Bob Grady, the former chairman of the New Jersey State Investment Council and confidant of Governor Chris Christie, has joined private equity firm Gryphon Investors.
Beginning March 2—just four months after stepping down from his post at the $80 billion pension fund following a pay-to-play scandal—Grady will head the San Francisco-based firm’s general industries group.
“As a typical general partner at a private equity firm, I will be focused on opportunistically investing in companies in the growing segments offers the economy,” he told CIO.
The 57-year-old confirmed that through this move, he will permanently transition from his current position as managing director of private equity fund-of-funds manager Cheyenne Capital. He will, however, stay on as senior advisor on a pro bono basis.
Grady will be working out of Gryphon’s new office in Jackson, Wyoming, where he is currently based.
The private equity veteran is no stranger to Gryphon and its founder David Andrews. He had been friends with Andrews from Stanford Business School and had been a co-investor of the firm.
“Bob is a deeply experienced private equity partner who has been an investors with us since Gryphon’s formation and now all of our limited partners will benefit from his considerable business and investment expertise,” Andrews said in a statement.
Grady said he was also looking forward to working with a smaller firm like Gryphon and return to his background in direct investments.
Prior to his roles at Cheyenne Capital and the New Jersey pension fund, Grady spent nine years at the Carlyle Group as its global head of venture and growth capital.
“Bob made a lot of great deals while at Carlyle,” David Rubenstein, the co-founder and co-CEO of Carlyle, told CIO. “He is an extremely well-connected man in the investment world and has extensive experience in private equity. This move to Gryphon makes perfect sense.”
The move by Grady, who is also a former White House policy advisor, comes as private equity executives offer diverging opinions on the industry’s future.
Speaking at the SuperReturn International conference in Berlin, Guy Hands—the founder of the UK’s Terra Firma Capital Partners—said the industry was likely to become more private, focusing on smaller fundraising and close relationships with its clients.
“It means being more aligned with your investors, putting much more of your own skin in the game, giving them what they really want, minimizing their fees, maximizing their returns,” Hands said at the conference. “That way private equity will go ‘back to the future.’”
On the other hand, Rubenstein said as private equity becomes available and applicable to a larger client base, it would likely become more standardized and more public.
“Everything will be known to the public,” Rubenstein said. “Everyone will feel the industry is as transparent as the public equity industry is.”
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