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Star Mountain Capital Hires Former BlackRock Managing Director, Amon Johnson

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Star Mountain Capital, an employee-owned, specialized investment manager with approximately $3.5 billion in assets under management targeting systematic alpha and low market-correlated returns for its institutional and high-net-worth clients, announced that Amon Johnson, former Managing Director at BlackRock joined full-time as a Managing Director.

NEW YORK, September 14, 2023-- Star Mountain Capital, LLC ("Star Mountain"), a specialized investment manager with approximately $3.5 billion in assets under management (committed capital including debt facilities as of 8/31/2023) focused on generating systematic excess risk-adjusted returns by investing in the less efficient “lower middle-market” of established, private small and medium-sized businesses in North America, is pleased to announce that Amon Johnson has joined as a Managing Director. Amon will also join Star Mountain’s ESG and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committees.

Star Mountain’s values include strong shareholder alignment with its senior team investing personal capital and sharing the firm’s carried interest with 100% of U.S.-based employees.

“Amon is joining our team in response to the increasing demand by institutional and retail investors to target defensive, high yielding and asymmetric upside returns,” said Brett Hickey, Star Mountain Capital Founder & CEO. “Amon’s history in advising sophisticated clients and trusted relationships will allow Star Mountain to continue to provide high quality partnerships with our growing investor base, enhancing our value proposition to investors and business owners. We are aligned with Amon’s values including our continuing efforts to build an industry-leading and diverse team.”

“I was attracted to Star Mountain’s investor-centric differentiated and purpose-built business focused on generating systematic alpha for investors with the further benefit of low market correlation, which I think is increasingly important in today’s uncertain economic environment,” said Amon Johnson. “I believe Star Mountain’s distinctive business model and highly aligned team will be a perfect place for me to utilize my 30 years of experience including over 15 years at BlackRock. I look forward to leveraging my experience and relationships to continue to develop Star Mountain’s team and business.”

Mr. Johnson will be based in Star Mountain’s New York City office.

Mr. Johnson is a senior executive with 30+ years of investment industry experience working with some of the most sophisticated institutions and family offices investors on their portfolio investments.

Mr. Johnson spent over 15 years at BlackRock, the ~$9 trillion AUM global multi-asset investment manager. As a Managing Director and member of the Institutional Client Business Group, he advised and provided oversight for some of the largest and most sophisticated domestic institutional client relationships. He oversaw approximately $40 billion of client capital invested across a broad range of global strategies. At BlackRock, he worked under current Star Mountain Senior Advisor, Doug Waggoner, who led BlackRock’s U.S. & Canada Institutional Client Business Group.

Mr. Johnson was most recently a Managing Director, Head of Investor Relations & Fundraising at Backcast Partners, a $1.2 billion AUM private credit manager focused on senior lending to non-sponsored and sponsor backed companies in the U.S. lower middle-market. Mr. Johnson was responsible for all aspects of the fundraising process including coordination of investment consultants for larger institutional clients.

Prior to Backcast, Mr. Johnson was a Managing Director at PineBridge Investments as part of the Americas Institutional Sales Group where he focused on middle-market direct lending, mezzanine credit and secondary investment strategies. He helped restructure the U.S. product suite and played an integral part in the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) effort.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Johnson was a Vice President at JPMorgan Investment Management responsible for building and managing direct relationships with over 30 clients representing total AUM of more than $10 billion. While at JPMorgan Investment Management, he was selected to join a group of 37 professionals from its nine global offices in a rigorous five-month program designed to build core competencies in all product lines and client areas.

Mr. Johnson started his career as a tax specialist at KPMG.

Mr. Johnson is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and has an MBA from The Leonard N. Stern school of business at New York University. He currently serves on the Board of Regents for Delbarton School where he holds three positions: Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents, Chairman – Finance and Audit Committee, and member of the Investment Committee.

