Whitmarsh announces her retirement from WSIB, Wolf earns a promotion at Initialized Capital, Kaspar joins Crossplane Capital and Enekwechi joins WCAS

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing May 24, 2021

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Whitmarsh to retire from the Washington State Investment Board at the end of the year

Theresa Whitmarsh will retire as executive director of the Washington State Investment Board at the end of this year. Theresa joined WSIB in 2003 and has served as top executive of the asset management agency for 12 years.

WSIB manages $165 billion in assets for public retirement plans, state insurance funds and other public trust assets serving state workers, teachers, policy officer, firefighters and other public employees and program beneficiaries. It employs 105 individuals.

Theresa has spoken at the Women’s Private Equity Summit.

Wolf is named president of Initialized Capital

Initialized Capital’s Jen Wolf has a very significant new title. Jen is now president of the San Francisco venture firm. She joined Initialized four years as a partner and has served as chief operating officer.

Jen was previously chief product officer at Reserve, a hospitality platform that connects restaurants and diners. Her background also includes founding a boutique consultancy.

In 2020, Jen joined the board of Narrator after Initialized backed the managed data system developer. Initialized closed its fifth fund at $230 million during 2020. The firm is focused on making seed investments in software companies. Its team includes general partner Alda Leu Dennis and partner Kim-Mai Cutler.

Elia leaves CPPIB to join IMCO

Anastasia Elia leaves her role as principal, private equity funds with the CPP Investment Board to join Investment Management Corporation of Ontario. Anastasia is now senior principal, private equity with IMCO. The Toronto-based organization manages $73.3 billion of assets for public-sector clients in Ontario. Anastasia was with CPPIB for nearly 11 years, holding several different roles. She had focused on private equity since October 2017.

Kaspar joins Crossplane Capital as vice president of human capital

Crossplane Capital adds Laura Kaspar to its team. Laura is now vice president of human capital with the Dallas-based private equity firm. She was previously global vice president of human resources for Peak-Ryzex, which is now owned by Sole Source Capital, LLC and is led by Juliann Larimer.

In her role at Crossplane, Laura will work alongside Crossplane portfolio company leadership and human resources teams to recruit, train and retain key operational positions, design benefit plans and employee compensation programs, support add-on acquisition integrations, implement HR best practices and provide oversight of ESG initiatives.

Laura’s background also includes serving as vice president of human resources and risk management for Acton Mobile. The president of Acton at that time was Ingrid West, who is now an operating partner with Crossplane.

Crossplane was launched in 2018 to make control investments in niche manufacturing, value-added distribution and industrial business service companies.

Ayles is promoted to partner at Brookwood Financial Partners

Brookwood Financial Partners promotes Ericka Ayles. Ericka is now a partner at the private equity real estate firm. She also serves as chief financial officer for the firm and for portfolio company Yesway, which operates a chain of convenience stores.

In her roles at Brookwood and Yesway, Ericka oversees financial operations, accounting, tax reporting, budgeting, audit and cash management processes, as well as banking relationships and the implementation of financial and risk management strategies for Brookwood and its affiliated entities. She also analyzes the impact of acquisitions, potential sales, property re-financings and other upcoming capital requirements to make strategic recommendations for investor distributions while ensuring adequate levels of reserves.

Prior to joining Brookwood, she worked at JDJ Family Office Services, as well as served as a vice president of portfolio and financial reporting at New Boston Fund, Inc.

Brookwood, which is based in Beverly, Mass., specializes in acquiring and managing value-add commercial real estate and related operating businesses on behalf of a select group of institutional investors, including endowments, pension funds and foundations, family offices and high-net-worth individuals.

Appian Capital Advisory brings Pinto aboard as chief financial officer

Appian Capital Advisory brings Monica Pinto aboard. Monica is now chief financial officer. Appian advises long-term value focused private equity funds that invest solely in mining and mining related companies.

Monica has spent over 20 years in the financial markets, most recently as part of the founding team and CFO at Apis Partners, where she led the operations of the group across Europe, Africa and Asia, supported its exponential growth from the launch of its inaugural fund and was responsible for the finance and administration of all fund vehicles.

At Appian, Monica will work closely with the executive team in managing the financial operations of the company at a group corporate and portfolio level. She will be responsibile for relationships with banks, coordinating the finance and administration of fund vehicles, overseeing financial and regulatory reporting, deal structuring and tax, as well as maintaining investor relationships alongside Appian’s CEO and the global investor relations team.

Popovits joins Blackstone Life Sciences as a senior advisor

Blackstone Life Sciences adds Kim Popovits to its team. Kim joins as a senior advisor on the team of biopharmaceutical, medical technology and diagnostics experts.

