Caisse de depot’s Chris Puscasiu joins Presidio Investors

  • Chris Puscasiu previously worked with Schade at Blum Capital
  • To oversee technology services investment arm
  • Presidio specializes in lower-mid-market investments

The former co-head of Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec’s direct private equity program left the Canadian public pension for a position with Presidio Investors, a lower-middle-market private equity firm based in San Francisco, Buyouts has learned.

Chris Puscasiu, who spent a little more than two years with Caisse de depot and ran its New York subsidiary, will join Presidio as a co-managing partner. He will lead the firm’s investments in technology-enabled service companies.

Presidio’s other managing partner is Karl Schade, who spun the PE unit out of Presidio Group in March 2016. Schade, formerly of Silver Lake, attended Harvard Business School with Puscasiu and the duo previously worked together at lower-mid-market specialist Blum Capital.

“We’ve worked together and been friends together,” Schade said. “From my standpoint, I feel overwhelmingly excited that Chris can join our efforts and build on what we’ve already started.”

Puscasiu’s track record as a private equity investor includes stints at AEA Investors and EQT, in addition to co-founding early-stage investor Three Bridges Venture Partners. He’s also an adjunct professor and lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley.

At Caisse de depot, Puscasiu specialized in co-underwriting deals alongside general partners, as well as leading deals in which the C$270.7 billion ($218.3 billion) public pension acted as a sponsor. He oversaw a C$20 billion investment portfolio.

A spokesman for Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec did not respond to a request for comment.

Presidio Investors typically invests between $15 million and $40 million in businesses valued up to $150 million. The firm completed two deals on a deal-by-deal basis since the spinout, “and now that we’ve added Chris, we have greater aspirations than going deal-by-deal,” Schade said.

He declined to comment further on any plans to raise a private equity fund.

“One thing that Karl has underscored, he really brings large buyout best practices to the small market,” Puscasiu said. “I love the approach they’ve taken to underwriting and managing investments. It’s really best practices in a place that doesn’t always have consistency.”

Late last year, Presidio was in talks to merge with New York-based lower-mid-market specialist Star Mountain Capital. Schade and Star Mountain founder Brett Hickey later decided to keep their firms separate and distinct. Schade retained a position as a senior adviser to Star Mountain.

“[Hickey] and I are in a really good place together,” Schade said. “We just decided to maintain our independence.”

“We maintain a partnership together on a deal-by-deal basis,” Hickey said. “Knowing Chris independently, Chris is a great guy and I think he’s a going to be a good fit.”

Action Item: For more information on Presidio Investors, visit

A bird flies above a group of people fishing on Navy Pier in the Presidio of San Francisco, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco on March 1, 2013. Photo courtesy Reuters/Robert Galbraith