Zachary Perry, Founder and Managing Partner
Zack is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the firm, including deal origination, analysis, transaction structuring, and the management of the company post acquisition.
Zack has 14 years of experience as an entrepreneur and financial services professional, most recently opening a craft brewery in Texas and leading that company through its initial growth phase. Previously, Zack was a Director in the Capital Markets Group with Deutsche Bank in New York and London. During his time there he structured and executed more than $30 billion in transactions. He graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut with a BA in Economics.
We are backed by highly successful operating executives, institutions, and entrepreneurs with vast experience in buying and growing privately held companies. Our investors are devoted to helping Claremont Square find, acquire and grow a business over the long-term.
Search Fund Partners
Dave Carver, Principal
David Carver is a co-founder of Search Fund Partners. He is on the board of iNet Interactive, FastSpring, Great Bay Software, Advanced Network Solutions, UnitedLayer, DataFusion, StaffOne, and Raptor Technologies.
David spent thirty years as an executive in the high tech industry, and has extensive experience in all phases of business, including M&A, fund-raising, corporate strategy and operations. He was CEO of HiFive!, an application service provider; CEO of Hipbone Networks, an online collaboration company; EVP and GM at Network Associates; COO of Network General; an EIR at Institutional Venture Partners; and an executive at Hewlett-Packard, including ten years in the professional service/software divisions of HP.
Dave has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Arkansas. Dave and his wife Julia have two sons, RJ and Sam. He is active in community and non-profit organizations, having founded the Redwood Chapter of National Junior Basketball serving 650 children.
Rich Kelley, Principal
Rich Kelley co-founded Search Fund Partners in 2004. He currently serves on the boards of Discovia, Pet Heaven, DCI, Lund Van Dyke, Verengo, Avadyne, RIA in a Box, ISC, and Medical Positioning, Inc.
Rich Kelley has been involved in numerous small businesses and start-up companies as an operator, owner, and investor. His varied experience includes: CFO of Score Learning Centers, CEO of San Jose Giants, General Partner of the Stanford Terrace Inn, developer of houses and subdivisions, owner of office buildings and hotels, investor in successful tech start-ups (Coinstar, PLX Technology, Corcept Therapeutics). He has also invested in many limited partnerships, including venture funds, and has been involved as a search fund investor since 1994.
Rich has an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Stanford. Rich and his wife Gina have two children, Riley and Sam. He has served as an elected school board trustee and is active with the Positive Coaching Alliance and Sustainable Conservation as an advisor.
Jim Edmunds joined Search Fund Partners in 2008 after running a company sourced through the search fund model. Jim and his partner found and acquired Celebrity Kids Portrait Studios, a leading provider of upscale children's photography in 2005. Jim served as President and CFO of the company. He currently participates on the boards of Microdea, Neuro International, Consumeraffairs.com, Gogotech, and UCIT Online.
Before launching a search fund, Jim was an Associate at McKinsey & Company in Palo Alto. Prior to attending business school, Jim conducted business development for PetSmart.com, managed a successful political campaign in Texas, and worked in Investment Banking and Equity Capital Markets at Bear Stearns.
Jim holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was named a Siebel Scholar, and an A.B. in History from Harvard University. He is the treasurer of Building Futures Now, a non-profit dedicated to helping high potential students in East Palo Alto. He lives in Menlo Park with his wife Christine, daughters Emiko and Mika, and son Koji.
Jeff Stevens, Managing Partner
Jeff Stevens has 20 years of experience structuring, operating and investing in search fund companies. Jeff has managed three funded searches during the period from 1990-2005, each one culminating in the acquisition of a lower middle market company. Jeff understands the elements of the search fund model that drive success. In addition, Jeff's relationships with other experienced, successful search fund investors and current search fund principals allows Anacapa Partners access to invest in concert with a group that has been participating in this business model for over 20 years.
