Transitions: Nathanson Joins Oak Hill Capital –

New York-based private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners LP took on Andrew Nathanson in March as the firm’s fifth managing partner, focused on basic industry.

Nathanson previously was co-head of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette’s Leveraged Finance Group. He was also the co-head of the Credit Commitment Committee and a member of the Investment Banking Executive Committee during his eleven year term at Donaldson Lufkin.

The decision to move was unrelated to activities at Donaldson Lufkin, said Nathanson, who has known the partners at Oak Hill since the late 1980s. “It was much more being attracted to working with people that I’ve had a deep friendship with and deep respect for,” he said. “This opportunity may not have been here if I didn’t choose to move on it now.”

Nathanson will specialize in consumer retail distribution. In his new capacity at Oak Hill, unlike in his role at Donaldson Lufkin, Nathanson will remain involved in a deal over the life of the project. “One of my former clients commented that the difference is a little bit like before I was delivering the baby, and now it’s like having the baby,” he says. “[Meaning] you have to live with what you do for a long time as opposed to just moving on, which makes it fun and makes it exciting.”

Oak Hill, led by private equity mogul Robert Bass, closed its debut fund at $1.6 billion last year. The firm has since acquired GTE Airfone for an undisclosed amount and invested $100 million in a joint venture with Meristar Hospitality (BUYOUTS, July 5, 1999, p. 16). As the firm broadens its investment efforts and requires more resources, other professionals may be added, but they are more likely to be at the principal to partner level, said Nathanson.