Monday, June 25, 2012

Meet Wake Forest's Other Big Donor: Dave Wahrhaftig

As many of you know, Wake Forest is in the final days of a drive to secure 1,000 new donors by June 30. If successful, Mike Farrell (P' 10) and Dave Wahrhaftig (MBA '82) have agreed to donate $200,000 to the Wake Forest Fund for the Schools of Business. At June 25, the drive still needs 413 donors.

Most alumni know who Farrell is - his gift to the university is allowing the Schools of Business to proceed with building Farrell Hall. But who is Wahrhaftig? We decided to dig around to learn more about this particular donor. We found most of our information on the website for Kelso & Co.

Wahrhaftig is a principal at Kelso & Co., a New York private equity firm. The group focuses on making investments in growing middle-market companies. Since 2000, the average initial capitalization at closing of the companies in which Kelso has invested and taken an active role is about $550 million. Kelso is currently investing in its eighth investment partnership with $5.1 billion of committed capital.

Wahrhaftig joined the firm in  1987 after spending five years at Arthur Young & Co. where he was an associate director of M&A. While he went to Wake Forest for business school, he earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Western Maryland College in 1980. He also holds a Certificate in Management Accounting.

He is also a director atAugusta Sportswear, Nivel Parts & Manufacturing Co., and Renfro Corp. and is active in Kelso's investment in KAR Auction Services. He is also currently a trustee of Wake Forest and a member of the Board of Visitors at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business.

Wahrhaftig, who lives in Larchmont, N.Y., was also among a group of Kelso executives who survived the 2005 Teterboro air crash, where a chartered jet went off a runway, skidded across a highway and slammed into a warehouse during the morning rush.

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