First Reserve’s former UK head eyes first-time fund

Tom Sikorski has left the energy-focused private equity giant and is understood to be planning a new venture.

Tom Sikorski, the former UK head of energy specialist First Reserve, is expected to raise an independent energy sector-focused private equity fund, having left First Reserve in March this year.

Sikorski has registered a website under the name Blue Water Energy with an associated address in London. Further details of the new venture are not known and Sikorski declined to comment on speculation that he is considering raising a fund.

First Reserve, led by 65-year-old veteran Bill Macaulay, defied worsening fundraising conditions to close a $9 billion fund in 2009, its largest ever. Sikorski, 47-years-old at the time, was not among the six key men listed in the fund’s marketing documents.

The six key men included Macaulay and five managing directors, all at that time in their mid- to late-30s: Kenneth Moore, Mark McComiskey, Timothy Day, Joseph “Joe Bob” Edwards and Alex Krueger. One LP said its due diligence process on the fund led it to conclude that Sikorski would not remain at the firm for the fund’s life.

Alex Krueger was subsequently posted to London, where he is currently the only managing director. The London office was expected to grow in size from nine to 25 employees, according to investment documents presented to Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System during the fundraise in 2008. The current headcount is 19.

Sikorski had been with First Reserve for seven-and-a-half years and had previously founded private equity firm Windward Capital. He also spent time as a director at MetLife Private Equity Investments and was a vice president at CSFB Private Equity Group.

Cathleen Ellsworth, a managing director with First Reserve, confirmed the departure, saying Tom had been “an asset to the firm” and had left everything in “good shape” for the transition, adding that his responsibilities had since been assumed by other members of the investment team.

First Reserve’s current European portfolio companies include Swiss commodities giant Glencore and Acteon, a UK-headquartered equipment supplier to offshore and subsea energy companies.