Trio of MDs quit I Squared’s Americas team

The departures follow on from the recent exit of Tom Murray, who was managing director for the group’s credit business and had joined from Apollo in 2019.

A trio of managing directors in I Squared Capital‘s Americas team have quit in recent weeks, Infrastructure Investor has learnt.

As first reported last week by affiliate title Buyouts, Thomas Lefebvre has resigned as head of North American investments and operations. Lefebvre joined Miami-headquartered I Squared in 2012 upon its formation as a founding principal, having previously worked with the firm’s co-founders at Morgan Stanley. He was promoted to partner in February 2020.

Lefebvre will continue to serve I Squared as a senior adviser over the coming months, and will “continue to be active in the management of some of our portfolio companies” during this period, according to a memo sent to LPs and seen by Infrastructure Investor. It is understood that Lefebvre does not yet have a new role lined up and it is thought there is also a one-year lock-up period in his contract preventing him from joining another firm at this point. It is understood senior adviser Larry Kellerman will fill in on some of Lefebvre’s responsibilities while a replacement is sought.

His departure comes amid the exits of Chucri Hjeily and Joe Payne, both of whom departed prior to Lefebvre. Hjeily was managing director and head of Latin America for I Squared, while Payne was managing director responsible for North American asset management. It is unknown where Hjeily – who joined from Global Infrastructure Partners in 2015 – will be moving to. Payne, for his part, is transitioning to a part-time position as an operating adviser, according to the LP memo. This comes ahead of Payne’s plan to co-found his own telecoms, media and technology-focused private equity firm, which I Squared told LPs it may look to invest in.

Payne joined I Squared from his role as managing director at KPMG, where he focused on advising energy-oriented private equity clients. He will continue to sit on the board of portfolio companies in his advisory role, the memo stated, which includes Kinetik, formed in February following the completion of the merger between the I Squared-owned Eagleclaw Midstream and Altus Midstream, creating a $9 billion company.

I Squared declined to comment on the departures.

The moves follow the exit of Tom Murray as managing director for its credit business in February. At the time, an I Squared spokesperson told Infrastructure Investor that “differing views” on success and compensation matters led to his resignation. The news also comes following I Squared’s $15 billion closing of its ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund III earlier this month, above its original target of $12 billion.

Shortly after the closing, I Squared announced the promotion of Andreas Moon to partner and Chinua Shen and Enrico Del Prete as fund partners. I Squared said at the time it has made 19 new hires over the past six months, while it is also planning to make 40 hires in total this year.