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By Devin Banerjee
By Devin Banerjee
NEW YORK - Christopher Halpin left Providence Equity Partners Inc. for a position with the National Football League, at least the eighth managing director to depart from the buyout firm since the start of last year, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Halpin, who joined Providence in 2000 and was most recently a partner in the firm’s media buyouts group, joined the NFL as a vice president of media strategy and business development, said one of the people, who requested anonymity because neither Providence nor the NFL announced the move publicly. Halpin was based in Providence’s New York office and previously helped start its Hong Kong office.
Halpin joins at least seven managing directors who have left the Providence, Rhode Island-based buyout firm since last year. The company, run by CEO Jonathan Nelson, is set to close its seventh fund this month with $5 billion, a revised target after the firm initially sought $6 billion when it started fundraising in the first half of 2011, one of the people said. Providence’s previous fund brought in $12.1 billion in 2007.
The NFL in March said it partnered with Providence to invest in sports- and entertainment-related media assets, targeting growth-oriented investments of $25 million to $50 million in private companies.
Andrew Cole, a spokesman for Providence at public-relations firm Sard Verbinnen & Co., declined to comment. Halpin didn’t return an e-mail seeking comment.
Other recent departures include Patrick Corso, who was a senior managing director and head of the Hong Kong office, and Julie Fisher, head of investor relations, the people said. Jesse Du Bey and Nadim Nsouli left the firm earlier this year to pursue other opportunities, according to an investor letter, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. Mark Masiello and Gustavo Schwed left last year, and Julie Richardson, who helped start the firm’s New York office, stepped back to become a senior adviser.
Providence, started in 1989, oversees $28 billion in assets and concentrates on deals in media, communications, education and information-related companies. The firm is adjusting for “departures that often occur at the start of a new fund’s investment period,” it said in the investor letter. The average tenure of managing directors at the firm is 12 years, said one of the people.
In addition to Halpin, Wooseok Jun, a director based in Hong Kong, and Ankur Kumar, a vice president based in New York, also recently left, one of the people said. Jun and Kumar didn’t return e-mails seeking comment.
Providence is best known for deals including the 2007 buyout of Univision Communications Inc. and its investment in the cable-television network of the New York Yankees. Its previous two funds, raised in 2007 and 2005, were generating net internal rates of return of 4.1 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively, as of Dec. 31, according to California Public Employees’ Retirement System, an investor in both pools.