Morgenthaler Hires New Private Equity Co-Head

Kevin Macdonald has joined Morgenthaler as co-managing partner of the firm’s private equity team, peHUB has learned. He will work out of the firm’s Boston office, and succeeds John Lutsi (who will transition into an operating partner role). Fellow co-managing partner Al Stanley will continue to be based in Cleveland.

“The recruitment process really came from two different directions at once,” says Macdonald, a former co-founder and managing partner of Monitor Clipper Partners. “Morgenthaler was working with one of the top search firms, but it turns out that Al and I have a number of friends in common. One of them knew what I was looking for and what Al was looking for, and put us in touch with one another.”

If Macdonald’s hiring comes as a bit of a surprise, then it’s probably because you assumed that Morgenthaler was abandoning the buyout business. It’s okay. I thought so too, particularly given: (a) The firm’s prolonged lack of buyout deal activity; and (b) Last year’s raising of a $400 million venture-only fund, after years of venture/buyout hybrids.

“In mid-2006 we made a decision that the market was way over-heated, so we didn’t make any investments from then until we spotted a couple of attractive opportunities in late 2007,” Al Stanley explains. “We just didn’t believe that the prices we were seeing would hold long-term, and I think we’ve been proven correct.”

Stanley adds that Morgenthaler’s private equity team still has plenty of available investment powder from a $450 million hybrid fund raised in 2005. When that runs out, the firm would raise a buyouts-only fund.

Expect a formal announcement on Macdonald’s hiring sometime tomorrow.