Sequoia Capital has hired Dan Feder away from the Princeton Investment Management Co., where he oversees venture capital and private equity investments. Feder will help manage an outsourced investment management program that Sequoia launched earlier this year.
This is a major coup for Sequoia, and is also a bit surprising. Conventional wisdom was that the Sequoia program – often described as a down-market version of Makena Capital – would mostly avoid the venture capital asset class, save for Sequoia funds. Not only because other VC firms would be wary of Sequoia snooping around their financials, but also because Sequoia believes that has access to most of the best deals (i.e., if Sequoia passes, why invest in a firm that bites?). Maybe he’ll just be focusing on buyouts…
Feder himself did not get into many specifics of his new job, in an email sent to contacts last Friday. It reads, in part:
“I am, after almost eight years at Princo, moving on to become part of a new team at Sequoia Capital that will be developing a multi-asset class investment management offering. The team will aim to provide long-term (endowment-like) investment services to a variety of investors. The timing for my move to Sequoia Capital will be driven by the amount of time that it will take to implement a smooth transition at Princo. A critically important part of that transition involves working closely with our fund managers to ensure that Princo is in a position to fulfill its goal of being the best limited partner that each fund manager has.”
The Sequoia program is being headed up by Eric Upin, a former chief investment officer of the Stanford University endowment who was hired in the spring.
I’ve left messages with both Feder and Sequoia, and will update this post if/when they get back to me (don’t hold your breath).