Shelby Wanstrath and and Sue Yang are among those joining new firms

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing July 12, 2021

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Shelby Wanstrath leaves the Teacher Retirement System of Texas to join Vista Equity Partners

Last month, we told you that Shelby Wanstrath had left her role as co-head of private equity funds at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and would be joining a new firm in August. Well, we now know where she’s headed. Shelby is joining Vista Equity Partners as managing director, corporate growth initiatives. Based in Austin, Texas, Shelby will work with Vista’s executives and the broader organization to lead and support key cross-functional initiatives with a specific focus on new product development, strategic partnerships and fund management programs.

In a statement, Shelby said, “I am thrilled to join Vista at a time when the firm’s growth is only accelerating and the rapid digitization of our world is fueling demand for enterprise software. Vista’s mission and the boundless potential for impact catalyzed by its technology investment platform is made possible by their commitment to a culture of excellence and innovation. I look forward to being part of an organization that leads with purpose and drawing on my LP and GP experience in partnership with the Vista team to create enduring market value for investors and all stakeholders alike.”

During her time at TRS, she oversaw the group’s $27 billion private equity funds portfolio and was a member of the private equity investment and management committees. Prior to joining TRS in 2014, she led European private equity investments for Partner’s Group. Her background also includes roles with WhiteHorse Capital and Prudential Capital Group. Shelby has spoken at both the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit and the Women’s Private Equity Summit which Vista is a longtime sponsor of.

Vista has more than $75 billion in assets under management and invests exclusively in enterprise software, data and technology-enabled organizations across private equity, permanent capital, credit and public equity strategies.

Taurus Private Markets brings aboard Lucy Cook as an investment analyst

In last week’s Women’s PE Briefs, we mentioned that it would have been nice to write about Taurus Private Markets raising its debut fund, but the firm did not have any women on its investment team. Well, that is no longer the case.

The Paoli, Penn. private equity firm said that Lucy Cook had joined as an investment analyst. In that role, she will be involved in all aspects of due diligence process and portfolio monitoring. Lucy actually signed on to join Taurus in January. However, after graduating from Temple University’s Fox School of Business in May, she took some well-deserved time off and toured various parts of the United States.

Taurus was formed in 2018 by industry veterans Kevin Campbell and Eric Wilcomes and closed its debut fund last month at $112 million. The firm invests in lower middle market leverage buyout and private credit partnerships with target fund sizes less than $1.25 billion. It also invests in venture capital partnerships with target fund sizes of less than $750 million.

The firm’s Industry Advisor Group includes Kate Mitchell, partner and co-founder of Scale Venture Partners, and Heather Faust, co-founder and managing partner at Argand Partners.

Health Enterprise Partners promotes Jessie Laurash and brings aboard Dr. Natasha Deckmann

Health Enterprise Partners promotes Jessie Laurash and brings aboard Dr. Natasha Deckmann. Jessie is now a vice president with the New York health care-focused private equity firm, while Natasha was onboarded as an executive partner.

Jessie joined HEP in 2017 while completing her MBA at Columbia Business School. She serves on as a director of Aware Recovery Care and is an observer on the board of NOCD. Jessie previously served as an observer on the board of Twistle, which was sold to Health Catalyst. She has also held roles with MediQuire, Evolent Health and Booz Allen Hamilton.

As an executive partner, Natasha will collaborate with the firm’s investment team in identifying sectors of focus, seeking value creating opportunities within the portfolio and conducting rigorous diligence on prospective investments. Natasha serves as the chief operating officer and chief clinical officer for SecureSeniorConnections, a digital platform focused on preventing and reducing loneliness and social isolation in seniors. She was previously CEO of CarePoint Health System, a three-hospital and medical group system in New Jersey.

HEP provides expansion capital to health care services and health care information technology companies.

Avante Capital Partners brings aboard Nicole Vatter and Emily Yin and promotes Danielle Williams

Avante Capital Partners, whose managing partner is Ivelisse Simon, brings aboard Nicole Vatter and Emily Yin and promotes Danielle Williams. Nicole joined the Los Angeles firm as a vice president. She previously worked at Partners Group, a direct lending fund based in Denver. Her background also includes roles with PIMCO and PwC. Emily joined as an analyst. She served last summer as an intern in Avante’s Small Business Investing Scholars Program. Danielle is now an analyst. She joined Avante in 2019 and has been involved in its project management, event planning and marketing activities.

Avante invests in the form of unitranche debt, mezzanine debt and minority equity in lower middle market businesses generating at least $3 million in cash flow. In 2021, it has made unitranche investments in Burton Plumbing Services, LLC, Power Digital Marketing and SSI Strategy Holdings, LLC.

Edna Conway and Deborah Yang join Long Ridge Equity Partners’ executive council

Long Ridge Equity Partners adds Edna Conway and Deborah Yang to its executive council. Edna is currently vice president, chief security and risk officer for Microsoft’s Azure, where she is responsible for the security and governance of the cloud infrastructure and supply chain upon which Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud business operates. She is on the board of Long Ridge portfolio company ProcessUnity. Deborah is CEO and co-founder of, AI-driven sustainable investing company. Previously, she served as head of ESG indexes for MSCI.

