New rules curbing the amount of alternative investments banks can hold aren't the only thing driving private-equity spinoffs. Improving market conditions are also making it easier for investment professionals to strike out on their own.

The principals of Ridgemont Equity Partners, which was spun out of Bank of America Corp. on July 30, said Wednesday they had long been waiting for the right time to make the move. The team founded Bank of American Capital Investors in 1993, and later became top executives at BAML Capital Partners, the private-equity group formed after the bank acquired Merrill Lynch & Co.

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