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Stephen Murray, Ex-CCMP Chief Who Built LBO Firm, Dies at 52

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Stephen Murray, the chief executive officer of CCMP Capital Advisors who resigned last month from the buyout firm for health reasons, has died. He was 52.

He died on March 12, Alexandra LaManna, a spokeswoman for the New York-based company, confirmed in an e-mail. Other details weren’t available.

Murray was a founding partner of CCMP, which spun out of JPMorgan Chase & Co. in 2006 to avoid potential conflicts with the bank’s clients. CCMP, which specializes in middle-market leveraged buyouts and growth-equity investments, raised its latest fund last year with $3.6 billion.

“We are very saddened to learn that our friend and former partner, Steve Murray, has passed away,” Greg Brenneman, the firm’s CEO, said Friday in an e-mailed statement. “Steve was a terrific investor and deal maker.”

CCMP typically invests $100 million to $500 million of equity per transaction, according to its website. It focuses on companies in the consumer, industrial, health care and energy sectors. Its investments have included Cabela’s Inc., Quiznos Corp. and Warner Chilcott Plc.

Murray was raised in a New York City suburb in Westchester County, New York, according to a 2011 article in Institutional Investor magazine. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University in New York, according to CCMP.

Joining JPMorgan

In 1984, Murray was hired as a credit trainee at New York-based Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., Institutional Investor said. He rose to become a vice president of middle-market lending, according to a CCMP biography. In 1989, Murray joined a private equity and leveraged-finance unit of Manufacturers Hanover that was a predecessor of CCMP. Following three mergers, Manufacturers Hanover became a part of JPMorgan in 2000.

Murray was named head of the bank’s buyout business in 2005. JPMorgan Partners, as CCMP was known before its spinoff, was long known for investing in middle-market deals alongside the bank’s private equity clients. The bank divested the business after the unit outbid Blackstone Group LP, KKR & Co. and TPG Capital for Dublin-based drugmaker Warner Chilcott.

The purchase angered KKR co-founder Henry Kravis, who warned the bank against competing with KKR if it wished to keep doing business with his firm, according to “King of Capital,” a 2010 book by David Carey and John E. Morris.

“It was difficult for JPMorgan to bring us deals because they couldn’t be perceived as favoring their in-house firm,” Murray said, according to a February 2014 article in LBO Wire, a newsletter published by News Corp.’s Dow Jones & Co. unit. “The relationship is better now that we’re separate than when we were together.”

Murray’s survivors include his wife, Tami A. Murray, and their four sons. The couple resided in Stamford, Connecticut, according to public records.

(Updates with survivors in last paragraph.)
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