Exclusive: Gerry Cardinale leaves BDT Capital

Oct 09, 2013
A-Rod is still with the Yankees, but Gerry Cardinale has moved on yet again.

FORTUNE -- Gerry Cardinale has quietly left merchant bank BDT Capital Partners less than one year after joining from Goldman Sachs (gs), Fortune has learned. He is in the process of launching a new private equity firm tentatively called Red Bird Capital (Cardinale. Red Bird. Get it?).

Cardinale joined Chicago-based BDT late last year after having spent two decades at Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking group, during which time he was primarily known for sports deals (leading Goldman’s investment in YES Network, negotiating the ridiculous Alex Rodriquez contract). He also helped lead Goldman's initial investment in Clearwire Corp.

He was recruited to BDT by firm founder Byron Trott (also an ex-Goldman banker), with the idea that he would help manage the firm’s $3 billion private equity fund (BDT also has an advisory arm).

But both sides soon realized that it was a bad fit. Cardinale was mostly interested in earlier-stage growth equity deals, while BDT’s investment strategy focused on long-term minority plays for closely-held/family-owned businesses.

The mutual parting apparently occured in July, with BDT’s principals agreeing to make a seed commitment to Cardinale’s new fund (I’m unsure of the amount).

No comment from either BDT or Cardinale.

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