead the firm’s fundraising and investor relations efforts. Previously, she was a managing director in the Private Funds Group at Houlihan Lokey, which acquired her predecessor firm, BearTooth Advisory. Before that, she worked at Advent International and started her career at Goldman Sachs. Maggie spoke at the Virtual Women’s Alternative Investment Summit.

Before joining Charlesbank as the head of capital markets in 2019, Carolyn worked at Bain Capital Credit, most recently as a director in the private credit group. At Charlesbank, she oversees all capital markets activities across new and existing platform investments, including leveraged buyouts, add-ons and recapitalizations. She also manages the firm’s relationships with leveraged finance providers and advisors while working actively with the firm’s credit opportunities strategy.

Charlesbank Capital Partners is a middle-market private investment firm focused on management-led buyouts and growth capital financings, as well as opportunistic credit and technology investments.

Jodie Morrison joins Atlas Venture as a venture partner

Atlas Venture welcomes Jodie Morrison to its team to help build new biotech companies. Jodie joins the early-stage venture capital firm as a venture partner. She most recently served as CEO of Cadent Therapeutics, which Atlas Venture formed and which was acquired by Novartis earlier this year. Prior to Cadent, Jodie served as interim chief executive officer at Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. where she led its merger with Akebia Therapeutics. Her experience also includes serving as acting chief operating officer at Syntimmune, which was acquired by Alexion. Before that, she served as president and chief executive officer of Tokai Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where she led its 2014 IPO and 2016 merger with Otic Pharma, creating Novus Therapeutics, Inc.

Sara Boyd and Erin Elferdink join Halstatt Real Estate Partners

Halstatt Real Estate Partners, which is led by Katherine “Katie” Sproul, adds Sara Boyd and Erin Elferdink to its team. Sara joins as director of investor relations and Erin as a real estate analyst.

Previously, Sara served as the director of investor relations at Graham Partners and had begun her career in the investment management division at Goldman Sachs. In this newly created role, she will be responsible for building and maintaining relationships with institutional and family office investors and will help Halstatt continue to grow both in assets under management as well as diversifying across asset classes and geographies.

Erin joins from completing her Master of Science in real estate at University of Florida and will be responsible for supporting investment initiatives, managing deal pipeline and financial modeling.

In a statement, Katie said “I am thrilled to welcome Sara and Erin to the Halstatt team. As a female-led organization, we believe that fostering a diverse and inclusive team not only aligns with our core values but enhances our investment outcomes and supports our commitment to ESG.”

Great Hill Partners promotes Mary Kate Bertke to managing director

Great Hill Partners promotes Mary Kate Bertke. Mary Kate is now a managing director at the Boston private equity firm. She will continue to focus on maintaining and developing relationships with existing and prospective global limited partners as head of investor relations. Mary Kate joined Great Hill in 2012 and over the course of her tenure at the firm has helped raise three funds aggregating over $5 billion.

Great Hill targets investments of $25 million to $500 million in high-growth companies across the software, digital commerce, financial technology, healthcare and digital infrastructure sectors.

Orion Energy Partners promotes Karen Vejseli and Lauren Key and adds Chrissy Benson, Bethany Gorham, Georgiana Zehner, Ariel Mor, Kaitlyn Evins and Lindsay Hagemann to its team

Orion Energy Partners appoints Karen Vejseli and Lauren Key to new leadership roles and adds Chrissy Benson, Bethany Gorham, Georgiana Zehner, Ariel Mor, Kaitlyn Evins and Lindsay Hagemann to its team. Karen is now partner, group chief financial officer and Lauren is now managing director, fund operations and finance.

Chrissy joins the firm as managing director and investment principal and Bethany joins as senior vice president of the investor development, engagement and accountability group. Georgiana joined as senior associate, investments, Ariel as an investment associate, Kaitlin as associate, fund operations and finance and Lindsay as a senior analyst, fund operations and finance.

Orion is a private credit and equity capital provider supporting middle market infrastructure and related companies focused on energy transition and environmental innovation.

