Roark Capital Drops DeAngelo, Financial Services

Buyout firm Roark Capital has shifted gears away from financial services investments, leaving Partner Larry DeAngelo out of a job, a source familiar with the situation said. DeAngelo joined the Atlanta-based firm in 2005 specifically to lead its financial services investments for the shop. His tenure at Roark Capital officially came to an end on Dec. 31.

The firm’s decision to move away from financial services was gradual, the source said. When Roark Capital’s most recent fund closed in 2008, the firm intended to invest much of the $1 billion in capital into its two core areas of focus: franchising and environmental services. The firm also planned investments in financial services, direct marketing and business services companies; three areas led by DeAngelo.

However, Roark Capital hasn’t found adequate opportunities in financial services, the source said, so it officially dropped its focus on that area. The firm will continue to look at direct marketing and business services deals. In recent years, Roark Capital hired Ezra Field to lead the firm’s efforts in direct marketing and promoted Anthony Scotto to managing director responsible for overseeing its efforts in business services.

Roark Capital declined to comment and DeAngelo did not respond to inquiries.

The firm has not completed a financial services deal with its current fund; its last five deals have been in the franchising sector. In the fourth quarter of 2009, Roark Capital invested $100 million of equity in non-hazardous solid waste management company Waste Pro USA. The company also acquired Pet Valu, a Canadian pet food and supply retailer and distributor. Roark Capital’s $1 billion fund is 30 percent deployed, the source said.

The firm added six buyout professionals to its team in the past year, bringing its total headcount to 36.