Prior to founding Anacapa Partners, Jeff was the CEO of three venture-backed buyouts – Balkin Cable Holdings (cable television system operator), Ancora Capital (mail presort), and Liberty Fitness (women's fitness centers). Following these three buyouts, Jeff founded Deeelish! (manufacturer/retailer of ready-to-cook gourmet meals). In each of Jeff's four ventures he has maintained responsibility for all aspects of sourcing acquisition/start-up opportunities, including identifying potential targets, industry analysis, company specific due diligence, and fundraising (debt and equity) to complete the transaction. Following the completion of each acquisition Jeff became the senior executive of the acquired company with direct reporting responsibility to a shareholder group and Board of Directors. Prior to beginning his entrepreneurial path Jeff was an Associate Consultant at Bain & Company. Jeff received his Bachelor of Arts and MBA from Stanford University, and remains actively involved in the Stanford community. He participates in classroom case discussion for entrepreneurship courses at the Graduate School of Business, serves as a mentor for students participating in a two-quarter business planning course, and volunteers in numerous capacities for the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. Jeff is also a member of the Ford Committee at DAPER.
Jeff is a member of the Board of Directors of Advanced Network Solutions, Developerprogram.com, EZ Shipper Racks, KGHP, PEC Safety, Recruit Military, and Sage Data Security.
Ashley Giesler, Managing Director
Ashley has over 15 years of experience advising, operating and investing in high growth venture and private equity backed companies. Serving in corporate development, finance and legal roles Ashley has supported companies through periods of rapid growth by creating and executing business and capital strategies, negotiating complex transactions, building management teams, and managing transformational events in a company’s lifecycle. From 2002 to 2011, Ashley was a member of the senior team at Asurion Corporation, the most successful search fund operating company to date, as the Company’s first in-house counsel and later head of Corporate Development. During this time, she led the execution of multiple transformative acquisitions, an equity recapitalization of the company and multiple subsequent leveraged recapitalizations and advised on the Company’s international expansion in Asia, Europe and Latin America. More recently, Ashley was Vice President of Transactions and General Counsel at Sunrun, a residential solar company, where she led the project finance and legal teams through the raise of over $500 million in proceeds through equity, debt and project finance transactions and was instrumental in developing the strategy and establishing the infrastructure necessary to support the company’s rapid growth. Prior to her operational experience, Ashley was a corporate associate at Venture Law Group in Silicon Valley and Riordan & McKinzie in Los Angeles and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Emilio M. Garza on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ashley graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UC, Santa Barbara and Order of the Coif from UCLA Law School.
Craig A.T. Jones
Craig Jones is a 30 year veteran of the venture capital and private equity industry and currently runs the private equity firm Ticonderoga Capital and its portfolio company, InnoCentive. He has invested extensively in healthcare and software businesses, leading investments in over 60 companies in healthcare IT, healthcare business services, healthcare services, SaaS, and internet-based companies.
Mr. Jones has invested widely in virtually all subsectors of healthcare and has specialized in the past 10 years in technology-enabled healthcare business services, including revenue cycle management, clinical research management, fraud and abuse detection, data management, and disease management. Ticonderoga Capital sold HealthDataInsights for $400 million providing the Ticonderoga funds a 13X return on Mr. Jones’ portfolio investment. Ticonderoga sold TC3 Health for another strong return on Mr. Jones’ healthcare investments.
He is Chairman of the Board of the healthcare companies eStudySite and National Research Institute and both Executive Chairman and President of the leading crowd source innovation company InnoCentive. He is also a member of Board of Directors of Construction Software Technology.
Mr. Jones’ extensive private equity career includes Managing Partner of Ticonderoga Capital since 1997 where he has overseen investments of over $300 million. He was Managing Director at Dillon, Read & Co and head of its venture capital partnerships, Vice President at Advent International, Associate at Centennial Ventures and a consultant with Bain & Co. He is a graduate Magna Cum Laude of Harvard Law School.
Mr. Jones has participated as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Venture Capital Association, has founded a charter elementary school. He lives in Boulder Colorado with his wife and kids.
