Veteran LP joins American Express spin-out

Chris Douvos, who managed more than $1.75bn in private equity investments at The Investment Fund for Foundations, has been hired at Venture Investment Associates.

Chris Douvos, a veteran limited partner who was managing director at The Investment Fund for Foundations, has joined American Express spin-out Venture Investment Associates.

Douvos joins the investment team as a managing director, the firm said in a statement.

“I’m delighted to have the chance to work alongside some long-time mentors and friends while having the opportunity to invest in some of the top fund managers with whom I’ve built strong relationship over the last 10 years,” Douvos said in the statement.

Douvos managed more than $1.75 billion in private equity investments at The Investment Fund for Foundations. Prior to that, he worked on the private equity team at Princeton University’s endowment, which he joined in 2001.

Chris Douvos

Douvos once told Private Equity International that venture involvement in companies like Facebook and Twitter has the potential to make venture capital more attractive to LPs, who have soured on the asset class in recent years amid stagnant returns. Facebook was said to be planning an initial public offering in the first half of 2012, with hopes that the company would be valued at $100 billion, according to an article this week in the Wall Street Journal.

“When we see stuff like Facebook, stuff like Twitter, stuff like Groupon, there’s an element of bringing sexy back to venture,” Douvos said at the time. “To the extent that Facebook has become the poster child for great emerging growth firms, maybe that has some spillover effect that benefits the dozens and dozens of other start-ups that show promise and starts to bring a shine back to venture capital.”

Venture Investment Associates closed its sixth fund of funds on $225 million in late 2007. The firm closed its previous fund on $182.5 million in March 2002.

Venture Investment Associates was formed in 1993 by Stathis Andris to buy the private equity portfolio from American Express. Andris had been an employee at American Express. He soon added two additional managing directors – Jason Andris and former AT&T Investment Management vice president Eliot Powell.

The firm manages more than $1 billion across six private equity fund of funds and two private energy fund of funds.