In over thirty years of traveling the private equity circuit, I have had the good fortune to spend time with most of my peers at other firms. As one would expect they cover a wide swath of skill sets, personalities and coefficients of ethical elasticity. Few would inspire me to write their epitaph.
Nearly twenty five years ago I met Kevin Landry, the Managing Partner of TA Associates. He had already spent several years in a job I was just beginning. Nevertheless, he treated me as a peer and shared his lessons learned from running TA. I was fortunate in being able to learn from someone as skilled as he. More important than the impressive investment record he and his team assembled was Kevin’s demeanor. He filtered all through a self-deprecating sense of humor, never forgetting he was the “Irish Boy from the wrong side of the tracks” and avoided the private equity trap of becoming a legend in his own mind. He emphasized taking the high road no matter what lucrative alternative the financial marketplace might suggest. He spent a great deal of his time and his wealth trying to aid those still on the other side of the tracks.
Since Kevin learned of his cancer two years ago, he and I spoke candidly about his prospects and his hard, yet brave decision to leave the TA stage. Sadly, today that chapter has come to an end as we lose a father, a husband, a colleague and I lose a friend.