Aaron Gabbart, Vice President
Aaron is a Vice President at Peterson Ventures. Prior to joining Peterson Ventures, Aaron was the CEO of BenefitGuard, a venture-backed startup offering a no-nonsense 401(k) to SMBs. Prior to joining BenefitGuard, Aaron was a financial economist at the U.S. Treasury in Washington DC. Aaron received an MBA and B.S. from Brigham Young University, and serves on the board of the BYU Men’s Soccer Program.
Graue Mill Partners
Robert S. Whitelaw
Mr. Whitelaw founded Graue Mill Partners, LLC ("GMP") in December 2000 and has played an active role in its development and oversight of the firm's investments. Previously, Mr. Whitelaw spent over twenty-five years as an investment banker to corporations of various sizes both domestically and abroad, advising in all areas of capital raising, corporate finance and mergers/acquisitions. Just prior to forming GMP, Mr. Whitelaw was Managing Director and Head of the Chicago corporate finance office for PaineWebber Group, where he re-established the firm's investment banking presence in the Midwest to leverage the middle-market, equity research driven focus of the firm.
Previous to this, Mr. Whitelaw served in various, increasingly senior roles at Merrill Lynch & Co. over nearly twenty years, both in New York and Chicago, most recently as Managing Director and Head of the Midwest Financial Institutions Group. As a strategic advisor, he was responsible for a variety of industry shaping transactions, capital raising transactions and defensive assignments for clients including BancOne, First Illinois Corporation, National City Corporation, Firstbank Illinois, US Bancorp and Northern Trust Company.
GMP's largest portfolio investment to date was lead by Mr. Whitelaw, as he engineered a partnership with Axxon Groupe to aquire Vetbrands International, Inc., a Brazilian based manufacturer of animal pharmacueticals. GMP's ownership in Vetbrands provided exceptional returns to the firm and its investors with its sale to Ceva Sante Animale in 2007.
More recently, Mr. Whitelaw has lead GMP's efforts to refine its origination and investment focus in the Search Fund asset class, as the firm has successfully positioned itself as an active partner and unique resource to Search Fund Entrepreneurs in this very attractive alternative investment category. In 2013, these efforts culminated in an exclusive partnership with RMB Capital, a $4 billion asset management firm, which now serves as GMP's instituional capital partner in its rapidly expanding portfolio of Search Fund investments. In this connection, Mr. Whitelaw now sits on the Board of Directors of GMP's most recent Search Fund acquired operating company, Lund Van Dyke, LLC, a provider of pediatric behavioral therapy services.
Mr. Whitelaw is an honors graduate of Vanderbilt University and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a past Chair of the Wellness House Foundation Board of Directors, a former President and Board Member of the Hinsdale Golf Club and is currently a Director of the Western Golf Association/Evans Scholars Foundation, currently sitting on its Investment Committee.
Richard A. Bruder
Mr. Bruder has been managing private equity investments and partnerships for nearly 15 years. Prior to joining Graue Mill Partners in 2003, he was most focused on creating long term capital appreciation through participatory ownership with management. This overall theme of creating business environments that would motivate entrepreneurial executives, partners, and staff, laid the foundation for Mr. Bruder's work at GMP.
Beginning in 1980, Mr. Bruder spent 20 years as a member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange and 18 years as a member of the Chicago Board of Trade. At the CBOE, Mr. Bruder was a long-standing member of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and numerous standing committees. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Cincinnati Stock Exchange. He continues to serve as a public member of the Business Conduct Committee of the CBOE.
Mr. Bruder currently serves on the Board of Directors of Out of Home Holdings Corporation, the parent of OOHA Wilkins Media, a leading global provider of independent out-of-home advertising services and a GMP search fund portfolio company. He is a Director of Hinsdale Bank & Trust, a $1.8 billion community bank and a subsidiary of the $19 billion financial services holding company, Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC), and sits on the Board of another Wintrust subsidiary, Tricom Funding, Inc., a premier provider of payroll, administrative and funding services.
Mr. Bruder is a past Chairman of the Board and CEO of the USO of Illinois, and continues to serve on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He is also the past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ride 2 Recovery, a military focused non-for-profit, and has been a member of the Board of Directors of numerous other philanthropic organizations.
