TPG Appoints Ex-Goldman Sachs Executive Winkelried as Co-CEO

TPG Said Close to Hiring Jon Winkelried
  • Winkelried to serve as co-CEO alongside co-founder Jim Coulter
  • Spent 27 years at Goldman Sachs; was co-president, co-COO

TPG Capital hired former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive Jon Winkelried as co-chief executive officer to expand the firm’s offerings as it contemplates going public.

Winkelried, 56, will be co-CEO alongside Jim Coulter and focus on diversifying TPG’s lines of business, the two executives said in a telephone interview Wednesday. David Bonderman, who founded TPG with Coulter in 1992, became chairman last year.

“Jon brings a very important set of skills to TPG,” Coulter said in the interview. “As the industry has matured it has taken on a dual mission: we have to invest with extraordinary returns but also operate ourselves with a high level of managerial talent.”

The hire allows TPG, which has its main offices in San Francisco and Fort Worth, Texas, to keep a co-CEO structure after Bonderman, 72, took on the chairman role. Coulter, 55, is among the youngest leaders of large U.S. alternative-asset managers such as KKR & Co., Blackstone Group LP and Carlyle Group LP.

While those firms have sold shares to the public, TPG remained in “contemplative mode” at the end of 2014 regarding a potential initial public offering, Bonderman said at the time, speaking at a Bloomberg conference in Washington. Jonathan Coslet, TPG’s chief investment officer, told a conference audience earlier this month that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if shares of the firm are trading publicly in the next three years.

‘Invigorating’ Partnership

“The partnership as co-CEOs can be very invigorating for the firm,” Winkelried said in the interview. “Joining TPG allows me to help grow the firm while its core value proposition -- investing -- continues as the heart of the business.”

TPG manages $74.3 billion in private equity holdings, credit assets, real estate and hedge funds. The firm has raised more than $18 billion in the past two years, including for a $10 billion leveraged-buyout fund, a $3.2 billion special situations pool, a $3 billion growth-equity fund and a $2.1 billion real estate vehicle.

TPG’s peers similarly named outsiders as top executives before and after their IPOs. Blackstone co-founder and CEO Steve Schwarzman in 2002 tapped Tony James from Credit Suisse First Boston to be chief operating officer. James, who was later named president before Blackstone’s 2007 public offering, orchestrated its 2008 acquisition of credit manager GSO Capital Partners, and today signs off on all of Blackstone’s investments alongside Schwarzman.

Apollo Global Management hired Marc Spilker from Goldman Sachs three months before its 2011 IPO, as president. He left Apollo in 2014. Carlyle, which went public in 2012, last year hired Mike Cavanagh from JPMorgan Chase & Co. as co-president alongside Carlyle veteran Glenn Youngkin and under the firm’s three founders; Cavanagh departed 11 months later.

Goldman Sachs

Winkelried left Goldman Sachs in 2009, where he was co-president and co-COO alongside Gary Cohn. He started in its investment banking division in 1982, became a partner in 1990 and later ran fixed-income trading for five years. He and Cohn were named co-presidents and co-COOs in 2006.

“Jon is a rare talent -- an excellent leader, a first-rate banker and risk manager, and an experienced and very able manager working across a broad range of securities markets,” Henry Paulson, who was CEO of Goldman Sachs from its 1999 IPO to 2006 before becoming U.S. Treasury secretary, said of Winkelried in an e-mail on Wednesday.

Since 2011, Winkelried has advised TPG’s credit funds, which are run by former Goldman Sachs partner Alan Waxman. Winkelried started discussions with TPG about the co-CEO role in June, meeting numerous times with Coulter, Bonderman and the leaders of each of the firm’s investment groups.

“The key for me at the outset was to get to know TPG’s people,” said Winkelried. “Understanding the firm’s culture and how I can contribute to it was essential.”

A native of Millburn, New Jersey, Winkelried played baseball for the University of Chicago, where he received an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in business administration. He’s a vice-chairman of the board of trustees at Vanderbilt University.

“We think bringing Jon on board puts TPG in a very strong position for at least the next decade,” Coulter said.

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