Changes By The Bay

Most VC firms make partner-level changes before they close a fund, but Bay Partners is going in a different direction.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based firm closed its $290 million eleventh fund last fall with five general partners: Neal Dempsey, Atul Kapadia, Chris Noble, Bob Williams and Dino Vendetti.

Vendetti left soon after the fund close to join Formative Ventures, and now both Noble and Williams are seriously considering a transition to venture partner roles. I say “seriously considering,” because such a move would trigger keyman closes in Bay’s limited partner agreements.

In order to prevent such a situation, Bay is asking LPs to amend the aforementioned agreements – with the promise that Noble and Williams will continue working with their existing portfolio companies. As an outsider, I’d assume that this should be a difficult sell. After all, LPs commit to management teams more than brands, and this will be a very different team from the one they signed up for.

An anonymous tipster, however, suggests that the response has actually been quite positive – which apparently is a feather in the cap of salespeople Dempsey and Kapadia. I spoke briefly with Dempsey this morning (he’s in Europe), who only would say that the firm continues to speak with LPs about “planning for the future.”