By Milana Vinn
(Reuters) – Marc Teillon, the co-head of the Vista Equity Partners Management LLC’s private equity funds that focus on middle-market investments, is leaving the firm to pursue other opportunities, according to people familiar with the matter.
The departure adds to a string of senior dealmaker exits at the business software-focused buyout firm as it tries to recover from a tax fraud case against its co-founder Robert Smith.
Smith cut a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2020 to pay more than $139 million in taxes and fines and abandon $182 million in charitable contribution deductions to settle charges he was involved in a tax shield scheme. The reputational fallout has weighed on Vista’s plans to raise a new $20 billion buyout fund and made it harder for it to retain top talent.
Teillon, a senior managing director and co-head of Vista’s middle-market focused Foundation Funds, has informed the firm he will leave at the end of the quarter, the sources said. His exit leaves Patrick Severson as the sole leader of that division.
The sources requested anonymity because the matter is confidential. Vista and Teillon declined to comment.
Teillon spent 14 years rising through Vista’s ranks and was promoted to co-lead the Foundation funds in 2019. Before joining Vista, Teilon spent 2 years at Citigroup Inc as Vice President of Investment Banking.
Among Vista’s other prominent departures is Brian Sheth who resigned as president in November 2020 to start his own firm Haveli Investments.
Around the same time, in December 2020, James Zobuk, former co-head of the Endeavor Fund, left the firm to join Respida Capital. Other departures include Burke Norton, a senior managing director, who left the firm in April 2022 to co-found Smith Point Capital and Alan Cline, another former senior Vista managing director, who was named head of North America at private equity firm Hg Capital last month.
Rob Rogers, also a former Senior Managing Director who co-led Vista Foundation Fund along with Cline, left in December 2021. Vista Equity’s former CFO John Warnken-Brill, who was listed as a possible witness in the tax fraud case against Robert Smith, had also left the firm in March 2022.
Vista began raising its latest $20 billion buyout fund in early 2022, and unlike rivals like Thoma Bravo that completed their fundraising within months, it expects to complete the process in October of this year, according to the website of Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, a Vista investor. It had amassed $11 billion as of last October.
Vista invested over $36 billion through its flagship funds since 2007 and had a net internal rate of return of 19.8% as of the end of June, according to the website.
(Reporting by Milana Vinn in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)