Garnett & Helfrich Loses Guthrie

Changes continue over at Garnett & Helfrich Capital, the tech-focused “venture buyout” firm that is gearing up to raise between $700 million and $750 million for its second fund.

Last month, we reported that firm co-founder Terry Garnett is planning to move (for at least a year or two) from Silicon Valley to London. Something about him wanting his kids to experience European living like he got to do at a similar age. Now, it seems that director Mike Guthrie has left to join Symphony Technology Group, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based strategic holding company focused on the enterprise software and services market. Guthrie had originally joined G&H in the summer of 2004, just after the firm had raised its inaugural $250 million fund (later expanded to $350 million). He previously had been a co-founder and general partner with TPG Ventures and, before that had been an I-banker with CSFB.

No word back yet from Guthrie (I emailed him, as his Symphony voicemail isn’t yet up and running), although a G&H spokeswoman said: “[Guthrie] made a strong contribution in his tenure at the firm and we wish him the best in his future endeavors. Garnett & Helfrich Capital has a strong team, led by managing directors Terry Garnett and David Helfrich. As always, they continue to look for great talent with which to expand their team.”

And expansion is going to be necessary. The firm’s website lists just five investment professionals – including two associates – two operations professionals and two CEOs-in-residence. Part of the thin staffing can be chalked up to a concentrated investment strategy, whereby G&H takes large stakes in a relatively small number of portfolio companies. But there is no doubt that the aforementioned expansion must happen – and happen soon. After all, LPs might balk at a doubled fund size when the management team is basically the same size as it was when the inaugural fund was expanded (and when the Silicon Valley team is smaller).