Remembering Stephen Murray, a pioneering giant in the private equity business

Steve Murray, better known as “Steve”, started life on earth on August 2, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York, and departed at the early age of 52 years on March 12, 2015 at the end of a very successful career in the private equity business. He had resigned from CCMP, the firm which he co-founded in 2006, citing illness, just a month prior to his death.

Pehub said that as a graduate of Boston College and Columbia Business School, Steve Murray’s high achiever career began with the successful completion of a credit analyst training program at Manufacturers Hanover Corporation.

This was followed by fruitful stints at companies such as I MH Equity Corporation, Chemical Bank, Chase Capital Partners and JP Morgan Partners.

In 2006 he co-founded CCMP Capital, a spinout of JP Morgan Chase. The new company included in its new functions the private equity aspects of the J.P. Morgan Partners. Steve became the CEO of CCMP in 2007, steering the organization until his resignation. Learn more about Steve Murray: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/01/realestate/west-village-townhouse-for-17-million.html?_r=0

In 2007 CCMP’s rank among private equity firms was Number 17 worldwide. However Murray had harbored doubts about the likelihood of future successes in the wake of the existing situation in the private equity market. In 2005 he proposed and then piloted a strategy for developing the company that was radically different from the one then generally accepted for the generation of profits from private equity funds.

Instead of revamping companies using so called “financial wizardry” he proposed hiring experienced practitioners in the world of finance as full partners and concentration on reorganization, re-structuring and re-strategizing as the means of generating profits from the companies in which they had invested.

These techniques proved successful, eventually leading to company specialization in those portfolio areas that had proved most rewarding financially – consumer, retail, Industrial, chemicals, energy, power and healthcare.

Praise for his positive contributions to the success of CCMP was highlighted by the organization subsequent to his passing. Due to his efforts CCMP Capital, which is reported to have invested about $12 billion in transactions since 2006, had demonstrated that its strategies, though different and against standard practice in the sector, had worked brilliantly.

During his leadership the company focused on companies such as AMC Entertainment, Warner Chilcott, The Vitamin Shoppe, Pinnacle Foods and Legacy Hospital partners.  An achievement indeed.

Stephen P. Murray – deal maker and investor par excellence. R.I.P.