Kerins joins NEA as GP

New Enterprise Associates has tapped Patrick Kerins as a general partner to focus on enterprise software, wireless and telecommunications companies. He will work primarily from NEA’s Reston, Va.-based office.

NEA picked up Kerins from Grotech Capital Group, where he was a GP for nearly a decade. Kerins says the split from Baltimore-based Grotech was amicable and that he will work with the firm as another partner takes over his board seats. Prior to Grotech, he was an investment banker with Alex. Brown & Sons.

NEA GP Peter Barris says that the firm recruited Kerins based partly on their shared board memberships. Barris and Kerins had sat on the boards of such companies as Hillcrest Communications, Megisto Systems, PathNet and SALIX Technologies. The two also sat on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association, for which Kerins is a past president.

Kerins joined NEA as the firm has raised about $2.3 billion in commitments for its $2.5 billion fund 12. NEA expects to close the fund in July. NEA’s new fund is more than six times the size of Grotech’s $410 million sixth fund, which was raised in 2000.

“Part of the attraction of coming to NEA is having the capital and the flexibility to invest in all stages,” Kerins says.

His biggest wins at Grotech included, which sold to America Online for $435 million in cash in 2004, and CDNow which raised $78 million in a public offering in 1998 and was later bought by Bertelsmann AG in 2000.