Former Time Warner chairman and CEO Richard Parsons is one of six senior advisors recently appointed by Dynasty Equity, a sports investment firm launched earlier this year, according to someone familiar with the plans.
Led by PJT partner Don Cornwell and Providence Equity founder Jonathan Nelson, Dynasty Equity is looking to invest in what’s become a new asset class for private equity around the globe: sports franchises. The firm is aiming to raise at least $1 billion for its initial fund.
The six advisors include executives with experience across sports, media and community outreach. They’ll assist Dynasty by lending expertise to portfolio franchises.
The senior advisors are:
- Richard Parsons: former chairman of CitiGroup, former chairman/CEO of Time Warner
- Ceci Kurzman: founder of Nexus Management Group, Warner Music board member
- Matt King: CEO of Fanatics betting division, former FanDuel CEO
- Kwame Owusu-Kesse: CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone
- David Ginsberg: vice chairman of Fenway Sports Group (Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC)
- Nakisa Bidarian: founder of BAVAFA Sports, former CFO of UFC, former SVP at Mubadala
Cornwell declined to comment on the appointments.
The list’s diverse makeup—four people of color, one woman—is in keeping with Dynasty’s early hiring. Cornwell is the first black co-owner of a sports PE fund, according to The New York Times, and 75% of the group’s initial hires have added diversity.
Dynasty is looking to capitalize on new rules that allow funds to buy equity stakes in every major league in the U.S. except the NFL. That’s already a growing trend in Europe, where firms have been investing for years into soccer clubs and other large properties, such as F1. Interest has come from some of the world’s largest PE firms, like CVC and Silver Lake, as well as boutique sports-specific funds such as Arctos Sports Partners.
Nelson founded Providence Equity in 1989, and currently serves as vice chairman of the firm, which has made more than 170 investments, with $32 billion aggregate PE capital commitments. Over his career he’s served as director of a number of Providence Equity portfolio companies, including YES Network, Warner Music Group, the Chernin Group and Hulu.
Cornwell joined PJT in 2015 after 18 years at Morgan Stanley (he will join PJT’s board in January). He’s worked some of the biggest deals in sports, gaming and media, including the sale of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the sale of the Buffalo Bills, William Morris Endeavor’s acquisition of IMG, and the creation of Major League Baseball Advanced Media.