Fran Janis is Senior Partner at Pomona Capital. Fran joined Pamona Capital in 1994 and leads investment decision-making and the secondaries, primary funds of funds and co-investment businesses. Fran has twenty-seven years of private equity experience. Prior to joining Pomona, she was a General Partner of Hambro International Equity Partners, a venture group that managed a series of domestic and offshore funds. During her career, Fran served as a Director of a number of private and public companies engaged in the telecommunications equipment, consumer products, software services, healthcare and specialty retailing industries. She received an MBA from Northeastern University, and a BS from the State University at New York (Albany). Fran is a member of Northeastern University's Huntington Society, and a Director of the University's National Council.
Q: How did you get involved with Northeastern as an alumnus?
A: “My involvement with Northeastern today is because of Rich [D’Amore]. He’s little by little reeled me in. I have two young children and I have a business of my own, so I’m quite busy… but he keeps promising me, ‘It’s only a little bit of time.’ So he’s kind of pulled me in. I’m now on the Investment Committee with him, and I know he has other plans for me.”
Q: How does Rich D’Amore’s recent contribution to the business school inspire you to serve?
A: “It makes me tremendously proud to have a friend who [contributed], and it’s not because he’s successful, and it’s not because he made such a large contribution, but because it was important enough to spend the time and the effort and to care as much about having an influence on the institution. That just blows my mind a little bit. He’s a tremendously talented, thoughtful guy, and passionate obviously about Northeastern, which is also a tribute to Northeastern and the faculty and the people there.
“It’s one thing to feel indebted to an institution. It’s another thing for the institution to be able to give you a big bear hug, and bring you in and let you feel like you can help mold the institution in ways that he’s been able to. I think even he is surprised by what a tremendous place it is, and what it has become since he’s been involved with it.”
Q: Why do you want to get more involved with alumni service?
A: “The more involved I become with the school, the more I realize it is an incredible place, and it’s really way ahead of so many other institutions that might seem more prestigious or might be more well-known. It’s so innovative, and there’s so much out of the box thinking that it makes me want to be more involved in the school. And just watching the last few years and certainly how it’s changed since I was there—in 1983 I graduated, so a long time ago—it’s a totally different place, and definitely a place I’d like to be more associated with, and maybe I can be more helpful to.”