Former CCMP Capital CEO Stephen Murray has passed away, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. The 52-year-old investment guru had taken a leave of absence in February for undisclosed medical reasons. The news has investors on pins and needles, according to an unnamed source.
“We are sad to announce the passing of our friend and colleague Stephen,” said interim CEO Greg Brenneman. “This is a huge blow to our company. We have sent our heartfelt condolences to his wife Tami and his children.”
Under Murray’s guidance, CCMP rose through the ranks to become one of most profitable investment companies in the world. The company’s portfolio is currently worth over $3 billion.
CCMP Capital has undergone a number of mergers and acquisitions over the years.
Murray, a Boston College graduate, joined the company in 1984 right out of college. Murray entered Hanover Manufacturers Corporation as a credit analyst. After a few years, he was named head of the credit department.
Hanover was soon bought by Chemical Bank Partners. The company then merged with Chemical Bank Partners. After the spinoff of JP Morgan Chase, CCMP Capital was born. In 2007, Murray was named CEO. One of Stephen Murray’s most impressive ventures was to outbid several larger investment houses for pharmaceutical giant Warner Chilcott.
“Stephen was a heck of a salesman,” said a former colleague. “I don’t know of anyone who exceeded him in talent.”
Murray was also known for his tremendous generosity. He sat on a number of boards including Aramak, The Vitamin Shoppe, AMC Entertainment and Quizno’s on wsj.com. He gives to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Food Bank of Lower Westchester County.
Colleagues say Stephen Murray left a tremendous legacy and very big shoes to fill. “He was a legend in this industry,” said Brenneman. “He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”