Mr. Phelan is the Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner of MSD Capital, L.P. He is also the Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner of MSD Partners, L.P. Prior to forming MSD Capital, he was a Principal from 1992 to 1997 at ESL Investments, a Greenwich, Connecticut based investment firm. At ESL, Mr. Phelan was responsible for ESL's Special Situation Investments and helped grow the firm from $50 million to over $2.0 billion in assets under management. Prior to ESL, Mr. Phelan was Vice President in charge of Acquisitions (Western Region) for the Zell-Merrill Lynch Real Estate Opportunity Funds. He began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he worked as an Analyst in the Investment Banking Division.
Mr. Phelan received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1990 and graduated cum laude with distinction and Phi Beta Kappa from Southern Methodist University with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science in 1986. Mr. Phelan also holds a General Course degree with an emphasis in Economics and International Relations from The London School of Economics.
Mr. Phelan is on the Board of Trustees of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Chairman of the Investment Committee), the Aspen Art Museum (Co-President) and the Whitney Museum (Executive Council). He is also on the Investment Committee for the SMU Endowment, the North American Advisory Board of the London School of Economics and the Harvard Business School - Board of Dean’s Advisors. He is also a Board Member of the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation.