Private equity firm names CEO successor.
Yesterday we reported that Robert Gay has stepped down as CEO and managing partner of private equity firm Huntsman Gay Global Capital, in order to go work fulltime with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Here are some additional details and thoughts:
* Gary Crittenden will assume the role of CEO, Fortune has learned. Prior to joining Huntsman Gay as CFO in July 2009, Crittenden served as CFO of companies that included Citigroup (C), American Express (AXP) and Sears, Roebuck & Co.
* Gay will continue to advise Huntsman Gay, and make co-investments.
* There are no current plans to move the firm's East Coast office from West Palm Beach – a locale picked more for Gay's convenience than for strategic purposes (it also has a Massachusetts satellite, but only for back-office activities, plus a Palo Alto office).
* With Gay leaving, the firm's most experienced deal professional will be Greg Benson, who worked with Gay at both Bain Capital and, before that, GE Capital.
* Huntsman Gay so far has made 21 investments out of its $1.1 billion debut fund, and had been expected to begin raising its second fund later this year. I'm hearing that Gay's departure should not significantly affect the fundraising schedule.
* Gay's was called to a position titled First Quorum of the Seventy. It makes him one of the Church's top elders, and I'm told it's the sort of thing that you don't really turn down if asked. Of course, you're probably only asked if you're the type of person that wouldn't turn it down – so it's kind of circular. Worth noting that Gay left his last private equity gig at Bain Capital for a volunteer role as mission president for the countries of Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
* Both Gay and fellow co-founder Jon Huntsman agreed from the outset to donate any carried interest they received to charity. Quite altruistic, but one also wonders if it's so selfless as to cause a misalignment of interests for LPs. If you're already donating all your money, is it such a large leap to also donate all of your time?
* The firm has not yet decided if it will retain the "Huntsman Gay" brand, given that neither co-founder will be involved with the day-to-day going forward. As an interesting aside, the firm originally wanted to name itself H&G Capital, but went with Huntsman Gay due to possible confusion with fellow private equity firms HIG Capital and/or HgCapital. Too bad it didn't come up with something else, given that naming a firm after its founders too often leads to troubles down the road. Just ask the folks at Thomas H. Lee Partners…
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