First Round has met a lot of private equity execs in its time, and is therefore well placed to refute the popular misconception that they don’t really know what they’re doing and are just full of hot air. On the whole they’re a pretty well-educated, erudite bunch. Well, at least most of them. Some of them. A few.
Anyway. Despite staunch defenders like First Round doing their best to champion the industry, sometimes these PE bigwigs really don’t help themselves. A former KKR exec offered up ample ammunition on a platter when he decided to name his new private equity firm True Wind Capital.
Adam Clammer, KKR’s former head of technology investing, joined the private equity goliath in 1995 – coincidently, the year the firm started investing in technology buyouts. He jumped ship in 2013, leaving the firm’s technology team in the hands of David Kerko and Herald Chen.
But: despite his choice of moniker for the new San Francisco-based venture, Clammer really does seem to be more than your average deal-making windbag. During his tenure at KKR he led the buyout of Avago Technologies, which the firm agreed to acquire alongside Silver Lake management in 2005 for $2.66 billion, and reaped the firm a whopping five times money when it offloaded the business three years later.
And the new venture appears to have the (true) wind at its back and the (Californian) sun shining warm on its face. True Wind has already bagged former Thoma Bravo investor Duncan Gills as a principal, and rumour has it KKR veteran Jamie Greene, who stepped back from partner into an advisory partner position at the firm at the start of 2013, will also be involved.
Clammer et al. haven’t tried to raise any outside capital yet, but with decades of KKR experience in their back pockets, it should be a breeze.