Investment Team
James Kelley


Jim was a founding partner of Vestar in 1988. He was previously at The First Boston Corporation. Prior to joining First Boston, he practiced law with a leading Colorado law firm. Jim currently serves as a board member of Presence Marketing, Healthgrades, and St. John Knits.

Jim received an M.B.A. from Yale University School of Management, a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame, and a B.S. from the University of Northern Colorado. Jim is a Trustee of The Nature Conservancy Argentina and the Piton Foundation.

Jim is also Founder and Managing Partner of the Colorado Impact Fund (“CIF”), a venture capital fund dedicated to supporting local companies that generate consistent investment returns in addition to positive community outcomes. CIF is managed by an affiliate of Vestar on a pro bono basis.

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