Polaris Senior Associate and GreenFuel VP Nick Sinai Joining Lehman Brothers Venture Arm in Boston

Nick Sinai, a rising senior associate star at Polaris Venture Partners, will be leaving the firm at the end of the year to become a vice president in the newly created Boston office of Lehman Brothers’ venture capital arm. Sinai, just 31 years old, will also be stepping down from his position as interim vice president of corporate development at GreenFuel Technologies, the Cambridge-based energy firm where Polaris general partner Bob Metcalfe stepped in as interim CEO this summer.

While he didn’t want to be quoted directly, Sinai did confirm his move this morning. He will be joining at least two others in the Boston offices of Lehman Brothers Venture Partners, which opened late this summer when Brian K. Paul moved over from the firm’s Menlo Park office, where he was managing director, to open and manage the new arm. Before joining Lehman Brothers in 1994, Paul worked as an associate at First Boston.

Sinai has an undergraduate degree from Harvard (where he was on the crew and boxing teams–did someone say VC Varsity?) and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He’s been at Polaris three years, working closely with Metcalfe and concentrating on information technology and energy investments. Among the Polaris investments he’s worked on: Mintera, Integrian, Emo Labs, LogMeIn, RoundBox, Dataupia, Confluence, GreenFuel Technologies, and Infinite Power Solutions. Before Polaris, he concentrated on telecommunications investments for Madison Dearborn Partners, and was a manager at strategy consulting firm Cambridge Strategic Management Group.

Lehman Brothers, the famous New York investment bank, formed its venture arm, which is focused on technology investments, back in 1995. According to its web site, the venture business doesn’t target any one particular industry, but rather focuses its investments on companies in any industry that are “capable of rapid growth through the provision or implementation of innovative technology.” Lehman’s latest venture fund—the $365 million Lehman Brothers Venture Partners V announced in September—is focused on mid- to late-stage investments in high-growth technology companies.

In addition to Boston and Menlo Park, the venture group has a New York office. The Boston operation has made at least one investment so far—taking the lead in a $20 million financing round announced last month by ExaGrid Systems, a disk-based data protection company based in Westborough, MA. Lehman joined existing investors Highland Capital Partners and Sigma Partners.

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