Golden Gate hires ex-BlackRock exec as head of talent

Golden Gate Capital, which has lost a number of executives to spin-out groups over the past few years, has hired its first head of talent to take charge of internal human resources.

Expect Nichole Barcelon to get involved in portfolio company recruiting over time. Before joining San Francisco-based Golden Gate Capital she served as human resources director at money manager BlackRock.

Barcelon’s hiring comes during a period of fluidity among the industry’s top-ranking talent professionals, reflecting the heightened importance of the role as firms contend with a tight labor market and demands by investors to hire more women and minorities.

  • Patrick Morrison has joined Menlo Park-based late-stage venture investor TCV as head of portfolio talent. Morrison previously served as a vice president of talent at Khosla Ventures. The role appears to be a new one, although both Sarah Hartzheim and Daniel Zadja joined TCV in 2021 as senior directors on the people team. Bek Chee serves as chief people officer.
  • Brian Sontag joins Chicago-based buyout firm Flexpoint Ford as director of human resources, having previously served as manager of global people operations at consulting firm Ankura. Former Human Resources Manager Gweneth Kaminskas left the firm in July 2021.
  • In last week’s Private Equity Career News, we reported on the recent departures of talent executives from Blue Wolf Capital Partners, GI Partners, Gryphon Investors, Madison Dearborn Partners and Palladium Equity Partners.

Golden Gate Capital’s Barcelon joins a firm that has seen a number of senior executives spin out to form their own firms. These include Arcline Investment Management, Heritage Point Partners, Lone View Capital, Sea Cliff Partners and Percheron Capital, according to our earlier article.

The firm also has done a fair amount of hiring in recent months. Nicholas McGrath joined in March as associate general counsel and chief compliance officer. Michael Schwartzman joined as a principal in January. And Vice Presidents Nick Bawa, Alex Cannon, Jennifer Zhu and Roman Burgess have all joined in the past 10 months.

At press time the firm’s team page lists 40 professionals and six operating executives. That compares to 54 professionals and eight operating executives listed on the page in last May.

We were unable to reach executives at TCV or FlexPoint Ford for comment, and a representative for Golden Gate declined to comment.

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