Welsh Carson bolsters operational team

New York-based Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe has hired DigitalGlobe’s Stephen Larned and Unison Site Management’s Daniel Lieber as senior operating executives.

New York growth and buyout firm Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe has hired technology veterans Stephen Larned and Daniel Lieber to bolster its operational team.

Larned and Lieber will join Welsh Carson’s 13-member team of senior operating executives to assist the firm in deal sourcing, due diligence and improving operational performance within its portfolio companies.

Welsh Carson hopes to tap its hires’ significant experience in the tech and telecom sectors as part of the firm’s broader focus on information and business services.

Larned joins Welsh Carson after working as chief marketing and strategy officer for DigitalGlobe, a provider of high resolution satellite and aerial photos, prior to which he held various executive capacities at Dell Computers.

Lieber will depart his post as chief operating officer of Unison Site Management, a specialty investment company that purchases and manages wireless lease rights. Prior to joining Unison, Lieber worked for seven years as an operating principal at Capital Z Financial Services Fund, where he was charged with managing the fund’s overall portfolio and sat on the board of several public and private companies.

Both Larned and Lieber also worked for Boston-based consulting firm Bain & Company.

Welsh Carson could not be reached for comment on the story.

Welsh Carson, which manages roughly $16 billion (€10.3 billion) in assets, has made efforts to expand its operational expertise in recent years. Last year, the firm appointed General Electric Healthcare vice president Anthony Ecock and Oxford Health Plans president Charles Berg as senior operating executives.

Founded in 1979 after co-founders Patrick Welsh and Russell Carson spun out from Citigroup’s venture capital division, the firm maintains a relatively lean team of investment professionals when compared to other private equity firms managing similar amounts of capital.

Operational specialists Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, which has raised more than $12 billion in capital since its inception in 1978, possessed a team of 36 investment professionals as of last year, compared to Welsh Carson’s 28. Bain Capital, which has raised more than $23.5 billion since its inception in 1984, employed 148 investment professionals as of last year.

Welsh Carson is currently investing Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe X, a $3.4 billion equity fund, and WCAS Capital Partners IV, a $1.3 billion dedicated subordinated debt fund. Some of the firm’s more notable tech investments include the $725 million purchase last year of TransFirst, a provider of transaction processing services and payment technologies, and the 2001 public offering of data processor Alliance Data Systems, recently the target of a failed Blackstone buyout.  

Along with business and information services, the firm also focusses on the healthcare sector. Welsh Carson is currently raising a $5 billion buyout fund, according to the Probitas Partners 2008 Private Equity Deskbook.