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Vista Equity Foundation, Endeavor co-heads step into advisory roles, Pine Island brings on NASA administrator

It's a leadership shakeup at Vista Equity.

Happy Thursday!

Rumor is, we’re going to hit the low-70s here on the East Coast. Very excited!

How are you faring this week? Anything crazy going on? We have some stuff for you :Shake-up: Two co-heads of Vista Equity’s popular middle-market Foundation fund and small-cap Endeavor fund stepped out of leadership and into advisory roles, the firm announced Wednesday.

Alan Cline, a well respected investor at Vista who co-leads Endeavor and formerly led the Foundation strategy for a decade, and Rob Rogers, co-lead of Foundation, are transitioning into advisory roles.

They are being replaced by Rachel Arnold, a Vista veteran who will co-lead Endeavor alongside Rene Stewart, and Patrick Severson, who will co-lead Foundation alongside Marc Teillon. (Notably, Endeavor, which closed its second small-cap pool last year on its $850 million hard cap, will now be led by two women).

Vista’s former No. 2, Brian Sheth, left the firm late last year. The departures come amid Vista’s efforts to move forward after its CEO, Robert Smith, agreed to cooperate in the government tax fraud investigation of his partner and friend, Bob Brockman, and pay $139 million in back taxes and penalties, as a way to avoid prosecution for evading taxes related to the first Vista Equity fund (to which he admitted as part of the deal).

The departures spurred mixed reaction from LPs, with two saying they were surprised by the moves and were seeking more information. “Seems like an odd time for both of them to conclude that they want to do less,” one LP told me.

Vista closed its fourth Foundation fund last year on more than $4.5 billion.

Big test: I’ve been surprised that Smith hasn’t moved out of the CEO role in the wake of his agreement with the government. At the same time, Leon Black, former head of Apollo, stepped out of leadership, and recently, completely left the firm because of his past relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. Many LPs, in fact, have expressed support of Smith and the organization he built, which boasts one of the strongest track records in the industry.

The departures are significant, but “I wonder how much it will matter to some of their investors who are committed, essentially, to Smith,” a second LP told me.

The big test will be when Vista launches its next flagship pool, which should be looking to raise $16 billion or more based on the close of the last flagship fund.

What do you think? Hit me up with your thoughts at cwitkowsky@buyoutsinsider.com.