Hicks Muse IR chief to retire

Dan Blanks, the partner in charge of investor relations and fundraising for Dallas buyout veteran Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, yesterday announced his retirement to limited partners. Blanks was one of the firm’s ‘Texas mafia’ of founding partners.

Dan Blanks, a partner at Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, yesterday sent a memo to limited partners announcing his retirement from the firm.

Blanks, a college friend of Hicks Muse co-founder Thomas Hicks, was in charge of investor relations and fundraising at the Dallas-based firm.

In the short memo, Blanks said his retirement would be effective December 31. He said the decision was done with a “mix of emotions” but he and his wife wanted to pursue “personal interests that we have been keeping on hold.”

A limited partner source described Blanks as “always very available to limited partners and just a top-notch person”.

As the person charged with communicating with investors and sometimes the press, Blanks helped navigate Hicks Muse during its most recent, painful contraction following the tech meltdown of 2001, which hit the firm particularly hard.

Blanks, Hicks, David Deniger (a former Hicks Muse real estate investor) and Charles Tate used to refer to themselves as the “Texas mafia” because the four had been classmates at the University of Texas in Austin.

The firm has seen a number of its original members retire in recent years. In August, the firm announced that Hicks would retire. In 2002, Tate retired from the firm. Co-founder John Muse, currently the head of the London office, will take over as chairman of the firm. Jack Furst will remain head of the Dallas operation.