FORTUNE — Sometimes people actually tell you the truth in this business.
Last month, tech-focused hedge fund Coatue Management announced that it would return around $2 billion to investors in its flagship fund, due to public market volatility that contributed to a 9% loss in March. At the time, I wondered what this meant for Coatue’s growth equity business, a $300 million program that has backed such companies as Lyft, HotelTonight and Snapchat.
Coatue founder Philippe Laffont said that his firm’s “rebalancing” would have no impact on its pre-IPO investing activity, but at the time it was hard to completely take at face value. After all, don’t the private markets ultimately follow the public markets (in terms of both valuations and volume)? And isn’t there a building consensus that at least some of the hedge and mutual fund players will eventually pull their toes out of the startup pool?
But then Kara Swisher today reported that Anthony Noto is stepping down as a top tech banker at Goldman Sachs
, in order to join Coatue’s private investing program. To me, that’s third-party confirmation that it really is full-steam ahead at Coatue.
For starters, it’s hard to imagine that Noto is getting significantly better compensation at Coatue than at Goldman. Second, if Noto really was desperate to escape the sell-side, then there are plenty of other late-stage venture shops that would have been happy to offer up a job. Joining Coatue suggests not only that the firm plans to maintain its private investing practice, but arguably that it plans to expand the effort. That last part is interesting, since it also suggests Noto is not among the crowd that believes the good times are coming to an end.
Noto originally joined Goldman Sachs in 1999, before leaving in 2008 to serve as chief financial officer for the National Football League. He rejoined the bank two years later, and has worked on IPOs for such companies as Twitter
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