Providence’s Halpin Said to Join NFL on Smaller Fundraise

Christopher Halpin left Providence Equity Partners Inc. for a position with the National Football League, according to two people familiar with the matter, at least the eighth managing director to depart the buyout firm since the start of last year.

Halpin, who joined Providence in 2000 and was most recently a partner in the firm’s media buyouts group, joined the NFL as a vice president of media strategy and business development, said one of the people, who requested anonymity because neither Providence nor the NFL announced the move publicly. Halpin was based in Providence’s New York office and previously helped start its Hong Kong office.

Halpin joins at least seven managing directors who have left the Providence, Rhode Island-based firm since last year. The company, run by Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Nelson, is set to close its seventh fund this month with $5 billion, a revised target after the firm initially sought $6 billion when it started fundraising in the first half of 2011, one of the people said. Providence’s previous fund brought in $12.1 billion in 2007.

The NFL in March said it partnered with Providence to invest in sports- and entertainment-related media assets, targeting growth-oriented investments of $25 million to $50 million in private companies.

Andrew Cole, a spokesman for Providence at public-relations firm Sard Verbinnen & Co., declined to comment. Halpin didn’t return an e-mail seeking comment.

Media Focus

Other recent departures include Patrick Corso, who was a senior managing director and head of the Hong Kong office, and Julie Fisher, head of investor relations, the people said. Jesse Du Bey and Nadim Nsouli left the firm earlier this year to pursue other opportunities, according to an investor letter, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. Mark Masiello and Gustavo Schwed left last year, and Julie Richardson, who helped start the firm’s New York office, stepped back to become a senior adviser.

Providence, started in 1989, oversees $28 billion in assets and concentrates on deals in media, communications, education and information-related companies. The firm is adjusting for “departures that often occur at the start of a new fund’s investment period,” it said in the investor letter. The average tenure of managing directors at the firm is 12 years, said one of the people.

Yankees Deal

In addition to Halpin, Wooseok Jun, a director based in Hong Kong, and Ankur Kumar, a vice president based in New York, also recently left, one of the people said. Jun and Kumar didn’t return e-mails seeking comment.

Providence added two senior managers earlier this year, in May naming former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive Renee Beaumont a managing director and global head of business development, and in April hiring Deutsche Bank AG’s Richard Byrne in Providence Equity Capital Markets, the firm’s credit business. Nelson in May said his company regularly adds “top talent in every area of our business.”

Providence is best known for deals including the 2007 buyout of Univision Communications Inc. and its investment in the cable-television network of the New York Yankees. Its previous two funds, raised in 2007 and 2005, were generating net internal rates of return of 4.1 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively, as of Dec. 31, according to California Public Employees’ Retirement System, an investor in both pools.

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