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One of America's top private equity bosses kills himself
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One of America's top private equity bosses kills himself

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One of America's top private equity bosses kills himself

One of America’s most highly respected private equity bosses has been found dead after he apparently killing himself.

The death of Robert McKeon, who was in charge of Veritas Capital, was ruled a suicide by a coroner who revealed that the cause of death was ‘asphyxia due to neck compression’.

McKeon's body was discovered at his $5m mansion in Darien, Connecticut, where he lived with his art expert wife and their children.

Mr McKeon, 58, was a well known figure on Wall St who managed the $2bn Veritas fund.

He was also a passionate art collector and a philanthropist who supported a number of charities, including the New York Police & Fire Widows & Children's Benefit Fund.

In a statement Veritas said: ‘Bob was an extraordinary person, a consummate professional, and a cherished friend and colleague.

‘We are all deeply saddened by this tragic loss and have his family in our thoughts.’

Mr McKeon was born to a working class family in the Bronx, New York and was the son of a cake deliveryman.

He went to Fordham University and Harvard Business School before joining now shuttered investment bank First Boston.

He helped found Wasserstein Perella & Co. in 1988 as head of private equity and then later chairman - the company’s successes included turning around cosmetics firm Maybelline.

In 1992, he and legendary Wall St colleagues Joseph Perella and the late Bruce Wasserstein then founded Veritas - with Mr McKeon only in his 30s at the time.

In a profile Crain’s Business said it would be surprised if the ‘boyish-looking’ financier ‘will ever be one of those archetypal, ruthless corporate raiders everybody loves to hate.’

Veritas went on to buy stakes in military and defence companies like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, but it was not without controversy.

Mr McKeon has been described as a hard-nosed ‘corporate cleaner’ which means he took over troubled companies, removed them from the stock market and implemented painful cuts to make them profitable.

In 1999, a Veritas consultant admitted paying off an official in Connecticut so the company would get approval for an $125million investment.

Despite requests to refund the investment, Mr McKeon refused.

Veritas bought defence contractor DynCorp even though it had been linked to a sex trafficking scheme in the 1990s.

It also purchased MZM Inc, a military contractor which was probed by federal investigators over alleged bribes to a congressman.

Now an extremely wealthy man, Mr McKeon’s 1929 Connecticut home is a five-bedroom, six bathroom mansion set on three acres.

He is also thought to have properties in The Hamptons and Telluride, Colorado.

His wife Clare works at Christie’s in New York where she is an expert on 20th Century British Art and Victorian & British Impressionist Pictures.

A graduate of Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, she is also Vice President in the Department of Sporting Art.

In a statement Darien Police said that the death was not being treated as suspicious.

A spokesman said: ‘The incident is under investigation pending the results of the scheduled autopsy.’

Robert McKeon: One of America's top private equity bosses kills himself aged 58 | Mail Online

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