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Chicago Investment Firm With Obama Ties Hires Deval Patrick

(Bloomberg) -- A Chicago investment firm with ties to Barack Obama has hired former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick from Bain Capital as a senior adviser.

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Patrick, 67, is joining Vistria Group, an $11 billion impact investment firm co-founded by Marty Nesbitt, treasurer for Obama’s presidential campaigns, according to a statement on Friday. He was a senior adviser at Bain, the private equity firm co-founded by fellow ex-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Nesbitt — a close ally of Obama who also serves as chairman of the former president’s foundation — started Vistria in 2013 with Kip Kirkpatrick, who also co-founded One Equity Partners. The Chicago firm has grown to include health care, education and financial services and last year launched a housing fund.

“Governor Patrick shares our strong conviction that private capital is an essential lever to help build a thriving economy and society,” Nesbitt said in the statement. “Our focus has been building value in sectors that are at the intersection of the public and private sectors.”

The appointment comes just over a year after Vistria sold a stake to Hunter Point Capital, founded by Bennett Goodman and Avi Kalichstein, and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund ADQ. At the time, the company said it would use the proceeds to expand its business.

Patrick, who grew up on the south side of Chicago before moving to Boston as an eighth grader, also has ties to Obama, who encouraged him to consider running for president in 2020. He joined Bain in 2015 to oversee a social impact fund after his terms as governor, before leaving four years later to run for office. He later returned as a senior adviser.

At Vistria, he will act across fundraising, deal sources and portfolio performance. He splits his time between western Massachusetts and Chicago, according to the company’s website.

“Like the founders, I believe that private capital should be the engine for innovation and prosperity,” Patrick said in the statement.

The Harvard graduate also serves as the co-director of the university’s Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership — a position he plans to step down from in July. He will remain on the Kennedy School’s faculty.

(Updates with Patrick’s previous role in second paragraph and location in seventh.)

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