KPS adds to staff, four KPS pros start new firm

KPS announces one promotion and two new hires after seven-year veteran Stephen Presser and three colleagues left the New York private equity turnaround specialist to found Monomoy Capital, which will look to raise a new fund between $150m and $200m.

Four former investment professionals of New York-based private equity firm KPS Special Situations, including principal Stephen Presser, announced that they have formed Monomoy Capital Partners, a new private equity firm focused on distressed and underperforming businesses.

In addition to Presser, the three other KPS professionals include Daniel Collin, Justin Hillenbrand and Philip Von Burg.

Presser was the most senior member of the Monomoy team at KPS, where he served as one of five principals of the firm, including KPS co-founders Eugene Keilin, Michael Psaros and David Shapiro. Presser joined KPS in 1998, one year after the firm was founded, and served as a director of six KPS portfolio companies including chairman of the board of AmeriCast Technologies and Wire Rope Corporation.

According to a source close to the firm, Monomoy will seek to raise a fund between $150 million (€112 million) and $200 million. The firm is currently putting together its private placement memorandum and will look to begin its formal fundraising process within two to three months.

Although Monomoy’s investment strategy will be roughly similar to the turnaround strategy employed by KPS, the firm is focusing its efforts on the smaller end of the middle market and companies with revenues below $125 million

Last year, KPS closed its second fund, KPS Special Situations Fund II, on $404 million, almost double the amount of capital raised for the firm's first fund.

Four days after the Monomoy press release, KPS announced that it had promoted six-year veteran Jay Bernstein to senior vice president and hired two new professionals:  former chief executive officer of Curtis Papers Bruce Curley as senior vice president responsible for overseeing operational improvements at its portfolio companies and Ilya Koffman as associate.