John Childs, founder of private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates has stepped down as chairman, days after being charged with solicitation of prostitution.
Mr. Childs also stepped down as a director of the board at KeyImpact, a portfolio company in the firm's Fund IV.
According to a company news release, Mr. Childs is not currently active in the management of the middle-market growth private equity firm. The firm will continue to be led by Adam Suttin, managing partner, and partners David Fiorentino, Jeff Teschke and Bill Watts.
"John built an enduring and strong business and we appreciate his many contributions to JWC," said Mr. Suttin said in a statement in the release. "I look forward with confidence to the next chapter for our firm and wish John well."
However, J.W. Childs is currently raising its fifth fund with a $500 million target and Mr. Childs is listed as an executive officer, Security and Exchange Commission documents show. Mr. Childs is listed on the original fund document filed in December 2017 and also in a document filed in November 2018. He is listed as an executive officer alongside Messrs Fiorentino, Tesche, Suttin and Watts, also listed as executive officers. As of the November SEC filing, J.W. Childs' fifth fund had raised $209.3 million from 24 investors.
J.W. Childs executives say that Mr. Childs is not a key person in Fund V, according to a spokeswoman. His role has been diminishing over time, she said in an email.
J.W. Childs' news release regarding succession made no mention of the criminal charges against Mr. Childs and 164 other men brought by three Florida police departments. Charges were brought on Feb. 21 as part of a criminal investigation into multiple massage-parlor locations within Indian River County.
The J.W. Childs spokeswoman declined comment on the solicitation charges being brought against the firm's founder. However, firm executives believe that their limited partners back their transition. "We have been in contact with clients and are confident that our existing investors are supportive of the transition at the firm," the firm spokeswoman said in a separate email.
J.W. Childs' fifth fund is its latest since 2014 when it recapitalized its third fund and also closed on its fourth fund. In 2014, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto, helped recapitalize the firm's third fund. It committed $119 million to J.W. Childs Equity Partners IV, a new midmarket private equity fund managed by J.W. Childs Associates.
Darryl Konynenbelt, director, global media relations for the C$368.3 billion ($280.1 billion) pension plan, could not be reached for comment.