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Under-the-radar PE firms such as Star Mountain Capital and LLR Partners are hiring from big-name investment banks, including Goldman Sachs and Houlihan Lokey.

This small private equity firm is hiring senior staff from Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan

It's not about the size of the PE firm, it's about the size of the PE professional's pay check.

Smaller private equity firms are not just targeting junior employees. Over the past few weeks, senior investment bankers from bulge bracket banks have been turning up at relatively small organisations.

The latest example is George Mattson, who was previously the co-head of the Global Industrials Group and managing director in the investment banking division and a partner at Goldman Sachs. He's just joined Star Mountain Capital as a strategic adviser. This is not the first big fish to land at Star Mountain, which was founded by Brett Hickey in 2010. Mark Weisdorf, the former CEO of J.P. Morgan’s infrastructure investment group, also joined in December. The firm specialises in private equity investment in the U.S. lower middle-market.

Stephan Connelly, a vice president on the direct, secondaries and primary investment team at Star Mountain Capital, said that the firm has been adding to both junior and senior ranks during 2016.

For example, last year Star Mountain brought on John Polis as chief technology officer and chief operating officer from Visionary Access. He has experience building and managing technology-enabled companies, which is important for the firm, according to Connelly. The firm also brought the former head of HR at Fortress Investment Group as a strategic adviser.

“Our primary focus this year will be to continue to develop our talent in-house through our year-round internship program and opportunistically add experienced individuals across our platform," he said.

LLR Partners

Separately, private equity firm LLR Partners brought on eight new team members across software, healthcare, fintech and security, to support its initiatives within existing portfolio companies geared toward creating value and accelerating growth and to expand its coverage of the middle market with additional business development professionals.

For example, LLR hired Elizabeth Campbell as a principal in the healthcare group. After getting her M.B.A. with a healthcare management concentration from Wharton, she joined the Boston Consulting Group and then AG Mednet, SV Life Sciences and Schweiger Dermatology Group. In November, she became a director on the board of SUN Behavioral Houston.

LLR also added Ryan Goldenberg, previously a vice president of growth equity capital at Houlihan Lokey, as a VP in its fintech group. His experience also includes stints at RBS, Kamylon Holdings and Updata Partners.

LLR’s recruitment priorities for 2017 remain the same.

“We are constantly looking for talented investment professionals, deal-sourcing support and experts in functional areas like human capital, operations and marketing for our value creation team,” said Todd Morrissey, the chief operating officer of LLR Partners.

The firm is currently nearing the end of its internship recruiting process, from which we will bring on two or three undergraduate juniors for the summer.

“We view our internship program as critical to filling our roster of young talent and use it as our primary means of recruiting full-time junior investment professional,” Morrissey said. :The interns that join us for the summer are trained in the LLR process early and, if hired full-time, can benefit from growth opportunities within the firm as their careers advance.”

At the junior level, LLR looks for soft skills indicative of motivated self-starters who have the drive to work on projects independently, while also possessing the communication and interpersonal skills needed to work well in a team environment.

Photo credit: MikaelEriksson/GettyImages

AUTHORDan Butcher US Editor

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