TPG Capital has hired former Goldman Sachs executive Jon Winkelried as co-chief executive officer to expand the firm’s offerings as it contemplates going public.
Winkelried, 56, will be co-CEO alongside Jim Coulter and focus on diversifying TPG’s lines of business, the two executives said in a telephone interview. David Bonderman, a one-time adviser to the Bass family in Fort Worth who founded TPG with Coulter in 1992, became chairman last year.
“Jon brings a very important set of skills to TPG,” Coulter said. “As the industry has matured it has taken on a dual mission: we have to invest with extraordinary returns but also operate ourselves with a high level of managerial talent.”
The hire allows TPG, which has its main offices in San Francisco and Fort Worth, to keep a co-CEO structure after Bonderman, 72, took on the chairman’s role. Coulter, 55, is among the youngest leaders of large U.S. alternative-asset managers such as KKR, Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group.
While those firms have sold shares to the public, TPG remained in “contemplative mode” at the end of 2014 regarding a potential initial public offering, Bonderman said at the time, speaking at a Bloomberg conference in Washington. Jonathan Coslet, TPG’s chief investment officer, told a conference audience earlier this month that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if shares of the firm are trading publicly in the next three years.
“The partnership as co-CEOs can be very invigorating for the firm,” Winkelried said in the interview. “Joining TPG allows me to help grow the firm while its core value proposition — investing — continues as the heart of the business.”
TPG manages $74.3 billion in private equity holdings, credit assets, real estate and hedge funds. The firm has raised more than $18 billion in the past two years, including for a $10 billion leveraged-buyout fund, a $3.2 billion special situations pool, a $3 billion growth-equity fund and a $2.1 billion real estate vehicle.
Winkelried left Goldman Sachs in 2009, where he was co-president and co-COO alongside Gary Cohn. He started in its investment banking division in 1982, became a partner in 1990 and later ran fixed-income trading for five years. He and Cohn were named co-presidents and co-COOs in 2006.
“Jon is a rare talent — an excellent leader, a first-rate banker and risk manager, and an experienced and very able manager working across a broad range of securities markets,” Henry Paulson, who was CEO of Goldman Sachs from its 1999 IPO to 2006 before becoming U.S. Treasury secretary, said of Winkelried in an e-mail on Wednesday.
For several years, Winkelried lived in Aledo, where he managed an active cutting horse operation in his Marvine Ranch. At one point, he and his wife owned 100 horses and competed actively in cutting horse events before an injury forced his wife to give up riding and the couple sold their horses. They put the ranch up for sale earlier this year and Winkelried told the Star-Telegram that he planned to move to Florida.
During a speaking appearance at Texas Christian University in February, Winkelried recounted his days at Goldman Sachs during the financial crisis in 2008, when he was scared that the entire financial system might collapse. He credited former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson with saving the day by bailing out Wall Street.
“If the U.S. government had not come in and basically recapitalized the top eight to nine institutions by injecting billions of dollars of equity, I don’t think it would have stopped,” he said.
Since 2011, Winkelried has advised TPG’s credit funds, which are run by former Goldman Sachs partner Alan Waxman. Winkelried started discussions with TPG about the co-CEO role in June, meeting numerous times with Coulter, Bonderman and the leaders of each of the firm’s investment groups.
“The key for me at the outset was to get to know TPG’s people,” said Winkelried. “Understanding the firm’s culture and how I can contribute to it was essential.”
A native of Millburn, New Jersey, Winkelried played baseball for the University of Chicago, where he received an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in business administration. He’s a vice-chairman of the board of trustees at Vanderbilt University.
Staff writer Steve Kaskovich contributed to this report.