Robert McKeon, the founder of private-equity firm Veritas Capital and a former chairman of Wasserstein Perella Management Partners, died Sept. 10 at his home in Darien, Connecticut. The cause of death was suicide, according to the office of Connecticut’s chief medical examiner.
Darien police in an e-mail confirmed McKeon’s death and said the incident isn’t considered suspicious. He was 58.
“Bob was an extraordinary person, a consummate professional, and a cherished friend and colleague,” New York-based Veritas said in an e-mailed statement. “We are all deeply saddened by this tragic loss and have his family in our thoughts.”
McKeon, a founding partner of Wasserstein Perella & Co., started Veritas in 1992, building it into a $2.2 billion firm. He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, and was appointed in 1993 to chairman of the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority.
Veritas in April agreed to buy Thomson Reuters Corp.’s health-care data and analytics business for $1.25 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The deal, which closed June 6, was the firm’s largest acquisition, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The company is being run by senior partners Ramzi Musallam, Hugh Evans and Benjamin Polk following McKeon’s death, the firm, which invests in government service providers, said in the e-mail. Musallam has been at Veritas since before its first fund was raised.
“We are continuing to oversee operations at Veritas and at our portfolio companies, consistent with our regular practice and as Bob would have wanted,” Veritas said in the statement.
McKeon began his career as a director at First Boston Corp.’s mergers and acquisitions group, working on deals valued at more than $20 billion, according to a biography posted on the website of Fordham University in New York, where he sat on the board of trustees. At Wasserstein Perella, he was instrumental in fundraising and investing of the group’s $1.1 billion private-equity fund.
McKeon was born in Bronx, New York, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University in 1976, according to the school. He received a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School, according to Veritas.