Former Wisconsin Governor Joins Private Equity Firm

Feb 4 2010 | 10:18am ET

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson has joined an alternative investments firm that once boasted the infamous Brian Hunter—the natural gas trader who sank Amaranth Advisors—on its staff.

Thompson, a Republican who also served as secretary of health and human services under former President George W. Bush, has joined Boston-based Peak Ridge Capital Group as an adviser to its AgTech private equity fund. AgTech is managed from Peak Ridge’s Madison, Wisc., office, investing in companies specializing in improving agricultural efficiency. The fund also invests in clean technology companies.

“I’m very excited to be working with such a well-regarded firm as Peak Ridge, which has a global reach, and especially happy to be working on a fund that is based in the Midwest and focused on the fields of agriculture and technology,” Thompson said.

Hunter, whose disastrous natural gas trades cost Amaranth more than $6 billion in 2006, leading to the fund’s demise, worked at Peak Ridge, advising the firm on its commodities fund. Peak Ridge told FINalternatives that Hunter left the firm in early 2008.

Thompson is reportedly mulling a challenge to Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wisc.) this year.

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