Vestar Capital Partners has promoted Andrew Cavanna and Brian O’Connor to managing director; John Stephens was promoted to principal, and David Kestnbaum was promoted to vice president. Cavanna joined the firm in 2006 and is a member of its healthcare team. O’Connor is a member of Vestar’s Consumer team. He joined the firm in 2000. The firm also announced that Norman Alpert was named head of Vestar’s Consumer Sector. Alpert is a managing director and one of the founders of the firm.
Vestar Capital Partners, a leading US private equity firm, today announced several promotions and an appointment, effective immediately.
Andrew J. Cavanna and Brian P. O’Connor were promoted to Managing Director, John B. Stephens was promoted to Principal, and David N. Kestnbaum was promoted to Vice President.
“We believe these promotions are a well-deserved recognition of our team’s talent and performance. We are pleased to recognize the contributions of these individuals and we look forward to sharing the benefits of their efforts with our partners in the future,” said Dan O’Connell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vestar.
Mr. Cavanna is a member of Vestar’s Healthcare team. He joined the firm in 2006 from The Blackstone Group. Prior to Blackstone, he was a senior associate at JPMorgan Partners and an analyst in the Leveraged Finance Group at Merrill Lynch. Mr. Cavanna earned his BA in Economics and Government from Cornell University and his MBA from Columbia Business School.
Mr. O’Connor is a member of Vestar’s Consumer team. He joined Vestar in 2000 from DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, spending two years at the firm prior to attending business school, rejoining Vestar in 2004. Mr. O’Connor holds both a BA and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Mr. Stephens, a member of Vestar’s Consumer and Diversified Industries teams, joined the firm in 2006. Previously, he was a member of the Leveraged Finance Group at Wachovia Securities, where he worked on consumer- and healthcare-related financings. Mr. Stephens also worked at L.E.K. Consulting. He holds a BA from Middlebury College, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.
Mr. Kestnbaum is a member of Vestar’s Consumer and Diversified Industries teams. He joined the firm in 2006 from JPMorgan’s Financial Sponsor Group, where he executed a variety of private equity-related M&A and financing assignments. Mr. Kestnbaum holds a BA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Norman W. Alpert was named as the Head of Vestar’s Consumer Sector. Mr. Alpert is a Managing Director and one of the founders of the firm and also serves as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He was formerly a senior executive in the Management Buyout Group of the First Boston Corporation.
“In the 25 years since Vestar’s founding, Norm has led many of the firm’s key investments, most recently Press Ganey and HealthGrades,” said Mr. O’Connell. “As Head of our Consumer franchise, Norm will be returning to a role he skillfully played in prior years and will be working closely with Kevin Mundt, President of Vestar Resources, and Brian O’Connor, Managing Director, to continue the long and successful Vestar tradition of identifying and developing opportunities in the consumer space.”
Brian Ratzan, Vestar’s recent Head of the Consumer Sector, has left the firm to pursue another opportunity. “We thank Brian for his contribution to Vestar over the years and we wish him well in his new endeavor,” said Mr. O’Connell.
About Vestar Capital Partners
Vestar is a leading private equity firm specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments with $7 billion in assets under management. The firm targets companies in North America with valuations of $250 million to $3 billion in four key industry sectors: Consumer, Diversified Industries, Healthcare and Digital Media, and Financial Services. Vestar invests and collaborates with incumbent management teams, family owners or corporations in a creative, flexible and entrepreneurial way to build long-term franchise and enterprise value. Since the firm’s founding in 1988, the Vestar funds have completed more than 70 investments in companies with a total value of more than $30 billion. Vestar has offices in New York, Boston and Denver.