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Peter Z. Hermann

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Published in Legacy Remembers on October 16, 2023

Newton – Peter Zadock Hermann, 69, passed away on October 11, 2023 surrounded by the love and care of his family. He was diagnosed with ALS in May and was being treated at the Healey Center at MGH. He spent his final months with his beloved wife and children, traveling to see the people and places he loved from Europe to Mexico. This summer, family came from far and wide to celebrate his life during a large reunion on Conway Lake, his favorite place to be.

Peter grew up in Newtonville, MA raised by his loving parents, the late Howard and Deborah Hermann. He attended Cambridge Friends school and The Palfrey Street School. He studied for one year at Sarah Lawrence College before moving to England, where he earned a BA and MA, reading 17th Century British History at Sussex University. He later earned an MPhil in Business and Economics from St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Upon returning to the US, Peter joined the Africa/Middle East division of the Bank of Boston. He lived and worked in both Cameroon and Guinea Bissau. At the Bank of Boston, he became a founder and Director of BancBoston Capital’s private equity effort; Equity Partners.

Peter went on to co-found the private equity firm, Heritage Partners and helped lead the organization from its inception in 1994 until 2009. Heritage pioneered the “Private IPO”-a way for owners of family-run businesses to cash-out without selling the company or going public. Rather than dismantling and selling the business for parts, Peter believed in helping revamp and grow family-run businesses. He often spoke about how deeply he cared for the families who ran these businesses and about his vision of creating a company that could do well because it did right by others. At Heritage, Peter was the senior partner and board director for his portfolio companies.

Peter met his wife Tamara (Tammy) in 1984 on a ferry boat headed to Martha’s Vineyard. They married in 1987 and had three children, with whom they traveled widely. Some of his favorite trips included visits to Cuba, Ghana, Southeast Asia, Argentina, and biking through the Lakes Region of Chile. Above all, Peter and Tammy were both lovers of French culture, living in Paris from 2010-2011. Peter could be described as a “Francophile with Perspective”, adamant that no country was perfect. The two spent many months each year enjoying life in Paris, including tennis with friends in the Jardin de Luxembourg, long walks along the Seine, delicious meals, good wine, and fine chocolate.

Peter enjoyed many sports and took every opportunity to be in nature. He was an avid skier, whether gliding down the slopes with family or planning weeklong trips to Snowbird with his friends. On Monday evenings he could be found at the B & T and Longwood playing raucous rounds of tennis with his good buddies and enjoying cocktails at Woody’s or on the LCC porch. He loved to hike, cherishing the breathtaking views of NH’s White Mountains, where he spent much of his youth. Perhaps his favorite place to be was Conway Lake in summer, engaged in intimate family conversations during afternoon sails on the Precision. He loved his family and took great pride in his children.

Peter is survived by his wife, Tamara, his three children, Camilla, Julia, and Oliver, his daughter-in-law Aike, son-in-law Ben, sisters Rachel and Kait, brothers Andrew and Eric, sisters-in law Ailsa, Allison, and Holly, brothers-in law Anthony and Dan, mother-in-law JoAnn, and beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A Celebration of Life service will be held for Peter on Sunday, October 29th at 2pm at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society (Hunnewell Building) at 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA. For those unable to attend please see the website for a zoom link and any updated information.

In lieu of flowers, support for Compassionate Care ALS (CCALS) would be deeply appreciated.