Chairman & CEO
Mr. Phillips has over 30 years of investment management experience managing large pools of pension assets in the capacity of both a limited and a general partner. Prior to founding WP Global Partners in 2005, Mr. Phillips was the Chief Investment Officer and CEO for WestAM (U.S.), a subsidiary of WestLB, a large German bank. At WestAM he directed the investment strategy and oversaw the firm’s approximately $3 billion portfolio in commitments to private equity funds, real estate, and direct investments. In addition, he was a member of WestAM’s Board of Directors. He assumed these roles at WestAM in 2000 when they acquired the private equity business of Forstmann-Leff International, Inc. Mr. Phillips had been President of Forstmann-Leff from 1997 to 2000, and during that period was responsible for the strategic process of building and managing the global investment management firm. Forstmann-Leff International is a multi-asset class institutional investment management firm with offices in Chicago, New York and Liverpool, England. The firm has been managing assets for high net worth individuals, pension funds and other institutions for almost 30 years with assets under management that exceed $8.5 billion. The styles of managing assets include U.S. mid-cap value oriented equities, fixed income that includes core U.S., high yield and global portfolio management in addition to the management of private placement or alternative asset classes for large institutions.
From 1990 until 1997, Mr. Phillips was Chairman of Equity Institutional Investors where he was responsible for the formation of four real estate funds with equity commitments of over $2.5 billion. These funds have been subsequently consolidated into a public company, Equity Office Properties that was sold to Blackstone for $50 billion in 2007. During the same time period at the Equity Group Investments, he was instrumental in establishing the $1.1 billion Zell/Chilmark Fund to buy good companies with bad balance sheets. This fund acquired seven public and private companies that have combined sales of $8 billion and over 50,000 employees. Also, Mr. Phillips was President of Capstone Holdings Corp., a publicly traded insurance holding company and a board member of other publicly traded companies within the Equity Group.
His previous positions include eight years as the Chief Investment Officer for Ameritech Corporation, where he managed all asset classes of Ameritech’s $15 billion pension fund. The Ameritech fund was an early investor in private equity, venture capital and commercial real estate. His efforts at Ameritech were recognized by Institutional Investor Magazine, which selected him as one of the country’s top 10 pension fund managers. Recently, he was awarded the Richard J. Daley Medal by the Illinois Venture Capital Association which recognizes “extraordinary contributions to the Illinois Economy resulting from private equity investing.” He has an M.B.A. in finance from Northern Illinois University and a B.A. in business from Western Illinois University.