About Star Mountain

With approximately $3.5 billion in assets under management (as of August 31, 2023), Star Mountain takes a data-driven approach to investing into the North American lower middle-market through two complementary investment strategies: (i) direct debt and equity investing and (ii) secondaries (acquiring LP interests and direct assets and making primary LP commitments) and NAV loans to funds. Star Mountain believes these complementary strategies provide data-enhanced, scalable, diversified and customizable access for its institutional and high-net-worth investors to established businesses that generally have at least $15 million in annual revenues and under $50 million in EBITDA. Its investors include public pensions, private pensions, insurance companies, commercial banks, endowments, foundations, family offices and high-net-worth individuals. Star Mountain is 100% employee-owned and shares its profits with 100% of its U.S. full-time employees as part of its focus on maximizing value for its stakeholders and investors through alignment of interests.

Since 2010 through August 2023, Star Mountain has made over 200 direct investments in businesses and over 40 secondary / fund investments within its Collaborative Ecosystem®, focused on the North American lower middle-market. One of Star Mountain’s specialties is seeking current cash income for investors that is materially above the typical yields found in the public markets, often accompanied with potential long-term capital gains equity returns and low correlation to public markets through its distinctive origination, underwriting and value-added investment capabilities.

Star Mountain was recently named one of the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private companies in America.

For the fourth straight year, Star Mountain was again named one of the 2022 Best Places to Work by Crain’s New York Business as well as once again one of the 2022 Best Places to Work by Pensions & Investments.

Star Mountain believes its focus and dedication has been productive for job creation and economic development including in underserved areas and communities. Star Mountain is dedicated to this large market of underserved businesses purpose-built to address the challenges and opportunities of these companies. As part of its commitment, Star Mountain has trademarked Investing in the Growth Engine of America®.

Star Mountain has a dedicated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Committee led by Anne Yang, Strategic Portfolio Manager & ESG Committee Chair, who was formerly a Managing Director & Member of Executive Office at Goldman Sachs. Star Mountain believes that ESG is aligned with financial stability and long-term shareholder value creation.

As part of its ESG program, Star Mountain’s Charitable Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 focuses on improving lives through economic development, including job creation, health & wellness and cancer research. Notable missions include helping match veterans and women with high quality small and medium-sized business career opportunities across the country, including within Star Mountain’s portfolio.

Note: This does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to purchase interests in any investment product. Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he / she / it will experience a certain level of results if Star Mountain is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement, testimonial endorsement, recommendation or referral of Star Mountain or its representatives by any of its clients or any other third party. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based exclusively on information prepared and / or submitted by the recognized advisor. Moreover, with regard to all performance information contained herein, directly or indirectly, if any, readers should note that past results are not indicative of future results. The description and the selection methodologies of each award and recognition are subjective and will vary.

Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies, and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she/it will experience a certain level of results if SMFM is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement, testimonial endorsement, recommendation or referral of SMFM or its representatives by any of its clients or any other third party. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based exclusively on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized advisor.

Crain’s two-part survey process consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The second part involved an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Star Mountain must pay a fee to Crain’s only for survey collection purposes. Detailed eligibility criteria can be found here:

To be named to P&I‘s Best Places list, all firms met Best Companies’ high threshold for inclusion and were evaluated against others of similar size. Individual firm profiles, which were compiled based on survey results, reflect U.S. employment numbers and were confirmed by Best Companies in the summer. Company and employee comments were edited for space, style and clarity. Assets under management or advisement are as of June 30, unless otherwise noted. To participate, companies had to have at least 20 employees in the U.S., at least $100 million of discretionary assets under management or advisement and be in business for at least one year. An anonymous employee survey, which aimed to evaluate employee engagement and satisfaction, accounted for 75% of a firm’s score; an employer survey, which evaluated workplace policies, practices, benefits and demographics, made up 25%.

Companies on the 2023 Inc. 5000 are ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2019 to 2022. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2019. They must be U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit, and independent--not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies--as of December 31, 2022. (Since then, some on the list may have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2019 is $100,000; the minimum for 2022 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Growth rates used to determine rankings were calculated to four decimal places.

John Polis –

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