Exclusive: Altius co-CEO quits

Eric Warner, co-CEO and head of investor relations, will leave Altius on 1 September

Altius Associates, a private equity advisory firm and fund of funds, has lost its co-chief executive officer and head of investor relations Eric Warner, PEI has learnt.

In an email seen by PEI, Warner said he will be retiring from Altius Associates on 1st September after “four full and busy years”. It is unclear who will succeed Warner. Both Altius and Warner did not respond to a request for comment at press time.

Warner only became co-chief executive officer last September – together with senior executives Jenny Fenton and Brad Young – when the then chief executive and co-founder John Hess moved into an executive chairman role.

That move was part of a succession planning process that had been ongoing for a few years, Hess told PEI at the time. Promoting Warner, Young and Fenton – who had sat alongside Hess on the executive management committee for 18 months prior – allowed Altius to transfer the day-to-day running of the firm to younger leaders while minimising disruption, he said.

Warner joined Altius in 2010 and has 12 years of private equity experience, according to Altius’s website. Prior to joining Altius, Warner was head of European private equity and M&A at Mercer, an international consulting practice.

He previously held positions at Société Générale, NatWest Markets, and Security Pacific Hoare Govett, where he specialised in capital markets and Financials Institutions coverage. Before joining Mercer, he was chief financial officer of UK-based Aon Group.

During Warner’s tenure, Altius significantly ramped up its investor relations efforts. “We’ve become a lot more outward-looking as a company in the last three years,” he told PEI last year. “Previously we had some high-profile clients, but most of them were gained through RFPs; we did relatively little in terms of active business development.”

Warner’s departure comes as Altius is still in market attempting to collect $150 million for its second fund of funds vehicle, Altius Associates Private Equity Fund II. That fundraise seems to take longer than expected; the vehicle held a $67 million second close in October 2012. Last October, market sources said the fund would hold a final close “in the next few months”. In July, the fund had raised $80.3 million, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division.

Altius currently advises on about $25.9 billion in private equity and real assets and has offices in London, Richmond, Virginia and Singapore.