The Top 25 Business Services Investors of 2019

We are pleased to announce GrowthCap’s inaugural Top 25 Business Services Investors awards.  Since 2013, we have been producing feature publications on today’s leading investors to provide private company CEOs as well as institutional limited partners with additional insights on investors rooted largely in detailed evaluation of an investor’s performance and professional achievements while frequently incorporating feedback from peers, colleagues and other industry participants including our own direct experience.

We decided to initiate an awards list focused on the business services sector to provide our audience of pensions, endowments and other institutional limited partners with additional information on specific individuals who are performing at the top of their peer set.  In addition, it has been our experience that large family offices seeking to commit significant capital to the private equity asset class have found our awards publications helpful in identifying both established and rising investor talent.

The individuals selected for the Top 25 Business Services Investors of 2019 are those who have demonstrated deep business services sector expertise, high corporate strategic acumen, exceptional investment judgement, and consistent professional performance over a sustained period of time.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s awardees.



Firm: TA Associates
Title: Managing Director

Financial services and technology-focused investment specialist M. Roy Burns first joined global growth private equity firm TA Associates in 2001 as an associate, rising through the ranks to his current position as managing director. Roy primarily focuses on investments in services and technology providers in investment management, electronic payments and wealth management as well as business services. Since joining TA, he has executed 11 investments with nearly $6 billion in enterprise value as well as leading exits on six investments with an estimated $7 billion in enterprise value.

Before moving to TA, Roy held roles in public company investments at Davidson Kempner Partners and High Yield and Leveraged Finance at Banc of America Securities. He received his B.S. with special attainments in business administration from Washington and Lee University and his M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.




Firm: GTCR
Title: Managing Director

Career GTCR investment professional David Donnini first joined the high-growth industry-focused firm in 1991 and currently holds the role of managing director. David is responsible for spearheading GTCR’s business services efforts. He serves as director for several of his firm’s investment holdings including AssuredPartners, Park Place, Fairway Outdoor, Sotera and Vivid Seats.

Though he has spent most of his career at GTCR, David did a stint as an associate consultant at Bain & Company prior to joining his current firm. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in economics and received his M.B.A. from Stanford University.




Firm: New Mountain Capital
Title: Managing Director

Multi-sector investment specialist Mathew Lori currently serves as managing director in alternative investment manager New Mountain Capital’s private equity division. Since joining the firm in 2007, he has led transaction efforts in a variety of sectors ranging from business services and consumer products to software, specialty distribution, healthcare and industrial. Mathew currently oversees a number of New Mountain’s key investments by serving as Lead Director or Chairman for ABB Optical Group, IRI Worldwide, Strategic Partners, Beeline and Diversified Foodservice Supply.

Mathew was formerly managing director at CCMP Capital Advisors as well as its predecessor firm JP Morgan Partners. He obtained his B.S. from the University of Windsor before going on to receive his M.B.A. from the JL Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.




Firm: Audax
Title: Managing Director

Leverage buyout and portfolio company management specialist Keith Palumbo is a managing director at middle market-focused private equity firm Audax. In this role, he helps lead his firm’s investment strategy regarding business services companies with a focus on building and developing middle market companies in the sector.

Before joining Audax, Keith was with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette’s private equity group DLJ Merchant Banking Partners. There he was responsible for executing control leverage buyout transactions as well as managing portfolio companies. He began his career at Chemical Banking Corporation. Keith earned his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School as well as his B.S. from Lehigh University.




Firm: Abry Partners
Title: Partner

Investment banker turned private equity investment specialist Azra Kanji currently serves as partner at communications, media and business services-focused private equity firm Abry Partners. Joining the firm in 2003, Azra has been responsible for originating, overseeing and executing a wide range of deals with a focus on the business services, communications, cable, marketing services and logistics sectors. Key investments with which she has been involved include CIBT, Direct Travel, Inmar, Securus and WideOpenWest.

Azra moved to Abry from the investment banking sector. She was previously with Goldman Sachs in their Communications, Media and Entertainment group. Azra graduated from Duke University.




Firm: Berkshire Partners
Title: Managing Director

Consultant and business development specialist turned investment expert EJ Whelan holds the role of managing director at long-standing private equity firm Berkshire Partners. He first joined the firm in 2005 and was promoted to managing director in 2012. In this role, he builds upon Berkshire’s industry leading business services investment expertise.

