Private equity star McKeeve quits Kirkland

Private equity rainmaker Raymond McKeeve is to leave Kirkland & Ellis (K&S) in three months for an unknown destination, believed to be a role at a private equity house.

McKeeve’s surprise departure will be closely watched by competitors after his success with clients such as property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz and Apax Partners.

London managing partner Jim Learner said: “He resigned and will be going to an industry position. Until that time he has got a number of transactions he needs to complete.”

McKeeve was poached from Linklaters along with fellow private equity partner Graham White in March 2006. The hire coincided with several departures from Kirkland’s London office, including corporate partners Michelle Cuttler, John Van De North and John Dunmore, as well as the retirement of London managing partner and founder Stuart Mills.

Learner continued: “I like working with Raymond. I am sorry that he decided to leave.”

McKeeve was unavailable for comment.