In 1988, seven principals of The First Boston Corporation’s Management Buyout Group took the same entrepreneurial leap we had been advising our management team partners to take:  We stepped out on our own.

In those days, the trend in private equity was toward short-term transactions and quick profits, often achieved through drastic cost-cutting at underperforming companies.  We set a very different course. We decided to focus our investments on what truly makes a company successful, and ensures its long-term value: the managers who run it.  Some 30 years and 80+ transactions later, we are still doing it the same way.

Our original team of seven has grown substantially over the years.  Four of the seven founders continue to manage the firm, and our founding principle—invest in management—continues to guide every transaction.

The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and the recent hate crimes and incidents against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, including the attack on Vilma Kari are only the latest examples of centuries of racism, brutality, and discrimination against BIPOC people in our country. These events cannot be tolerated. Nor can they be observed in silence. They go against everything we stand for as individuals and as a firm, and they demand a response.

Vestar stands with those who fight against social injustice and condemns the prejudice and inhumanity so brutally demonstrated and clearly witnessed. We have always strived to do the right thing in our everyday business activities, but we realize now that isn’t enough, and we are committed to listening, learning, and doing more.

All of us at Vestar are recommitting to taking steps to effect permanent change. Beyond our longer-term commitments, Vestar has taken immediate steps to make changes within our own operations, including:

i.) Establishing the Equity, Inclusion and Community (“EIC”) Committee, which seeks to promote and provide ongoing educational resources and regular events on topics of anti-racism, equality, and social justice for all employees

ii.) Providing all employees with unconscious bias training

iii.) Conducting anonymous internal surveys to assess employee perceptions of the inclusivity of our culture

iv.) Improving our recruitment and retention initiatives by expanding our pipeline of candidates, conducting off-cycle hiring, and partnering with groups like SEO, a non-profit that provides educational and career programs to underserved and/or under-represented young people, to connect us with talented undergraduates for internships at our firm