Investment Team
Daniel O’Connell

Founder and CEO

Dan is the Founder and CEO of Vestar. Over his 40 year career in private equity, Dan has been a director of over 40 companies through our Vestar and First Boston investments. Dan also serves as Co-Head of Consumer at Vestar.

He was formerly Managing Director & Co-Head of the Management Buyout Group of The First Boston Corporation, where he worked with other members of Vestar’s founding team. He began his career at investment bank Dillon, Read & Company.

He has a BA in Political Science from Brown University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Dan is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Cardinal Spellman High School in The Bronx, NY, a Trustee Emeritus of Brown University, and is active in other charitable and community-focused organizations.

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