Steve Pagliuca retires from Bain Capital after 34 years

Steve Pagliuca retires from Bain Capital after 34 years

In 2006, Pagliuca played a key role in the fourth-largest private equity buyout of all time, the $32 billion purchase of hospital chain HCA Inc. in a huge gain that generated a return of 5.2 times the capital invested.

“If HCA had gone bad, it might have been the last private equity deal I ever did,” Pagliuca said Tuesday.

Pagliuca was on the phone — from Davos, Switzerland, where he attends the annual World Economic Forum — because it was announced he was retiring from Bain Capital after 34 years, most recently as co-chairman since 2016.

Pagliuca, 68, will become a senior advisor to the company and continue to serve on the boards of a number of portfolio companies. He will be busy with the Celtics and Atalanta, the Italian Serie A football club he bought last February.

And there’s his family office, a personal investment vehicle focused on biotech, technology, and space companies.

Bain Capital will continue to be led by John Connaughton and Jonathan Lavine, who have been joint managing partners since 2016. Connaughton oversees private equity investments while Lavine is Bain Capital’s head of credit investing.

Pagliuca’s resignation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Bain Capital was founded in 1984 by partners of the Boston consulting firm Bain & Co. Their goal was to buy companies, use their management know-how to improve operations and eventually sell them at a profit. Co-founders included Mitt Romney, who later served as Governor of Massachusetts and is now a US Senator from Utah.

The firm, which has approximately $160 billion in assets under management, has expanded beyond its private equity roots, investing in fixed income and credit securities, venture capital and real estate. Bain Capital is now one of the largest private investment firms in the world, employing approximately 1,500 people in 23 offices around the world.

Pagliuca joined the firm in 1989 from Bain & Co. He founded Information Partners, a tech-investment joint venture with Dun & Bradstreet, then a client of Bain & Co., who managed the Gartner acquisition.

Many of the transactions he has been involved in have involved the technology, media, telecommunications and financial services sectors. A notable exception was the acquisition of Burger King in 2002. The deal, made with Goldman Sachs and TPG, netted more than five times Bain Capital’s investment.

One of Pagliuca’s rare successes was its acquisition of Physicians Quality Care in 1994. It was an early experiment in investor-controlled physician groups that foundered over medic strife.

And Pagliuca’s success in business didn’t necessarily translate to voters when he tried to fill the US Senate seat left vacant by the death of Edward Kennedy in 2009. He funded much of a campaign that sought to position him as a pragmatic Democrat with an outsider’s perspective. But his candidacy, dogged by criticism of Bain Capital’s layoffs at some of the companies it owned, failed to gain traction.

In Davos, Pagliuca looked to the future, not to the past. He is in the works on several Bain Capital deals and wants to add more sports teams to his personal portfolio.

His run at Bain Capital is coming to an end, but Pagliuca’s days as a dealer are far from over.

Larry Edelman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeNewsEd.