Lawson Takes Reins At HGGC In Advance Of Fund II Launch

Firm: HGGC

Capital Managed: $1.1 Billion

Prior Fund: Huntsman Gay Capital Partners Fund LP

Firm Founded: 2007

Chief Executive: Rich Lawson

Lawson succeeds Gary Crittenden, who had been chief executive since last year. Crittenden is now the firm’s chairman. No one at the firm was available to comment on the moves.

HGGC was founded in 2007 by several prominent members of the Mormon Church, including Jon Huntsman Sr., the head of Huntsman Corp., the chemicals firm and father of the former Utah governor and Republican presidential candidate who shares his name.

Another key founder was Robert Gay, the firm’s former chief executive who was previously a senior executive at Bain Capital. Gay left in 2012 after he decided to work full-time on behalf of the Mormon Church. Other co-founders include Lawson and Steve Young, the Hall of Fame quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers football team, and the NFL’s most valuable player in 1992 and 1994.

The firm closed its debut fund, Huntsman Gay Capital Partners Fund LP, in 2009 with $1.1 billion in commitments. Among that fund’s investors were the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which committed $180 million, and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which committed $100 million.

The firm’s debut fund has performed respectably, delivering a net IRR of 10.6 percent and a net return multiple of 1.3x, according to December 31, 2012 return data from CalPERS.

According to several reports, the firm is expected to launch a second fund in the next few months.