50 ways to leave your partners

Jon Moulton's departure from Alchemy Partners was part of a growing trend of senior professionals heading for the industry's exit door (see p20). Moulton's extraordinary letter to LPs in which he called for Alchemy's portfolio to be wound up and cast aspersions on the abilities of his successor reminds us that there are many different ways to leave a private equity firm. With apologies to Paul Simon's 1975 pop classic “50 ways to leave your lover”, here are a few possibilities:

Drop a bomb, Jon Spin out the team, Dean Join another GP, Lee Just get yourself free

Go on gardening leave, Steve Steal the management fee Please Just get yourself free…

“We hope that [the talks] will lead to the emergence of a smaller fund but we do not yet know that this will be the case. In any event, Candover Investments will not be an investor in a new Candover 2008 Fund.”

Candover Partners' listed parent Candover Investments in a statement accompanying its half-yearly report. Candover Partners is currently talking to investors about the future of its 2008 fund, which was hit by Candover Investments withdrawing capital commitments due to liquidity issues

“I have no doubt that we have a base of investors who are totally committed to PAI and prepared to accept the argument that we are improving management.”

Lionel Zinsou, heir-apparent to chief executive Dominique Mégret at French buyout firm PAI Partners, comments to the Financial Times about reports that the departure of Mégret and right-hand man Bertrand Meunier will trigger a key-man clause – which could potentially result in the suspension of the firm's latest fund

“It is important to be realistic about near-term returns and about our expectations for several years to come. The impact of the events of 2008-09 will not be reversed overnight.”

Jane Mendillo, chief executive officer of Harvard Management Company, talks to Bloomberg following the release of the endowment's inaugural annual report. It showed that Harvard's portfolio lost 30 percent of its value in the year ended 30 June

“As an outside observer, I'm surprised that private equity professionals were slow to recognise the downturn, slow to appreciate how long the recession would be, and slow to realise the implications for their own businesses.”

Edmund Truell, chief executive of Pension Corporation, an insurer of pension fund payouts, in an interview with PEI. Truell was formerly chief executive of mid-market buyout firm Duke Street Capital, which he founded