The management of Hancock Venture Partners Inc. purchased the firm from its parent, John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co., according to officials with the insurer and the former subsidiary.
Financial terms were not disclosed. Both firms are in Boston.
The new firm - which remains in Boston - is tentatively known as HVP Partners L.L.C. and wholly owned by the 13 managing directors, said D. Brooks Zug, a managing director.
HVP will continue as manager to the existing Hancock private equity fund-of-funds. It has about $3 billion, half of which is invested overseas, said Mr. Zug. The new funds will be owned by HVP, he said.
Hancock received about one-third of the unit's profits, according to published reports.
"What has happened here is a natural evolution with a firm like ours that operates in a different environment than our parent company," said Mr. Zug.
"As we became larger and more successful and we built a team of people that had built a personal reputation in the business, it became apparent that we would have to ultimately control our own destiny and own our firm. It is a good solution from everyone's point of view."