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Snow Phipps Partners Form New Buyout Firm Without Snow at Helm

Gillian Tan
·2 mins read

(Bloomberg) -- Three partners from private equity firm Snow Phipps Group LLC are starting over, reducing co-founder Ian Snow’s role and taking the entire company with them to a new venture.

Co-founder Ogden Phipps II said in an interview that he’s forming a new firm with longtime colleagues Alan Mantel and John Pless. Phipps and Pless, both 43, and Mantel, 57, will be managing partners of the new company, which will oversee the assets still owned by the first three Snow Phipps funds. The entire employee base will move to the new firm, which will remain at Snow Phipps’s office on Manhattan’s Madison Avenue.

“John, Alan and I have worked together for 16 years and want to build a firm based on our successful track record in private equity investing,” Phipps said.

Snow, 51, who co-founded Snow Phipps in 2005, is set to be a senior adviser at the new firm, which has yet to be named. He’ll also be on its investment committee.

Snow has been the subject of New York Post stories about a 2015 affair with a woman he moved from Las Vegas to Manhattan before reconciling with his wife, and about being behind the priciest rental in the Hamptons this summer.

Investors in Snow Phipps funds were told in a May 2020 letter that a succession agreement had been reached. Its so-called limited partners include New York State Common Retirement Fund, Kansas Public Employees Retirement System and Reinet Investments SCA, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“This is the right time for me to modify my role as SPG III nears the end of its investment period and I focus on other priorities,” Snow said in a statement. “I remain invested in the success of Snow Phipps and the successor firm.”

Snow declined to comment on the Post stories about his personal life or whether they impacted his decision.

The new firm will seek to raise $750 million to $1 billion for its debut fund, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Phipps, Mantel and Pless declined to comment on fundraising plans.

The new firm’s investment approach is set to be similar to that of its predecessor, Phipps said. That involves betting on companies that operate in the industrial and business-services sectors and have enterprise values of $100 million to $500 million, he said. The firm focuses on light-industrial businesses, such as manufacturers of components and products.

Snow Phipps last raised $915 million for its third fund, which has made investments in companies including Prototek Holdings LLC, Velocity Financial Inc. and BlackHawk Industrial. That fund has delivered a net internal rate of return of 14.1%, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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