Ex-Forstmann, Warburg vet raising new fund

Joshua Lewis, who went from Warburg Pincus to Forstmann Little in 2000, is keeping a foothold in private equity - his growth-equity boutique Salmon River has held a first close on around $20m.

Former Warburg Pincus and Forstmann Little pro Joshua Lewis is raising a new fund, the second from his Salmon River enterprise. According to SEC documents, Lewis has held a first close of around $20 million for Salmon River Capital II LP, a growth equity fund that will invest in both venture capital and private equity transactions. No target size for the vehicle has been made public.

Joshua Lewis, founder, Salmon River Capital

The new fund is the successor to Lewis’ first Salmon River vehicle, which was launched in 2001, after he left Forstmann.

Prior to the Forstmann Little stint, Lewis had spent 10 years at Warburg Pincus, culminating in a managing director position in the firm’s private equity/venture capital arm. There, he spearheaded Warburg’s activity in the education sector and also contributed to the firm’s internet investments.

From Warburg, he moved to Forstmann, but Lewis’ stay there was short-lived. He joined in January 2000, entering the firm as its eighth general partner, according to past press releases, and by 2001 he had left.

Since then, Lewis has been maintaining a much lower profile. Lewis did, however, find some unwanted attention when he was named alongside former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles as late additions to the State of Connecticut’s $120 million lawsuit against Forstmann Little.

In addition to running Salmon River, Lewis is a special partner at software and internet focused venture group Insight Venture Partners. He had also co-founded and served as a managing partner at StoneWater Capital, a $150 million fund of hedge funds launched last year by a group of ex-Warburg Pincus partners.

Lewis currently sits on the board of online educator Capella Education Company. He led Forstmann Little’s successful investment in Capella in 2000, and in January of this year, he brought Insight Ventures in with a $15 million investment.

Lewis is also a director at financial software provider Strategic Financial Solutions and chairs New Leaders for New Schools, a non-profit organisation that trains future school principals.

The SEC filing for Lewis’ new fund did not specify any limited partners in the vehicle, but did indicate more than a dozen groups have committed so far.