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Stephen Murray and CCMP’s Legacy

Layoffs and firings are typically something to worry about at the close of the year for those who work in finance. This is done with the intent of stabilizing a work force that will mirror the expected returns and client roster for the coming year. Rarely do cuts to staff factor in at the beginning of the year, and when they do they attract attention.

Earlier this week CCMP Capital has let go of five people from their Manhattan office. Among those separated from the firm is Julie Casella-Esposito, from a division of their human resources after nearly a decade. Following her are Andrew Coren and Jordan Ast, CCMP vice presidents.

Though these losses would seem to indicate some degree of trouble for CCMP Capital as a whole, reports seem to suggest that hiring for operations will resume within the year as a matter of strategic restructuring.

These changes are just another in a long line the firm has made since they resumed investments with their $3.6 billion-dollar fund following the death of Steve Murray, CCMP’s former president and CEO, in late March of 2015. The death of Murray placed an investment clause in effect that halted all trading, common in the finance world in order to protect the interests of clients while the firm fills the position that has been left recently vacant, which may be at the center of the firm’s activity in the approximate six months since.

Steve Murray acted as both president and CEO of CCMP Capital until the age of 52. In April of 2015, he left the firm for what he cited as health related complications. Steve Murray had been with CCMP since 1989 and was present for all permutations of the firm, from it’s partnerships with Chase Manhattan, and then JP Morgan and continued on until they acquired Chase as a property. As a private equity firm, CCMP handled some of the world’s largest accounts. It wasn’t until 2006 that the firm achieved full separation from JP Morgan to become its own entity. The following year was when Stephen Murray took over as CEO.

Murray had a full itinerary outside of his life at CCMP. He held board seats at Octagon Credit Investors, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Jetro JMDH Holdings, Crestcom International, Strongwood Insurance Holdings, LHP Hospital Group and Infogroup Inc.

Murray was a graduate of Boston College in 1984, then went on to pursue his masters degree in business administration from Columbia Business School in New York. In his adopted city, he spent a great deal of time supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York. His philanthropic efforts stretched beyond the city to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfeild County, the Stamford Museum, and to his alma maters Boston College and Columbia Business School.

Greg Brenneman, former chairman of CCMP, who eventually succeeded Murray in his positions as president and CEO of the firm, delivered the statement of his passing to the press.