On the Move, 7.13.2015


Blackstone has appointed Liping Zhang as a senior managing director and its chairman for Greater China. Based in Hong Kong, Zhang will advise and provide guidance to firm management and its regional business units. Previously, Zhang was co-CEO of Greater China and vice chairman of global investment banking at Credit Suisse.

To bolster its Africa team, KKR has named Dominique Lafont as a senior advisor to the firm. Lafont is the former president and CEO of Bolloré Africa Logistics. “Dominique Lafont has a first-class reputation and network, as well as a wealth of operational experience across Africa, especially in the infrastructure and logistics sector,” said Kayode Akinola, Director of KKR and head of KKR’s efforts in Africa said. “We are very pleased to have Dominique as a senior advisor to our firm to help us grow the KKR franchise further in Africa.”

New York-based private equity manager Goldpoint Partners has hired Sean Gelb as chief financial officer. Previously, Gelb worked at Blackstone where he served as senior vice president of private equity tactical opportunities, finance and accounting. Goldpoint Partners is New York Life Investments’ private equity affiliate.

Investcorp has hired Tony Robinson as its chief financial officer. Current CFO, Rishi Kapoor has assumed responsibility as co-CEO of Investcorp alongside Mohammed Al-Shroogi, who is president of Investcorp’s Gulf Business. Robinson, who was with Investcorp for 14 years until 2008, re-joins the firm from Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Co where he was responsible for the finance and treasury functions as CFO.

Linsalata Capital Partners has promoted Gregory L. Taber to senior managing director. Taber joined the Cleveland-based private equity firm in 2000. Previously, Taber worked at Deloitte Consulting.

MPM Capital said it has named Dr. Briggs W. Morrison to the position of managing director. Morrison was recently appointed CEO of Syndax Pharmaceuticals Inc, an MPM portfolio company.

Stafford Capital Partners has named Dan Rocca as an investment analyst. Previously, Rocca worked at Pöyry Management Consulting.

Strategic Investment Group has hired Nikki Kraus as global head of business development. Previously, Kraus worked at Hirtle Callaghan & Co as a director of institutional business.

Waypoint Capital has named Christopher A. Viehbacher as managing partner of its healthcare-focused Gurnet Point Capital fund. Previously, Viehbacher was CEO of Sanofi and chairman of Genzyme.

Triton Pacific Capital Partners said it has named Brian Buehler a partner and president of Triton Pacific Securities, the firm’s captive broker-dealer.


Japanese restaurant chain Wagamama, which is backed by Duke Street, has named Allan Leighton as non-executive chairman. Leighton’s extensive work background includes serving as president and CEO of Wal-Mart Europe.

ADC Therapeutics Sarl said it has appointed Dr. Chris Martin as its CEO. Previously, Martin co-founded and was CEO of Spirogen. ADC is an oncology research development company backed by Auven Therapeutics.

McClarin Plastics LLC, which is backed by Blackford Capital, has appointed Jerry Armstrong as president and CEO. Armstrong is the former president of CVG Americas. Based in Hanover, Pennsylvania, McClarin is a maker of composites and fiber-reinforced plastic components.

Restaurant chain Portillo’s Hot Dogs LLC, which is backed by Berkshire Partners, has named Keith Kinsey as its new CEO. Kinsey is the former president and chief operating officer at Noodles & Company.

PrestaShop said it has named Corinne Lejbowicz its new CEO. Lejbowicz is the former CEO of LeGuide.com. PrestaShop is backed by Serena Capital, XAnge Private Equity and Seventure Partners. The Paris-based company provides open source ecommerce solutions., 


Baird has appointed Chase Sanders as a managing director in its technology investment banking practice. Based in Washington, D.C., Sanders will focus on enterprise software, SaaS and healthcare IT. Recently, Sanders worked at Signal Hill, a boutique investment bank focused on growth-stage IT companies, where he served as a partner and managing director.

Investment bank Angle Advisors has hired Tom Gordy as a managing director. Gordy previously worked for BancOne Capital Markets Inc and Variant Capital Advisors.

GiftCertificates.com said it has named Richard Buer its CEO. Buer most recently served as senior vice president and general manager for the West Coast Automotive Group at Maritz. Omaha-based GiftCertificates.com provides reward solutions and gift products for the corporate and consumer markets.

LPEQ, the association of listed private equity companies, has named Tim Spence as non-executive chairman. Spence, who has been a board director of LPEQ since 2013, is a finance director at Graphite Capital. He succeeds Andrew Lebus, a senior partner at Pantheon Ventures.

Meketa Investment Group said Managing Principals Stephen McCourt and Peter Woolley will become co-CEOs of the firm, effective July 31. Jim Meketa, the firm’s founder, will become chairman of the board.


Thoma Bravo has promoted Arvindh Kumar and Chip Virnig to principal. Previously, Kumar and Virnig were vice presidents. Prior to joining Thoma Bravo, Kumar worked Prospect Capital Management, BC Partners and Morgan Stanley, while Virnig worked in Merrill Lynch & Co’s investment banking group.