Dan O'Connell '80

Founder & CEO, Vestar Partners

The days of being able to get the deal done by being driven and a good schmoozer have gone by the board. It's now about how well you know an industry and how you can help the management team bring a strategic and operating edge to the equation.

When Dan O’Connell ’80 founded the private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners in 1988, rapid profits were available to those willing to search for undervalued companies. Today, he says, windfalls are scarcer and private equity players need the industry expertise to help guide a company toward profitability in order to be successful.

O’Connell spoke to Yale SOM students in 2012 about the evolution of private equity. 

Dan O'Connell
Founder & CEO, Vestar Partners