CHICAGO – Asset manager Forstmann-Leff International, Inc. was in search of a new client when it knocked on the door of Hughes Electronics’ pension management group. Instead, the firm ended up with a new director.
Celia Chapman was slated to join Forstmann-Leff in December after 17 years at Southern California’s Hughes Investment Management Co. Ms. Chapman will spend the bulk of her time evaluating private equity funds for Forstmann-Leff. Her duties also might include marketing and some direct contact with the firm’s clients, she said.
The responsibilities are familiar to Ms. Chapman, who had been managing Hughes’ private equity portfolio, which totals $650 million in invested capital and an additional $150 million in commitments. Raytheon Corp., which makes everything from military equipment to home appliances, purchased Hughes’ aerospace division about a year ago, taking part of the Hughes pension.
Ms. Chapman began her career at Hughes, an electronics, satellites and aerospace company, as a public stocks security analyst. She also served as a trader and portfolio manager. In 1985, she began working on Hughes’ private equity program, and three years later she began handling direct investments. She took over the pension’s buyout investments in 1992.
Ms. Chapman declined to comment on the precise dollar decrease of the Hughes pension following the Raytheon purchase, but acknowledged the reduction helped her conclude it was time to take on new responsibilities in a different environment.
Hughes Investment Management Co. will split Ms. Chapman’s former duties between two current staff members: Portfolio Manager Mike Watry and Investment Analyst Kathy Eckert, who have been working together on fixed income and real estate investments, Ms. Chapman said.
Forstmann-Leff Managing Director John Podjasek promoted his new hire, noting that Ms. Chapman has an MBA and is a chartered financial analyst.
The firm will launch a private equity fund-of-funds early in the first quarter of 1999 but is keeping quiet about details, including a target size, Mr. Podjasek said.