Kim spent nearly 20 years at Genomic Health, including serving as chairman of the board, CEO and president. During her leadership, Genomic Health became an industry leader in genomic-based diagnostic tests, resulting in an acquisition by Exact Sciences in 2019. Prior to Genomic Health, she led Genentech’s commercial organization, launching 14 new therapies. She is also a director of 10x Genomics, Talis and Kiniksa.

Blackstone Life Sciences is a private, global investment platform with capabilities to invest across the life cycle of companies and products within the key life science sectors.

Umarji named head of investor relations and business development at Sandbox Industries

Sandbox Industries brings aboard Anita Umarji to fill a newly created role. Anita is now head of investor relations & business development across all of the firm’s business verticals. Sandbox has funds focused on health care, insurtech and food and agriculture. The Chicago firm connects corporate strategic investors with the innovators and entrepreneurs working to disrupt and change areas of critical importance.

Anita was previously principal, global business development and marketing with Bardin Hill Investment Partners. Her background also includes serving as director, business development and investor relations with SVPGlobal and working in business development with Apollo Global Management, Inc.

Sandbox’s investing team includes managing directors Dr. Jennifer Levin Carter, Kelsey Maguire, Anna Haghgooie, Amanda Donohue-Hansen, Taryn Goodman Gallery and Gretchen Hayes.

McGuirt, Peachway, Wijenayake Murphy and Yan join newly created GrowthCurve Capital

Andrea McGuirt, Kate Peachway, Rehana Wijenayake Murphy and Susan Yan are part of a new private equity team founded by Sumit Rajpal, the former global co-head of the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division. Known as GrowthCurve Capital, the New York firm will focus on building businesses using AI, human capital, and digital transformation.

Andrea joined the firm as a vice president. She previously was a vice president with Palladium Equity Partners. Kate is a principal with GrowthCurve. She previously was a senior investment professional with BlueMountain Capital. Rehana, who is the firm’s chief operating officer, was previously business manager & investor relations, Warlander Asset Management. Susan, who is GrowthCurve’s chief financial officer, was previously a managing director with Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division.

The firm’s team also includes Irina Shevelenko, who is an operating executive, insurance distribution. She was previously vice president of strategic initiatives at QBE North America.

GrowthCurve’s strategic advisory board includes Barbara Novick, co-founder and former vice chairman, BlackRock; Julie Dodd, former chief operating officer, chief strategy officer and general manager of Ultimate Software; and Julie Klapstein, former CEO of Availity.

Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe adds Enekwechi as an operating partner 

Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe adds health policy veteran Adaeze Enekwechi to its team. Adaeze is now an operating partner with the private equity firm. She will also join The Health Management Academy, which has a strategic partnership with WCAS, as an executive-in-residence.

Adaeze’s background includes leading health programs at the White House Office of Management and Budget under President Obama. In that position, she provided policy, management, and regulatory oversight for more than $1.6 trillion in federal government health spending, including Medicare and Medicaid. She had primary responsibility for all operating divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. Until last fall, she was president of IMPAQ, LLC, a policy research and implementation company focused on health, workforce and advanced analytics.

In a statement, Adaeze said, “I look forward to building value for WCAS’s investors by finding and funding cutting edge companies that improve health care delivery for Americans in general and for vulnerable populations in particular. Success in health care means that patients are the winners.”

Based in New York, WCAS is a private equity firm focused on health care and technology.

LEM Capital promotes Bradshaw and Clausen

LEM Capital promotes Allison Bradshaw and Jennifer Clausen. Allison is now a partner with the private equity real estate firm while Jennifer became a principal. In addition to her new title, Allison was also named co-head of investments along with Greg Biester. The two will be responsible for overall investment operations, including originations, asset management and portfolio management. Jennifer is head of investor relations and leads the firm’s capital raising. She spoke at the 2021 Virtual Women’s Alternative Investment Summit.

In 2020, Philadelphia-based LEM closed its fifth fund at $330.8 million. The firm invests in Class B value-add multifamily properties in primary and secondary suburban markets across the country. LEM has raised a total of $1.3 billion since its founding in 2002 and acquired more than 23,000 value-add apartment units since 2011.

Yun Lee leaves the Broad Foundation for a new family office

Susan Yun Lee leaves her role as managing director of investments at the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation to join a new family office and foundation. In a note to contacts, Susan said she’ll be starting the office and foundation with the Baszucki family. David Baszucki is co-founder and CEO of Roblox Corp. She joined the Broad Foundation in 2017 after being a partner and director with Angeles Investment Advisors. Susan is a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit.

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