Long Ridge’s executive council is comprised of 29 individuals with decades of domain, leadership and operational knowledge. They offer functional and industry expertise, commercial introductions and mentorship to management teams, as well as value-added perspectives to help drive growth and differentiated outcomes for Long Ridge’s portfolio.

Long Ridge is a growth-oriented private equity firm focused on financial and business technology.

Ying Lucy Fan joins North Sky Capital

North Sky Capital adds Ying Lucy Fan to its team. Lucy is now a vice president with the Minneapolis-based impact investing firm. She had been serving as director, commercial operations and transactions with Peak Power, an Ontario-based battery storage developer. Previously, she was a senior associate at New Energy Capital, where she worked with Adam Bernstein, who is now North Sky’s head of sustainable infrastructure. While at NEC, Lucy and Adam acted as sub-advisors to North Sky’s 2010 and 2015 vintage infrastructure funds.

Founded in 2000, North Sky has deployed more than $1 billion across more than 120 impact investments.

Chevonaé Walcott earns a promotion at Relay Ventures

Relay Ventures has promoted Chevonaé Walcott. Chevonaé is now a senior associate. A member of the investment team, she joined the Toronto and San Francisco venture firm in 2018.

Sue Yang leaves Orion Energy Partners to join Antin Infrastructure Partners

Sue Yang leaves her role as a vice president at Orion Energy Partners to join another investment firm. Sue is now investment director, Next Gen Infrastructure with Antin Infrastructure Partners. In that role, Sue will focus on the next generation of infrastructure across the energy, transport, telecom and social infrastructure sectors in Europe and North America.

Sue spent nearly three years with Orion – a credit-oriented private equity firm which serves middle market energy infrastructure businesses. Her background also includes roles with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and McKinsey & Company.

Tess Manning leaves her role at GSV Ventures to join a firm portfolio company

Tess Manning leaves her role as a principal with edtech-focused GSV Ventures to join a firm portfolio company – one co-founded by Roxanne Petraeus and Anne Solmssen. Tess is now head of enterprise sales for Ethena, which is building a modern compliance training platform. Launched some 18 months ago, Ethena has landed such customers as Netflix, Zendesk and Zoom.

Tess joined GSV in 2019 after earning her MBA from Stanford Business School. Deborah Quazzo, who is GV Ventures managing partner, tells Women’s PE Briefs that Tess, “was an extraordinary team member at GSV, leading our work in enterprise learning amongst many other things.” Tess, said Deborah, is the third GSV team member to join a firm portfolio company in the past three years. The list includes Karina Jhangiani who joined Outlier. “We hope to become a place that great edtech founders and operators move in and out of as they look to change the world for good.”

Hailey Foreman joins Wheelhouse as a senior associate

Hailey Foreman leaves her role as an associate at Lindsay Goldberg to join Wheelhouse, which was co-founded by TV host Jimmy Kimmel and which earlier this year brought aboard Ann Berry as chief investment officer. Hailey joins the entertainment production, digital content and investment firm as a senior associate. She will be a part of its Wheelhouse 360 investment and incubation division and will review new investment opportunities in high growth technology and consumer-facing businesses. Hailey will also support portfolio company expansion through marketing and content collaboration with Wheelhouse’s operating divisions. Prior to Lindsay Goldberg, she worked with Lazard’s technology, media and telecom M&A advisory group.

Wheelhouse was formed in 2018 by Kimmel and CEO Brent Montgomery. Ann was previously a partner at Cornell Capital, LLC. She will speak at the Women’s Private Equity Summit.

Blackstone Group adds Courtney della Cava to its portfolio operations group

Blackstone Group adds Courtney della Cava to its portfolio operations group. Courtney joins Blackstone as a senior managing director and global head of talent and leadership. She had been a partner at Bain & Company. In this new role, Courtney will be responsible for building and enhancing executive leadership teams and boards for Blackstone’s more than 200 portfolio companies. With more than 20 years of management consulting experience at Bain & Company, Courtney has advised corporate and private equity clients on CEO succession, CEO and board effectiveness and broader organizational talent strategies and solutions. She also built and led several of the firm’s global human capital teams and capabilities.

Infrastructure industry veteran Maria Kang joins Sera Global

Sera Global, a real assets-focused advisory firm, brings aboard infrastructure industry veteran Maria Kang. Maria joined the firm as a managing partner in its global infrastructure private capital advisory business. In that role, she will provide PCA services to infrastructure sponsors, operators and investors on a broad range of transactions for the investment banking and private capital advisory businesses within Sera’s infrastructure platform.

Maria previously was a managing director at Rubicon Capital Advisors, a boutique infrastructure advisory firm, where she identified key investor relationships and executing infrastructure projects in North America.

Sera was until recently known as BFIN. Earlier this year, Irene Mavroyannis joined Sera as managing partner, private capital advisory. She had previously been a managing director with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. Based in New York, Sera has advised on more than $100 billon in transaction volume.

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