Stephen Murray passed away back in March of 2015, but he’s become a revered figure in the private equity industry. He was the CEO of CCMP Capital for about 8 years, though he had been on the executive board at that company even before it became known as CCMP. About a year after CCMP Capital had been officially formed, Murray had sat down with peHUB to explain the changes that were happening at this company, and to describe the new direction that he planned to take it.
Murray had taken over that year as CEO from Jeffrey Walkerl who had originally been selected to lead that company. But Murray’s focus on investment execution and driving independent funds had led to the decision to make him CEO. Stephen Murray explained how now that the company was independent of JP Morgan, they were no longer relying on the banks but had a track record that proved they could drive investor funds to high earnings. Murray also explained how CCMP Capital’s initial offering even exceeded expectations though it fell a little short of its exact goal.
Read more: Former CCMP CEO Stephen Murray Dies at 52
Stephen Murray built quite a portfolio during his time at CCMP Capital, though it started back when the company was known as Chemical Partners. Murray had gotten his bachelor’s degree from Boston College and his MBA from Columbia University, and Stephen Murray had started out in the credit analyst division of Manufacturer’s Hanover Corporation. That bank was bought out by Chemical Bank and Murray gradually moved into the buyout division, a part of the firm that would make acquisitions of many companies over the course of its existence. Murray was a big part of the deals that were made and executed behind the scenes.
Stephen Murray served on the executive board at the time the firm was bought out by Chase Manhattan Bank, becoming Chase Chemical Partners after this. Four years later it became JP Morgan & Partners when JP Morgan bought them out. JP Morgan & Partners became the owners of businesses such as Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Quizno’s Subs, Pure Gym and other retail, energy and healthcare corporations. The firm spun out of JP Morgan because some clients felt it was interfering with their business.
Murray’s renamed the firm after the spinout to CCMP Capital as a combination of all the banks that had previously owned it. He also hosted two more public offerings including the 2007 $3.4 billion offering, and then a $3.6 billion offering in 2014. Murray had to resign as CEO of the firm in early 2015 because of health reasons, and only weeks later he passed away. But Greg Brenneman who took over for him regarded him as a friend and a great investor.
Read more from Stephen Murray on Institutional Investor