ComVentures loses another GP

Jim McLean is leaving ComVentures, after having served as a general partner since 2000, PE Week has learned. Limited partners were informed late last month, and also were told that firm co-founder Cliff Higgerson would return to serve as a part-time investor.

McLean has not yet disclosed his future plans.

But his departure is the latest in a series of personnel shakeups at ComVentures, following earlier departures of General Partners Paul Vabakos, David Helfrich and Perry Wu. Higgerson was expected to make at least one investment per year from the firm’s $350 million sixth fund – which closed in 2003 and called down its first capital in 2005 – but he left and was removed from the ComVentures website in late 2004.

Neither McLean nor remaining ComVentures partners responded to requests for comment, but LPs contacted were stunned by the move.

“I’m starting to wish I hadn’t invested in Fund VI,” says an LP who declined to be identified. “And they’re trying to make it better by saying that Cliff is coming back, but Cliff wasn’t supposed to have left in the first place.”

McLean was considered part of ComVentures’ ruling trio, alongside Roland Van der Meer and Michael Rolnick. Other current partners include David Britts (who joined in 2002) and Jeb Miller (2005). ComVentures also recently hired former portfolio company CEO Bob Barron as a venture partner.

McLean’s exits include Boston Communications Group (Nasdaq: BCGI); Polycom (Nasdaq: PLCM); SiteSmith (acquired by MFN); Sonus Networks (Nasdaq: SONS); and UUNet Technologies (acquired by MCI).

McLean is expected to transition out of current portfolio board seats, which include Ahura, Aurora Networks, Fultec, NetD, OpSource, Quantia, Stratalight and TelASIC. Prior to joining ComVentures, McLean co-founded Bedrock Capital Partners, and before that was with both Highland Capital Partners and Accel Partners.