Oak Hill, with new leadership in place, nears close of $3 bln Fund V

Oak Hill veteran Taylor Crandall recently transitioned to chairman emeritus, while Managing Partner and CEO Tyler Wolfram was joined in leadership by two new managing partners

Oak Hill Capital is on the verge of closing a fifth flagship buyout fund after quietly making changes in its senior leadership ranks, Buyouts has learned.

In a significant succession, Taylor Crandall, identified by Oak Hill earlier this year as one of two managing partners, recently took the position of chairman emeritus, according to the firm’s website.

Crandall, a founding member of Oak Hill, has been with the New York-based private equity firm since its inception. Oak Hill began in 1986 as the family office of billionaire businessman Robert Bass.

Tyler Wolfram will continue as managing partner and CEO. He now shares top leadership with two new managing partners, the website shows. They are Brian Cherry, recruited to the firm in 2014, and Steven Puccinelli, who came on board a year later.

Cherry and Puccinelli bring considerable PE experience to their roles. Before joining Oak Hill, Cherry was a senior managing director with J.H. Whitney & Co, while Puccinelli was head of private equity for North America and Europe at Investcorp. Prior to these jobs, both served with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

Oak Hill in October said it received a strategic minority investment from Stonyrock Partners. It is not known if the deal supported the leadership change. Oak Hill did not respond to a request for comment.

Oak Hill Capital Partners V, launched last year with a $3 billion target, has so far secured more than $2.65 billion, according to a Form D fundraising document. The vehicle is now poised to surpass Fund IV, which raised $2.65 billion two years ago, and potentially approach Fund III, which closed in 2009 at $3.8 billion.

The general partner team has traditionally been the largest investor in Oak Hill funds. The GP committed $300 million to Fund IV and put $350 million to work in its predecessor.

Fund V received an early boost from a major first-time limited partner, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which in 2018 committed $225 million. CPPIB in the same year invested alongside Oak Hill in the recapitalization of Berlin Packaging, a Chicago-based supplier of packaging products and services.

The fund’s other backers include Minnesota State Board of Investment, which committed $100 million; Taiwan Life Insurance, which committed $50 million; and Workers’ Compensation Reinsurance Association, which committed $25 million.

Oak Hill makes control investments, typically ranging from $100 million to $300 million, in mostly North American mid-market companies in the consumer, retail and distribution, industrials, media and communications and services sectors. Fund V is expected to maintain this strategy.

Oak Hill has done several new deals this year. It co-led a transaction backing the merger of U.S.-based Calero and U.K.-based MDSL, both software providers in the recurring tech expense management space. The firm also agreed to acquire a stake in Denver, Colorado-based wealth manager Mercer Advisors from Genstar Capital and Lovell Minnick Partners.

Oak Hill Capital Partners IV generated a net multiple of invested capital of 1.2x and IRR of 27.13 percent as of September 30, according to a report by Minnesota SBI.

Action Item: Check out Oak Hill Capital’s ADV filings here.