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CalPERS-backed LongRange beefs up team, hires HighPost’s Sunny Patel

LongRange, led by founder and managing partner Bob Berlin, last year raised $1.5bn from CalPERS for its inaugural fund, Buyouts reported.

LongRange Capital, which last year raised a major commitment from California Public Employees’ Retirement System, added three new investment professionals to its bench.

The recruits include Sunny Patel, appointed senior principal.

Patel joins from another emerging manager, HighPost Capital, co-owned by the family of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. HighPost earlier this year secured an investment from Azimut Group’s GP stakes arm to help launch a debut fund.

Before HighPost, Patel was with Navab Capital Partners, founded in 2019 by KKR veteran Alex Navab and wound up the same year following his tragic death. While at Navab, Patel was a principal working alongside Bob Berlin, LongRange’s founder and managing partner.

Pre-Navab, Patel held a six-year investment role at 3G Capital. During his tenure, he was general manager of the US sauces and coffee units of Kraft Heinz Company, a 3G and Berkshire Hathaway portfolio investment. Between 2010 and 2013, he was with KKR.

Bob Berlin, LongRange Capital

LongRange also hired Taylor Elliott as senior associate. He hails from consumer-focused investor L Catterton, where he was a private equity associate. Before, Elliott was an analyst in Barclays Investment Bank’s global financial sponsors group.

Finally, Austin Marcus was brought on as associate. He was formerly a private equity associate with Cerberus Capital Management and, prior to that, an analyst in Goldman Sachs’ global technology, media and telecom group.

How LongRange invests

LongRange was formed by Berlin shortly after the break-up of Navab. Previously a managing director at Baupost Group and J.H. Whitney, he designed a strategy for investing in complex deals in sectors like non-discretionary consumer, value-added industrials and information-related and tech-enabled services.

LongRange looks to acquire control and minority interests in North American and European mid-market businesses, typically with revenue of $200 million-plus and an enterprise value of up to $5 billion. It will write checks ranging from $50 million to $400 million.

A key aspect of LongRange’s approach – implied in its name – is a long-term horizon. Unlike other PE firms, most of which invest over three to five years, it will back companies without reference to a fixed term as a way of optimizing value, Buyouts reported.

LongRange last September raised a $1.5 billion commitment from CalPERS for an inaugural fund. Sources told Buyouts the Stamford, Connecticut, private equity firm would not seek additional third-party capital to reach a higher target.

LongRange appears not to have done a debut deal. The firm declined to comment.

The new recruits bring members of LongRange’s investment team to six. In 2020, Carlyle Group’s Michele Reing was hired as CFO and COO, and HIG Capital’s Amar Doshi, as senior principal. Doshi later went to Two Sigma, according to his LinkedIn profile.