EJ joined Berkshire from Summit Partners, where he was a vice president. Earlier in his career, he held a business development role at Sterling Collision Centers after serving as an associate consultant for Bain & Company. EJ received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and his A.B. in economics from Dartmouth College.




Firm: Apax Partners
Title: Partner

Former investment banker Ashish Karandikar serves as partner within the services team at British headquartered private equity firm Apax Partners. Since joining the firm in 2007, he has participated in or led a range of key deals including Authority Brands, AssuredPartners,, HUB International, Quality Distribution, Garda, Tosca Services and TIVIT.

Ashish moved to Apax from Morgan Stanley, where he was in the investment banking group in both the New York and Mumbai offices. In this role, he focused on advising clients on merger and acquisition and financing transactions as well as evaluating real estate investments. Ashish received his B.Com. from the University of Mumbai as well as his M.B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago. He is also a qualified Chartered Accountant.




Firm: HIG Capital
Title: Managing Director

Private investment transaction specialist Elliot Maluth has been with HIG Capital since 2004, serving as managing director in the firm’s San Francisco office with a focus on business services and consumer goods and services. In this role, Elliot oversees and leads all aspects of the private investment transaction process, ranging from deal origination and transaction structuring to post-closing portfolio company oversight.

In his three decade career, Elliot has held a variety of leadership positions in private equity, management consulting and sales management. Prior to joining HIG, Elliot served as partner with private equity firm Behrman Capital. He has also held roles at Golder Thoma Cressey Rauner, Pricewaterhouse and Procter & Gamble. Elliott received his B.B.A. from the University of Washington as well as his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.




Firm: MidOcean Partners
Title: Managing Director

Former investment banker Barrett Gilmer currently serves as managing director in the business and media services division at leading middle market private equity firm MidOcean Partners. Since joining the firm in 2004, Barrett has played a key role in originating and executing MidOcean’s investments in Thompson Publishing Group, OneLink Communications, Insight Communications, Penton, Fairway Media, Olympus Media, Questex, Jones & Frank and Hanley Wood / Meyers Research.

Barrett began his career in the investment banking division at Lehman Brothers. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Davidson College.




Firm: Calera Capital
Title: Managing Director

Career private equity investment professional Ethan Thurow is currently managing director at middle market-focused Calera Capital as well as a member of the general partnership. He serves as director for Calera’s portfolio companies Arnott, imageFIRST and Carnegie Fabrics as well as being involved in the firm’s portfolio investments in First Republic and Grandpoint

Before moving to Calera, Ethan was in the investment group at Boston-headquartered private equity firm Audax Group, where he evaluated and executed investments across industries. He began his career at strategic advisory firm The Parthenon Group. Ethan received both his M.B.A. and his A.B. from Harvard University.




Firm: Court Square Capital Partners
Title: Partner

Consultant turned investor Kevin White is a partner at leverage buyout-focused private equity firm Court Square Capital Partners. He joined the firm in 2011. Kevin currently serves on the board of directors of several of Court Square’s portfolio companies including Dynata, DISA and Mspark, and he previously was on the boards for Vestcom and IWCO Direct.

Kevin came to Court Square from Bain Capital Partners, where he was from 2002 to 2011. He transitioned to Bain Capital from his role as consultant at Bain & Company. Kevin earned his B.S.E. in Operations Research and Financial Engineering from Princeton University as well as his M.B.A. from Harvard University.




Firm: American Securities
Title: Managing Director

Middle market investment specialist Helen Chiang holds the role of managing director at North American-focused private equity firm American Securities. She joined the firm in 2012 and has since served as director for a variety of American Securities’ portfolio investments, including Milk Specialties Global, Mortgage Contracting Services and Learning Care Group.

Helen previously served as vice president at Morgan Stanley Capital Partners; in this role, she focused on investments in the business services, restaurant and consumer/retail sectors. Her resume also includes stints at Warburg Pincus, Weston Presidio/Dorset Capital and Morgan Stanley’s investment banking practice. Helen graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and International Studies before receiving her M.B.A. from Stanford University.




