TPG's Marren steps back from role as technology chief, documents show

Reuters News
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Posted: May 12, 2015 2:09 PM

By Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) - TPG Capital LP partner John Marren has a reputation for savvy technology investments and for leading the private equity firm’s technology buyouts team. Since the beginning of last year, though, he has been taking a less prominent role, according to TPG documents reviewed by Reuters.

Several companies in TPG's portfolio, including telecommunications equipment company Avaya Inc, chipmaker Freescale Semiconductor Ltd <FSL.N> and financial software group SunGard Data Systems Inc, on whose boards Marren sits, still say in recent regulatory filings that the 52-year-old Marren leads TPG’s technology team. But the documents show he now heads just hardware and telecommunications investments. They indicate that Brian Taylor, 44,  leads TPG's investments in software and technology-enabled services, and David Trujillo, 37, heads media and Internet investments.

TPG declined to comment on Marren’s role. Marren also declined to comment.

The firm has disclosed the change to investors in confidential marketing documents for its latest global private equity fund, TPG Partners VII, which launched last year seeking to raise $10 billion. Taylor was the only member of TPG's technology team to be listed in the list of "key persons" in the fundraising documents seen by Reuters. In the firm's previous private equity fund, TPG Partners VI, which was raised in 2008, Marren had been the only member of TPG's technology team listed as a key person.

"Regarding our most recent filing, we verified the information with TPG prior to publication. We will follow up with them again and incorporate any necessary changes in subsequent filings," a Freescale spokeswoman said. Avaya and SunGard did not respond to requests for comment.

Several private equity and investment banking executives contacted by Reuters pointed to Taylor as a leading figure within the technology team, rather than Marren. 

Marren’s most famous deal was semiconductor equipment maker MEMC Electronic Materials Inc, where he turned a nominal $6 investment into $2.5 billion, according to fundraising documents for TPG Partners VII.

Founded in 1992 by David Bonderman and James Coulter, San Francisco and Fort Worth-based TPG has more than $67 billion in assets under management.

(Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by Martin Howell)