Menkes Teams With Thomas Weisel –

SAN FRANCISCO – Some four months after his departure as a managing director at Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc., Alan Menkes has joined Thomas Weisel Partners to co-head its private equity program.

The investment bank in January began pre-marketing its first private equity fund, a $500 million-targeted vehicle focusing on buyouts and growth equity investments. Thomas Weisel Partners, formed in September after Thomas Weisel spun out from NationsBanc Montgomery Securities with several of his colleagues, began formally raising its as-yet-unnamed private equity fund in February, Mr. Menkes said.

The fund will target companies in the technology, media and telecommunications, consumer products, business services and health-care sectors.

Terms of the fund are standard and include an 80%/20% carried interest split. The management fee for the vehicle has yet to be determined, although it will be in line with the market rate, Mr. Menkes said. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette will serve as placement agent.

Mr. Menkes, who will head the effort in conjunction with Partner Bill Bunting, said the fund will target equity investments between $10 million and $100 million and will have a percentage of its total allocated toward international investments. Mr. Menkes most recently had focused on Latin America investments for Hicks Muse.

In addition to the standard list of institutional investors, the Thomas Weisel fund also is looking to garner commitments from more than 100 chief executive officers and former chief executives; the firm hopes this facet of its L.P. lineup will help it generate deal flow and find investment opportunities that are out of reach for other firms.

Messrs. Menkes and Bunting will be assisted in managing the fund by Thomas Weisel Partner Derek Lemke, and the private equity group will be looking to round out the team with two additional partners in the next six months.