Adams Street names CEO French as chairman

Bon French will remain with Adams Street until 2017 to transition head of investments Jeff Diehl into the firm’s succession plan.

Adams Street Partners has named chief executive officer Bondurant French as chairman, according to a statement.

Bon French
Bon French

French will remain with Adams Street until 31 December 2017 and will help the firm transition, to incorporate head of investments Jeff Diehl in its succession plan.

“Many people have asked me why we feel compelled to plan for a succession that will not ultimately take place for nearly three years,” French said in the statement. “The answer is simple; long-term visibility into the leadership of a private equity firm is very important and is something that we, as limited partners, appreciate from our underlying general partners.”

The new succession plan comes months after Adams Street’s chief investment officer Hanneke Smits decided to step down at the end of 2014. She left the firm to take a “career break” and focus on other challenges and interests that she wasn’t able to pursue as CIO.

Adams Street then promoted Diehl to head of investments from a partner on the direct venture capital/growth equity team and partner Kelly Meldrum to head of the primary investment team.

Adams Street closed its fifth secondaries fund on its $1 billion hard-cap in May 2013. The fund surpassed its $750 million target and raised roughly two-thirds of its capital from existing investors. The secondaries investment team is led by partner Jason Gull.