Florida Gov. Rick Scott has filled the last remaining vacancy on the Palm Beach County Health Care District board with a name that hasn’t surfaced previously — Palm Beach private equity firm managing partner Les Daniels.
Daniels is a co-founder of CAI Private Equity, a New York- and Canada-based firm that has handled over $1.3 billion in equity and investment transactions in the United States and Canada since its founding in 1989.
Daniels said he’s known Scott since the 1980s, when Scott was a lawyer in Texas who handled health care transactions. He agreed to serve on the special taxing district’s board at Scott’s request.
“He does a good job in everything he does,” Daniels said of Scott. “He hasn’t changed in 30 years. What you see is what you get.”
Daniels said he grew up in Ohio and studied economics in college before going to work on Wall Street. He has served on the boards of pharmaceutical companies including IVAX Corp. and Mylan Laboratories as well as other firms. Most recently he chaired Stuart-based TurboCombustor Technology, which was recently sold to the Carlyle Group. He said he moved to Palm Beach year-round in 2011.
In state filings, he reported having invested in “hospital and nursing home chains, cancer centers, HMOs, contract research organizations and generic drug companies.” He has also served on the board of the Catholic Healthcare System of New York, a system of hospitals and nursing homes.
He said he agrees there’s a role for safety-net health care programs, but would have to learn more about the district before commenting on its programs.
The district runs a hospital in Belle Glade, a nursing home in Riviera Beach and insurance programs for the working poor, as well as a trauma program and the school nursing program. The district’s past chairman, Ben Frank, had applied for reappointment but resigned in January after months with no action from Scott.