OPIC head of private equity departs

When the new US president arrived at the White House, OPIC’s VP and head of investment funds Brooks Preston left the agency, along with nine other political appointees.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s head of private equity investing has left the agency, along with nine other political appointees, coinciding with the change of US presidential administrations, Private Equity International has learned.

OPIC, which was launched in 1971 by the US Congress with $106 million in seed funding, has committed $4.1 billion to 62 emerging markets-focused private equity funds since 1987, according to its website.

Brooks Preston, vice president and head of investment funds, left OPIC on 20 January as President Donald Trump assumed his position, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The person said political appointees at the agency would typically stay if the transition was between two presidents of the same party. But because Trump, a Republican, succeeded former Democratic president Barack Obama, all appointees had 20 January as their last day.

OPIC appointed Preston to lead its private equity investing segment in May 2014 to oversee OPIC’s limited partner commitments to emerging market-focused private equity funds.

According to Preston’s LinkedIn profile, he chaired the evaluation committee for investment funds and was a member of OPIC’s investment committee and executive committee.

It was unclear what Preston plans to pursue next. Messages sent directly to Preston via LinkedIn were unanswered at press time.

OPIC’s website indicates that Lynn Nguyen, managing director of OPIC’s private equity funds portfolio and head of funds monitoring, is the acting VP and head of investment funds.

The departure of the political appointees means OPIC chief executive officer Elizabeth Littlefield has also left the agency.

According to the source, Littlefield hinted at the possibility of taking some time off after her departure from OPIC, but did not specify other future plans. The person said OPIC is currently led by acting president and CEO Dev Jagadesan.

The pacing of private equity fund commitments isn’t expected to change for 2017 based on these personnel changes, the source said.

OPIC declined to comment.