Firm: RFE Investment Partners
Title: Managing Director

Merger and acquisition specialist turned private equity investor Michael Rubel currently serves as managing director at RFE Investment Partners, a private equity firm that targets proven middle market companies. He first joined the firm in 2009 as principal. Since then, Michael has taken a director role at a number of RFE’s portfolio companies including EnsembleIQ, iMedX, PCX Aerostructures, PureRED Integrated Marketing, ShelterLogic, and Trident Motion Technologies.

Before joining RFE, Michael was a principal at private equity form Weston Presidio for four years. He also spent three years at middle market merger and acquisition advisory firm Harris Williams & Co. Michael graduated from James Madison University with a B.B.A. in Finance and Economics and was an Honors Program Scholar; he received his M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.




Firm: Charlesbank
Title: Managing Director

Former business consultant Joshua Klevens has been with management led-buyout and growth capital-focused investment firm Charlesbank since 2005 and currently serves as managing director. As part of his responsibilities in originating and overseeing his firm’s investment, Joshua currently serves on the board of directors for several of Charlesbank’s portfolio companies including Tecomet, Polyconcept, HDT Global, FULLBEAUTY Brands and TLC Vision.

Joshua came to Charlesbank from Bain Capital, where he focused on private equity transactions across industries. He began his career as a business analyst at McKinsey & Company. Joshua graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs at Princeton University cum laude and received his M.B.A. from Stanford University.




Firm: Tailwind Capital
Title: Partner

Lawyer turned investment banker turned investor Adam Stulberger is a partner at Tailwind Capital, a growth-oriented private equity firm with over $3.5 billion in committed capital since inception. Adam joined Tailwind in 2003 and has advanced to head the Business Services Practice Group.

In combination with his pre-Tailwind experience, Adam has over 25 years of experience as an investor, corporate executive and advisor within the business services sector. Before joining Tailwind, he served as Chief Development Officer and Chief Financial Officer of SpectraSite Communication’s European operations. He also spent time in the media and communications investment banking groups at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse following his stint as a corporate attorney at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Adam received his undergraduate degree from Lafayette College and his J.D. from New York University School of Law.




Firm: Parthenon Capital Partners
Title: Partner

Former mergers and acquisitions investment banker Zachary Sadek is a partner in the Boston office of Parthenon Capital Partners, a private equity firm that has completed over $5 billion in acquisitions since its founding in 1998. Having first joined Parthenon in 2004, Zachary’s main investment focus is business and financial services companies, including payments and financial technology, education, government and specialty lending and insurance software.

Zachary transitioned to Parthenon from the sell side, having worked in mergers and acquisitions investment banking at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in Chicago. He earned both his A.B. and his A.M. from the University of Chicago, the former with honors; he received his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.




Firm: Lovell Minnick Partners
Title: Partner

Sell-side specialist turned buy-side investor Trevor Rich is a partner in the Los Angeles office of global financial service industry-focused private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners. Since joining the firm in 2010, Trevor has played a key role in the evaluation and analysis of the firm’s strategic transactions. He currently sits on the board of directors of National Auto Care, Engage People and Worldwide Facilities.

Trevor came to Lovell Minnick from Morgan Stanley, where he served on the corporate development team. He began his career in the Technology, Media and Telecom Investment Banking Group at JPMorgan. Traver earned his B.A. in Economics from Brigham Young University as well as his M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.




Firm: VSS
Title: Managing Director

Investment banker turned investor Trent Hickman currently serves as a managing director for business services-focused private investment fund VSS. In addition to serving on the firm’s investment committee, Trent is responsible for developing investment opportunities, structuring investments and monitoring portfolio companies. He is on the board of directors for several VSS portfolio companies, including Coretelligent, Southern Theatres, GreenSlate and QuadraNet.

Trent came to VSS from First Union Securities (now Wells Fargo Securities), where he was an analyst and associate in their Media & Entertainment Investment Banking Group. He received his A.B. in History and French from Duke University and his M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.




Firm: Ridgemont Equity Partners
Title: Partner

Former management consultant and investment banker Rob Edwards serves as partner and Management Committee member for middle market-focused Ridgemont Equity Partners. In this role, he spearheads the firm’s investments in the basic industries and financial services sectors. Rob is a member of the board of directors for several of Ridgemont’s portfolio companies including J.A.M. Distributing Company and Auroa Parts & Accessories.

