Bank One Corp.'s Louisiana-based venture capital team has joined Stonehenge Holdings of Columbus, Ohio.
The departure of the Louisiana team, led by Thomas J. Adamek and Michael P. Kirby, represents the latest stage of Bank One's effort to restructure its venture capital operations after the company's 1998 merger with First Chicago NBD Corp.
Stonehenge, which was launched this summer by other former Bank One venture capital executives, purchases senior and subordinated notes and preferred and common stock from privately held businesses. Its clients usually need venture capital for growth, expansion, acquisitions, and ownership transition.
Stonehenge also includes the former Bank One venture capitalists Philip Budd, Stephen Keller, David Kocen, Gordon LeBlanc, and Shelley Whittington. The new firm already has 60 employees and offices in Baton Rouge, Tampa, St. Louis, New York, and Columbus.
Mr. Kirby said the relationship between Stonehenge and Bank One is an amicable one. Stonehenge has put together $1 billion for investment. Bank One has contributed an undisclosed amount to that fund.
"In any bank merger there's duplication and leadership issues," Mr. Kirby said.
The decision by investment bankers to break off often comes down to an issue of commitment and pay, according to Stephen Biggar, an analyst with Standard & Poor's Equity Group.
Bank One's venture capital group produces revenues of $150 million to $200 million quarterly.
"It's enough to be considered a core business," said Catherine Murray, an analyst with J.P. Morgan & Co.
Bank One's decision to divest itself of some of its venture capital teams does not mean a retreat from the business, analysts said. The company's core venture capital group -- which came from the former First Chicago NBD -- remains intact in Chicago.