TH Lee Putnam names new chairman

The former CEO of American Express, Harvey Golub, has been made chairman of the $1.1bn US-based VC fund.

TH Lee Putnam Ventures, the US venture capital firm fund, has appointed Harvey Golub as company chairman. The former American Express CEO will be responsible for advising the fund, its executives and its partner companies.

TH Lee Putnam Ventures is a $1.1bn venture capital fund affiliated with Thomas H Lee Partners and Putnam Investments. Based in New York, TH Lee Putnam Ventures provides development capital to companies that commercialise digital information technologies. Its major focus is on financial services, retail applications software, consumer supply chain and outsourcing solutions.

To date the firm has invested over $500m in 37 companies, including the £32.5m purchase of a stake in Beeb Ventures, the BBC-controlled company that produces the Beeb.com shopping portal, which it acquired in August 2000. In addition to Beeb Ventures, THLPV has made three further investments in Europe, all based in the UK. The firm partook in the refinancing of internet telephony firm Callserve in November 2000 and in March 2001 backed the $16m financing round of Digital Rum, a UK mobile shopping channel.

The firm underwent a management reorganisation in early 2001 in order to spend more time on assisting its ailing investments after the collapse of the technology markets. As a result the firm scaled back its operations and now focuses on mid-to-late-stage technology companies.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Golub said he believed that THLPV’s decision to re-focus the firm’s operations was important. He added, “I see my primary role for the firm as creating value for LPs by selecting the best companies in which to invest and then helping those companies increase market share, develop new products and carry out strategic acquisitions and alliances.”