HRJ Capital Loses Its J

Joe Montana has left the general partnership of HRJ Capital (f.k.a. Champion Ventures), a fund-of-funds management firm founded in 1999 by former San Francisco 49ers teammates Harris Barton and Ronnie Lott. Firm spokesman Jeff Bloom said that Montana remains an equity holder in HRJ, but that other commitments made it impossible to him to log the necessary travel hours.

Montana first became involved with HRJ in 1999 as a limited partner in the firm’s $40 million inaugural VC fund-of-funds. Barton and Lott invited him to attend various portfolio firm meetings, and came away impressed with his level of interest and sophistication. When it came time to raise a follow-on fund the next year, Montana accepted an invitation to come aboard.

The VC funds-of-funds gained access to brand-name firms like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital and Summit Partners, while subsequent LBO fund-of-funds features portfolio firms like Bain Capital, Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts. In total HRJ has around $225 million in capital commitments spread over eight funds (including two real estate funds-of-funds), with a limited partner base that includes both professional athletes and institutions like Cornell University, GIC and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

The firm also has continued to staff up, despite the loss of Montana. Most recently, it hired Duran Curis away from LGT Capital Partner, in order to help beef up its buyout practice. While at LGT, Duran served on several private equity fund advisory boards. Prior to joining LGT Capita, Duran spent over four years at Pacific Corporate Group where he was responsible for the evaluation, due diligence, negotiation and monitoring of private equity investments on behalf of major institutional investors. He began his career at Schroder & Co. in Los Angeles.

Since its founding in 1999, HRJ Capital mission has been to create private equity fund-of-funds investments. The expanded team of investment professionals cover buyout and real estate fund investments in addition venture capital. —D.P.