Prior to joining Ridgemont, Rob was with BAML Capital Partners’ predecessor fund Banc of America Capital Investors. He also served as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, a vice president at Allied Capital and on the investment banking team at Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co. Rob received his M.B.A. from Harvard University and his B.A. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.




Firm: Pamlico Capital
Title: Partner

Chartered financial analyst Walker Simmons is a partner at Pamlico Capital, a growth capital and leverage buyout-focused private equity firm that has invested approximately $3.8 billion since inception. Walker first joined Pamlico in 2000 and invests primarily in the business and technology services and communications sectors. He currently holds board seats for BNI, Airwavz Solutions, Veson Nautical, World 50 and TRG Screen.

Walker came to Pamlico from Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co., where he was vice president; he started his career as an associate at The Robinson-Humphrey Company. Walker graduated with a B.S. from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce before receiving his M.B.A from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.




Firm: Silver Oak Service Partners
Title: Managing Partner

Veteran private equity firm founder Daniel Gill serves as managing partner of business services-focused private equity firm Silver Oak Service Partners; as founder of the firm, he co-leads and manages its investment strategy with managing partner Gregory Barr. In this capacity, Daniel is responsible for deal generation and all aspects of deal execution. He is currently on the board of directors for Asure Software, NAR, ION, PRN, PLA, VASA Fitness and Redwood Dental.

Before founding Silver Oak, Daniel was also a founding partner and managing director at private equity firm Willis Stein & Partners. His previous career includes stints at CIVA, a Bank of America subsidiary, and Kidder, Peabody & Co., where he worked in the corporate finance department. Daniel earned his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and received his B.A. in Economics from Bucknell University.




Firm: Altamont Capital Partners
Title: Managing Director

Consultant turned private equity investor Keoni Schwartz is managing director at Altamont Capital Partners, a private equity firm that focuses on long-term control investments in middle market companies. Having co-founded Altamont, Keoni’s primary investment expertise within the firm include business services, financial services and consumer.

Keoni started Altamont after serving as a principal at Golden Gate Capital, where he acted as domain lead for that firm’s financial services investments. At Golden Gate, he also helped grow the firm’s public equities investing activities. Keoni began his career in consulting, working for both Bain & Company and The Bridgespan Group. He earned his B.A. in History with honors from Princeton University.




Firm: Alpine Investors
Title: Partner

Career Alpine Investors employee Dan Sanner currently serves as partner for the software and services-focused private equity firm, overseeing the sourcing team and co-leading the firm’s business services and online investing teams. He has been with the firm since 2002. In his role as partner, Dan is responsible for deal sourcing, investing, finance, transaction execution, M&A and operational management.

Dan has spent his entire career with Alpine outside of a two year stint investing on behalf of a Hong Kong-based family office. He received his A.B. in Economics with honors from Dartmouth College.




Firm: 3i Group
Title: Managing Director

Career private equity investor Andrew Olinick is partner and managing director at multinational private equity and venture capital company 3i Group. Since joining the firm in 2007, he has risen to co-head 3i’s North America Private Equity team as well as serve as the global head of Business & Technology Services. Andrew is currently a member of the board of directors for ICE, JMJ Associates and Magnitude.

Andrew came to 3i from VSS, where he was an associate focused on the business services, media and education sectors. He began his career as an associate at media-focused private equity firm ZelnickMedia. Andrew obtained his M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and his B.S. from the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business.




Firm: Perella Weinberg
Title: Managing Director

Former investment banker and economist Henry Heinerscheid currently holds the role of managing director in leading global advisory and asset management firm Perella Weinberg’s Growth Equity division. Since joining the Perella Weinberg team in 2013, Henry has played a key role in evaluating potential investments, originating and executing transactions and liaising with existing portfolio companies.

Before Perella Weinberg, Henry was an associate at growth equity firm Weston Presidio, where he helped to evaluate and management key investment opportunities. He moved to private equity from Harris Williams & Co., where he served as investment banking analyst. Henry started his career as an economist at State Street Global Advisors. He graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in Economics and received his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.



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