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Leder’s parties in the Hamptons and St. Barts drew the attention of the New York Post. The paper described one Bridgehampton party as being “as if the Playboy Mansion met the East End,” citing attendees describing nudity and public sex acts.
Leder has never commented on such claims, but has denied hosting wild and crazy parties.
Sources who know Leder paint a mixed picture of him following his divorce. Some said he devoted less time to the firm to pursue recreational activities and dating. Others said his reputation as someone who likes to party a lot is unwarranted.
“He’s not as colorful as they make him out to be. I could certainly point to a lot of private equity executives who would be a lot more flamboyant. And he is only working harder. He has not slackened off at all, maybe just the opposite,” said Cliff Roesler, managing director at Angle Advisors, who’s known Leder for seven years and socialized with him.
FOLLOWING IN ROMNEY’S FOOTSTEPS
Like Romney, Leder made his fortune in the private equity industry, using money from investors to buy companies and sell them at a profit. He co-founded Sun Capital in 1995 with fellow Lehman veteran Roger Krause and his firm has since invested in more than 300 companies and amassed about $8 billion of capital under management.
Romney played a key role in Leder’s career. As an investment banker, Leder would talk to Romney about deals. When Leder launched Sun Capital, Romney was an early backer, investing in the new firm’s deals. Sources familiar with the two men say that they have been close ever since.
Romney’s old firm, Bain Capital LLC, and Sun have also remained close, with Sun buying some non-core businesses of companies that Bain acquired.
But while Bain carried out leveraged buyouts, Sun focused on a subset of such deals involving companies in various degrees of distress in need of a major turnaround. About a third of the companies that Sun invests in have negative cash flows.