Harvest MD Whalen joins ‘mini Apollo’ Gamut Capital

  • Gamut hires former Harvest MD Chris Whalen
  • Whalen worked at Harvest since 1999
  • Gamut seeking $750 mln for debut fund

Christopher Whalen, a longtime managing director at Harvest Partners, has left the firm and joined new firm Gamut Capital Management.

Whalen changed his LinkedIn profile to reflect the move, which said he joined Gamut in January. Whalen did not respond to a voicemail left for him at Gamut’s office. He is no longer listed on Harvest’s website.

Whalen joined Harvest in 1999, prior to which he worked as a financial analyst at Lehman Brothers. He has served on the boards of Bartlett Holdings, Continuum Energy, FCX and TruckPro, according to an archived version of Harvest’s website.

Gamut was launched by former Apollo Global Management Senior Partners Stan Parker and Jordan Zaken. It has been raising a debut fund targeting $750 million since last summer, according to an LP with knowledge of the firm. UBS is working as placement agent on the fundraising.

One LP who met with Gamut last year said the firm needs to build out its team and infrastructure and show some deals. “We have a hard time doing first-time funds,” the LP said. “We’d love to see one or two deals done … How on-point is it on the strategy they laid out?”

Gamut will mirror Apollo’s strategy in miniature, meaning it can do regular-style buyouts but also will buy debt when times are tough, two LPs previously told Buyouts.

“It’s like Apollo’s strategy but for the lower middle market,” one of the LPs said. “They have the ability to play the traditional private equity market when things are good. When things are bad, you get the advantage of dislocation.”

Harvest, meanwhile, promoted Stephen Carlson to managing director. It’s not clear if Carlson directly replaces Whalen. Carlson joined Harvest in 2010 from DLJ Merchant Banking Partners.

Harvest is in the market targeting $1.5 billion for its seventh fund. The firm also is raising its debut non-control fund, Harvest Partners Structured Capital Fund, targeting $400 million. That fund collected at least $110 million as of January, according to an SEC document.

Action Item: Reach Gamut at 212-309-2600.

Photo of Christopher Whalen from archived version of Harvest Partners website