PEI Funds Managing Director Benjamin Wilson leaves firm

  • Benjamin Wilson helped lead PEI Funds
  • Former partner filed lawsuit against firm founder
  • Firm canceled annual meeting last fall

Benjamin Wilson, a managing director at old-line secondary shop PEI Funds, has left the firm, according to a friends-and-family email seen by Buyouts.

Exactly when Wilson left is unclear. He said in the email he was pursuing a new opportunity. Wilson didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Wilson helped run PEI Funds along with founder Chuck Stetson and Managing Director David Parshall. No one returned an email request for comment sent to the firm’s general mailbox.

Stetson has been engaged in a court battle with former PEI Funds Partner Gunnar Fremuth, who accused Stetson of improperly seizing control of the firm from the other partners. Fremuth claimed in court documents that Stetson fired him after the partners refused to pay Stetson’s lavish expenses, including $150,000 for his daughter’s wedding.

He also accused Stetson of improperly using fund capital to pay two advisers he privately hired.

Stetson denied the accusations and said the lawsuit was the “desperate” attempt of a former executive to blame others for his own investment failures.

As the lawsuit plays out, the firm delayed its annual meeting, which had been set for the fall. PEI Funds planned to raise a Fund VI but didn’t move forward, according to court documents.

The firm has seen a string of departures, including Fremuth in December 2015. Former Chief Compliance Officer and Controller Ed Muradian left in February, according to his LinkedIn profile. Kellen DiStefano, a vice president, was listed on the firm’s website until around March.

PEI Funds’ most recent investment pool is Private Equity Investment Fund V LP, which closed in 2010 on $202.7 million. Fund V was generating a negative 4.6 percent internal rate of return and a 0.9x total value to paid-in multiple as of June 30, 2016, performance data from Town of Palm Beach Retirement System shows.

Action Item: Check out PEI Funds’ Form ADV here:

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