1) Jon Moulton
Well who else would top the list? The outspoken founder of London-based Alchemy Partners became the latest private equity casualty in September following a “bitter disagreement” over strategy with Alchemy's buyout head, Dominic Slade. In an already-infamous letter to investors, Moulton tells LPs that “Alchemy is not what it was” and says he disagrees with Slade's intention to focus purely on finanical services deals.
2) Dominique Mégret
In a move described by one limited partner as an “internal coup”, 35-year veteran Dominique Mégret stepped down as chief executive of Paris-based buyout firm PAI Partners in August. The departure triggered a key-man clause in the firm's €5.4 billion fifth buyout vehicle, which closed last year.
3) Steve Rattner (1)
Another key-man event arose in February when Steve Rattner (left) departed New York-headquartered Quadrangle Capital Partners to join the administration of US President Barack Obama as an adviser to an automotive industry taskforce established by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council director Lawrence Summers. Rattner then stepped down from the taskforce in July amid investigations over an alleged connection to a New York pay-to-play pension scandal, although he was not charged.
4) Steve Rattner (2)
Quadrangle's co-founder isn't the only Steve Rattner to have departed a private equity firm. His industry namesake resigned his position as head of DLJ Merchant Banking in August 2008. DLJ's Rattner told the New York Times he was resigning to keep the firm's fundraising from being negatively impacted by a scandal involving a personal affair he had allegedly conducted.
5) Daniel Rosensweig
In March, a month after Rattner's departure, Quadrangle lost operating principal Daniel Rosensweig, who helped the media and communications buyout firm establish its Silicon Valley office in 2007. Rosensweig now oversees global operations for Activision Publishing's RedOctane unit, including development, manufacturing and marketing for the company's Guitar Hero video game, which in January surpassed $1 billion in North American retail sales.
6) Nancy-Anne DeParle
Rattner wasn't the only private equity executive to take a position with the Obama administration. In March, CCMP Capital managing director Nancy-Anne DeParle (right) stepped down to become director of the White House Office of Health Reform, while Obama also appointed Centerbridge Partners co-founder Mark Gallogly and John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers to his newly established Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which will advise on growth and stability programmes.
7) George Bilicic
Differences of opinion reportedly led to the departure of George Bilicic in October 2008 after only six months as head of global investment giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts's infrastructure business. A source familiar with the matter said the two sides differed over how KKR should build out its global infrastructure team, which Bilicic had been charged with recruiting.
8) John Thain
The future of Bank of America's private equity and global investment management division was placed in limbo earlier this year after John Thain (left) left the company amid criticism and a $50 million dollar loss by Merrill Lynch, where Thain had previously been chief executive. Bank of America announced the previous October that it would buy Merrill in a $50 billion all-stock transaction, which was followed by a swift fall in the company's stock before Thain's departure.
9) Jonny Maxwell
Maxwell, one of the industry's most charismatic professionals, walked away from Standard Life Investments' private equity business in January 2007 after failing to take it private. He had led the funds of funds unit over two decades. After six months' gardening leave, Maxwell returned to management as the global head of Allianz's indirect private equity business in London.
10) Colin Buffin (pending)
London-based buyout firm Candover made a series of management changes in August as it continued to review the relationship between the management company and Candover Investments, its listed parent which was forced to drastically reduce its commitment to Candover's latest fund when cash distributions dried up. Among these, John Arney stepped up to become managing partner, taking over from long-term senior managing directors Colin Buffin and Marek Gumienny. Gumienny became chairman of Candover, while it was announced that Buffin would leave once it was decided what would happen to the currently suspended 2008 fund.