UNC And Rockefeller Managers To Run New FoF

The Center for Venture Education, which since 1994 has run the popular Kauffman Fellows program to train the venture capitalists of tomorrow, plans to market and raise funds of funds, including buyout funds of funds, to help support its endowment.

Mel Williams from the UNC Management Co. and Edwin Post from the Rockefeller Foundation in New York have agreed to run the fund-of-funds, which is called Truebridge Capital and will be based out of Chapel Hill, N.C. They officially leave their current positions next month and have already started fundraising.

“It’s not often that you get the opportunity to form a new firm with a partner who I respect tremendously as an investor and trust as a friend,” Williams says. “I’ve known Edwin since he was a freshman at UNC and I was a freshman. I think he’s looking forward to moving back here.”

Williams declined to discuss fund-raising or the specifics of the CVE relationship, but sources tell Buyouts that TrueBridge is in the market with a $250 million-targeted venture capital fund-of-funds. TrueBridge is expected to follow its inaugural vehicle with other targeted funds of funds—some focused on buyouts—and will be aided by its access to the Kauffman Fellows network, which has produced about 90 fellows over the past 14 years. It was created by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

It is unclear exactly how much of the funds’ returns will flow to the CVE, but the agreement may involve the organization receiving a few carried interest points. The CVE will not be a limited partner in the fund.

Shawnee Mission, Kansas-based CVE turned to Sextant Search Partners to find experienced managers to run the new fund. What Sextant came up with was probably better than CVE had originally hoped for. Rather than reeling in a pair of underpaid and overworked state pension managers, it landed two big fish: Williams and Post.—D.P.