NexPhase Capital named John King as operating partner within its healthcare and software verticals. King has been involved with NexPhase for over a decade, having served as CEO of former NexPhase portfolio company OmniSYS and as a member of the firm’s executive advisory board. He has more than 30 years of sales and operating experience in healthcare and information technology, including senior roles at MedAssets and McKesson.
Ray Carey joined Level Equity as head of the firm’s operating partner team, known as NextLevel Operations. Carey has served as CEO of three successful private equity backed companies, in addition to a decade of investing experience as a partner at Azure Capital Partners. His new role will be to accelerate the growth of Level Equity’s portfolio companies.
Ashish Gupta joined Kain Capital as chief technology officer — a newly created role focused on innovation in AI and machine learning, cloud computing and data analytics for technology-focused healthcare portfolio companies. A computer scientist, Gupta’s background includes leading the machine learning team for Google’s Smart Ads bidding and optimization for six years, as well as leading initiatives at quantitative hedge fund D.E. Shaw.
Healthcare venture capital platform LRVHealth promoted Ellen Herlacher from principal to partner. Herlacher previously led LRVHealth’s investments in maternity care company Diana Health and value-based autism services provider Cortica. In her new role, she will co-lead the firm’s research and investments in new care delivery, behavioral health, workforce transformation and government-sponsored payers.
Stefanie Thomas is joining mission-driven VC firm Zeal Capital Partners as managing director. Thomas was a founding member and investor at Impact America Fund, helping the investment company grow from $7 million to $110 million in assets with a thesis of driving economic power to communities of color. In her new role, she will oversee Zeal’s pre-seed investment strategy and portfolio with a focus on sourcing, investing and scaling high-growth, early-stage tech startups.
Franchise Equity Partners (FEP) announced five new hires across different verticals. Kevin Burke, the founder and former managing director Trinity Capital, an investment banking firm focused on quick service restaurants, will lead FEP’s restaurant vertical. Doug Hoerr, who will oversee industrial heavy equipment joins FEP after 24 years at Caterpillar. Matt Hughes will lead FEP’s beverage distribution vertical, bringing over 40 years of beverage industry experience, most recently served as vice president of Emerging Brands Incubation at Coca-Cola North America. Malcolm Rhodes, who will focus on agricultural heavy equipment, joins from John Deere, where he led a 36-year career. Lastly, Brandon Emmerich will leads FEP’s data science effort. He joins with 13 years of industry experience, most recently serving as Director of Data Science at Suvretta Capital Management.
Ares Capital, an Ares Management subsidiary, is promoting its chief accounting officer, vice president and treasurer, Scott Lem, to chief financial officer on Feb. 15, 2024, replacing Penni Roll. Lemm, who has held roles at Ares Capital and in the Ares Credit Group since joining the firm in 2003, previously worked at Ernst & Young and Arthur Andersen.
Frank Riccio, CFA, joined First Eagle Investments as head of sales and strategic relationships—U.S. Wealth Solutions. In this newly created role, Riccio will oversee operations at the firm’s U.S. Wealth Solutions business while also playing a role in setting its strategic course. Riccio, who was most recently head of field sales at PIMCO, has more than 20 years of experience in sales and leadership.
Portland-based alternative credit and interval fund specialist Variant Investments hired Kristi Combs as chief operating officer. She brings over 25 years of public and private industry experience, including 18 years of senior-level roles at family offices.
Philippe Lapointe joined Clarion Partners as a managing director and assistant portfolio manager for the firm’s open-end multifamily fund. He served most recently served as president of Canada-based H&R REIT, where he was responsible for founding and growing a U.S. subsidiary, Lantower Residential, into a multifamily platform.
Houlihan Lokey added Kartik Sudeep as a managing director in its FinTech Group in New York. Sudeep joins from Moelis & Company, where he was a managing director and senior coverage officer for fintech. Prior to Moelis, he held roles in Jefferies’ Technology Investment Banking Group, including as a senior coverage officer for the fintech, payments and software sectors.
Hilco Diligence Services added three new senior executives to its Financial Diligence Services/Transactions Advisory team. John Ruckstuhl joins as a managing director, bringing over 25 years of professional services experience at companies including Stout and EisnerAmper. Ervisa Ismailaj joins as executive director with a mandate to expand reach of Hilco’s Diligence Services practice. She has nearly 25 years of professional experience at Ernst & Young, MorganFranklin Consulting and other accounting and consulting firms. Also joining in an unnamed role was Carlos Cortes, a transaction advisory services and audit professional.
Bear Creek Asset Management hired Jonathan Stern as a managing director. In addition to working on the firm’s existing private fund investments, he will be a co-lead on the development and growth of a discretionary private investment platform. Stern was previously a managing director at Fundamental Advisors and has over 15 years of experience across sectors including housing, healthcare, energy and infrastructure.