Charles van Horne, who spent more than 22 years as an executive at funds-of-funds manager Abbott Capital Management while also pursuing an avocation as a painter and sculptor, died on April 16. He was 71 years old.
“Charlie was the heart and soul of Abbott and as such will always be remembered not only for his quick wit and antics but also for his dedication to the greater good,” wrote long-time colleague Katie Stokel in a post next to van Horne’s obituary on Legacy.com.
van Horne served as managing director of New York City-based Abbott Capital from 2001 to late 2018, responsible for marketing and client services as the firm grew to some $20 billion in cumulative commitments. That year he retired from his full-time role to become a senior advisor with the firm, according to his Linkedin profile. In early 2020 he started his own private equity consulting firm, Bridge2PE.
For six years before joining Abbott Capital van Horne served as founding managing director at AIG Capital Partners. There he shouldered a wide range of responsibilities, from developing fund strategy to making investments to providing client services. All told van Horne spent more than 45 years working in financial services.
van Horne cultivated a colorful array of interests outside of finance. He was, according to his obituary, a medievalist, a collector, a wine connoisseur and an “artist with paintings, sculptures and mobiles exhibited” in New York and London. You can see pictures of a number of his paintings at charlesvanhorne.com. One of his “kinetic works,” a red staircase that hangs from the ceiling, suspended in mid-air, is striking.
On a personal note, van Horne befriended me as a reporter new to the private equity beat back in the late 1990s. He never seemed to tire of getting on the phone to teach me about some industry nuance, point me to story ideas, and share news about his own firm. I took full advantage of his generosity and never forgot it. Soon after I started my own company in 2019, he was one of the first executives I talked to for advice.
During that call van Horne was completely encouraging. He said he thought my list of readers had tremendous value and thought I should think seriously about moving into training and workshops. He saw a whole new generation of PE professionals who don’t necessarily know what a PIPE is. He gave me an update on his daughter Camille, a director of product at Instacart, and his son Nicholas, a venture capitalist.
Along with Camille and Nicholas, van Horne is survived by his wife Alexandra and his sister Patty. The family suggests making a donation in his memory to the Roothbert Fund, which provides scholarships and where van Horne served on the board.
–David M. Toll