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Obama's new private equity connection

January 22, 2013: 12:12 PM ET

obama_laughingMarty Nesbitt forming mid-market private equity firm.

FORTUNE -- One of President Obama's best friends is forming a private equity firm. Insert Mitt Romney's chagrin here.

The pal is Marty Nesbitt, who spent nearly a decade as CEO of Chicago-based airport parking company The Parking Spot (which was sold in December 2011 to Green Courte Partners). According to The Chicago Tribune, his partner will be Kip Kirkpatrick, the co-founder of Water Street Healthcare Partners who left in 2009 to run for Illinois treasurer (he dropped out of the race after just a couple of months).

Kirkpatrick currently serves as CEO of Shore Financial Services, a Michigan-based mortgage lender where Nesbitt serves as an advisor. Here is part of Nesbitt's Shore Financial bio:

Nesbitt serves as Co-Chief Executive Officer of Vistria, LLC, a private investment firm focused on helping middle-market companies achieve their growth objectives by utilizing its experience in both the private and public sectors.

The website says nothing of Kirkpatrick's involvement with Vistria, but he did recently register the (still dormant) domain VistriaGroup.com. I've left a message with Kirkpatrick, and will update this post if he replies.

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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