Victoria Wain is promoted to investment director at Phoenix Equity Partners

Phoenix Equity Partners promotes Victoria Wain. Victoria is now an investment director at the London private equity firm. She joined Phoenix in 2018 and works across several sectors including healthcare and consumer and leisure. She has been involved in several of Phoenix’s investments, including Setfords and Spy Alarms. Prior to Phoenix, Victoria was a member of PwC’s corporate finance and transaction services teams.

Tikehau Capital names Cécile Cabanis deputy chief executive officer

Tikehau Capital appoints Cécile Cabanis to a newly created executive position. Cécile is now the deputy chief executive officer for the group. In this position, she will oversee human capital, ESG/CSR, communications and brand marketing functions of the group. She will also coordinate the group’s efforts to develop its global network with corporates and further develop its franchise.

Cécile joins from Danone Group where she was executive vice-president in charge of finance, strategy, information systems, purchasing, cycles and sustainable resource development, a member of the executive committee and sponsor of inclusive diversity. She began her career at L’Oréal in South Africa before joining the mergers and acquisitions department of Orange.

Tikehau Capital is a Paris-based global alternative asset management group.

Parul Singh joins Initialized Capital as a partner

Initialized Capital adds Parul Singh to its investment team. Parul joined the San Francisco venture firm as a partner. She was formerly a principal at Founder Collective where she led investments in Embark Veterinary, Broadlume, Running Tide, HumanFirst, Flue Health and HealthNote. In her new role, she will focus on healthtech, SaaS and analytics. Initialized in 2020 closed its fifth fund at $230 million. The firm’s team also includes general partner Alda Leu Dennis and partners Jen Wolf and Kim-Mai Cutler.

Baily Blair Kempner joins BC Partners as a managing director

Industry veteran Baily Blair Kempner has joined BC Partners. Baily is now a managing director, investor relations in the private equity firm’s New York office. She previously was head of U.S. strategic partnerships at Ninety One, previously known as Investec Asset Management. At Ninety One, Baily was responsible for business development and fundraising with U.S. institutional clients. Her background also includes roles with The Abraaj Group, Endeavor Global and Lehman Brothers. Baily is a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit.

Melissa Klafter leaves Sun Capital Partners to join AE Industrial Partners as a partner and CFO

Melissa Klafter leaves her longtime role as chief financial officer of Sun Capital Partners to join another Florida private equity firm. Melissa is now with AE Industrial Partners as a partner and chief financial officer. Prior to joining Sun Capital in 2006, Melissa was a vice president in the alternative investments group at both Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs. Previously, she was in the audit practices of PricewaterhouseCoopers and Richard A. Eisner & Company. AE Industrial Partners is a private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense and government services, space, power generation and specialty industrial markets.

Arianna Simpson is tapped to help lead Andreessen Horowitz’s new crypto-focused fund

A month after closing its third crypto-focused fund, Andreessen Horowitz taps Arianna Simpson to help lead it. Arianna, who joined a16z in 2020, was made a general partner. She will lead the new $2.2 billion fund along with fellow general partners Katie Haun, Chris Dixon and Ali Yahya. Prior to a16z, Arianna ran her own crypto fund, Autonomous Partners.

Monica Varman and Valerie Shen are named partners at G2 Venture Partners

G2 Venture Partners gives Monica Varman and Valerie Shen significant new titles. Each are now partners with the Portola Valley, Calif. venture firm. Monica joined G2 in 2019 after roles with Tesla and McKinsey. During her time at the firm, she has worked closely with portfolio companies Sheertex, Pivot Bio, Proterra and ProducePay.

Valerie joined G2 last year and is the firm’s chief operating officer. She is responsible for all operational aspects of the firm including fundraising/LP relations, recruiting, HR fund administration, impact reporting, legal, compliance and marketing. Her background includes roles with Kleiner Perkins, X and McKinsey.

Earlier this year, G2 brought aboard Francesca Whitehead as an investor. She had previously been an associate with the KKR Global Impact Fund.

G2 is focused on emerging technologies driving sustainable transformation across traditional industries. It is investing from its $500 million second fund.

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