Mid-Market Shop Adds Former NY Gov. Pataki To Board

MidOcean Partners has joined the ranks of private equity shops seeking the counsel and connections of prominent politicians, adding George Pataki, the former governor of New York, to its executive board.

The addition of Pataki is notable for a firm of MidOcean Partners’s size. The previous dalliances between politicians and the alternative asset management industry have involved bigger players on both sides. Former U.S. presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton have been involved with The Carlyle Group and Yucaipa Cos., respectively.

New York-based MidOcean Partners, which has three funds with more than $3.5 billion in commitments, said Pataki, who served as governor from 1995 through 2006, would also be joining the board of directors of one of its portfolio companies, OneLink Communications, which provides cable services in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“This represents a unique opportunity for all of us to benefit from Governor Pataki’s vast experience in successfully running New York State as well as his keen economic insights,” said Ted Virtue, the founder and chief executive officer of MidOcean, in a press release. “In this advisory role, we will have access to his unique perspectives as we continue to partner with our management teams to build our portfolio of companies that increasingly have global operations.”

MidOcean Partners operates in the middle market, targeting control investment with minimum equity contributions of $25 million in the United States and Europe. Its target sectors are business and financial services, consumer and leisure, media and communications and niche industrials.

Pataki, who joined law firm Chadbourne and Parke LLP as counsel last year, said he was “impressed by the skill and acumen of MidOcean’s investment professionals” in a statement, adding: “I am pleased to share insights and counsel from my public and private sector careers with the partners and management teams as they continue to build on the firm’s success.”

Separately, MidOcean Partners has announced two promotions, with David Basto moving to managing director and Barrett Gilmer named a vice president. In addition, the shop this month said Elias Dokas has joined the staff as a principal. Dokas is a former managing director at The Blackstone Group.

Among other prominent politicians in private equity, ex-vice president Al Gore is a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a Menlo Park, Calif., venture capital firm. He is part of the shop’s GreenTech team, according to its Web site, in addition to other duties as a board member with Apple Inc. and chairman of the Alliance For Climate Protection. Colin Powell, a former Secretary of State, is also affiliated with Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, serving as a strategic limited partner.