Mr. Bruder received a BA with honors from the University of Southern California. He also attended a Doctoral Studies program at the University of Delaware.
Mark D. Rothschild
Mr. Rothschild has been involved as an Advisory Board member of Graue Mill Partners for a number of years and now has recently joined GMP as a Partner. He continues to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of Iron Partners LLC, a Chicago-based multi-strategy, multi-manager fund of hedge funds. He led a group of investors that acquired controlling interest in Iron in July, 2007.
Prior to Iron Partners Mr. Rothschild was the Managing Partner of Sage Equity Partners LLC which provided strategic and financial advisory services to corporate clients, including: JD Edwards , Applied Films Corporation, Ball Aerospace Systems Engineering Group, Quicklink, IDES, C-COM and Webb Interactive Services. He served on the Board of Directors of eTrinsic, C-COM and Webb Interactive Services.
In 1996, Mr. Rothschild was named Co-Chief Executive Officer of International Language Engineering Corporation (“ILE”), a Boulder, CO software localization and translation services company. In 1997 he led the recapitalization of ILE by a prominent NYC private equity firm. He led the management team that grew ILE from 150 employees in 1996 to $24 million in revenues with 250 employees operating in five locations by 1999 when he left the company. ILE was merged with its largest U.S. competitor which was then was acquired by Lionbridge Technologies in 2000.
Mr. Rothschild served as a Vice President in the Corporate Finance Group of Kemper Securities . Prior to joining Kemper in 1994, Mr. Rothschild was a Founder and President of Memory Clearing Corporation, a startup company in San Francisco formed in 1989 to create a futures market in semiconductor memory products.
Mr. Rothschild was a member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange from 1978 through 1989 and a member of the Pacific Stock Exchange from 1983 to 1989. He was elected to the Board of Governors of the Pacific Stock Exchange in 1987 and served through 1989. From June 1976 through October 1978 he worked for Harris Bank in Chicago (now owned by Bank of Montreal) where he was responsible for commercial banking relationships to a wide range of corporate clients in the Midwest.
Mr. Rothschild holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Economics from Iowa State University.
Michael F. O’Connell, Managing Director
Michael F. O’Connell is the Senior Managing Director at M2O, Inc. He oversees the assessment of investment opportunities and reviews the ongoing performance of portfolio companies.
For most of his career, Michael was President and Managing Director of Anhalt, O’Connell & Steffanci Inc., a Los Angeles-based investment management firm with almost $1 billion under management.
In 1992, Michael purchased the National Lines Bureau, a ship mooring company operating at the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors, the largest (combined) commercial port in America. This initial, successful investment prompted many more and Michael soon shifted his focus from investment management to venture capital. Today, he leads M2O with a portfolio of more than 40 companies.
Michael also sits on the board of American Biosurgical Inc., Veri-Tax, and Yates & Associates Insurance.
Michael holds a B.A., with high honors, from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Michael-Kevin O’Connell, Managing Director
Michael-Kevin (M-K) O’Connell joined M2O, Inc. as a Managing Director in 2009. He is responsible for sourcing and reviewing new investment opportunities as well as monitoring the performance of portfolio companies.
Prior to joining M2O, M-K was a Manager with L.E.K. Consulting. During his tenure there, M-K led project teams across a diverse range of industries and business issues. His projects included the strategic due diligence of a $1 billion building materials company, the development of a customer contact and support strategy for a legacy airline, the strategic realignment and long-term plan for a major Los Angeles attraction, and the strategic due diligence of a leading equipment supplier to solar cell manufacturers.
Before L.E.K., M-K worked in commercial real estate as the Director of Research for CB Richard Ellis in New England.
M-K also sits on the board at Origo Commodities Management and is an advisor to Veri-Tax and Yates & Associates Insurance.
M-K received his B.S, magna cum laude, from Boston College and his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he was the recipient of the
Thomas P. Gerrity Leadership Award for achieving “excellence in both academic and co-curricular pursuits.”
Scott is a private investor managing a portfolio of equity and real estate investments for his personal account.
Scott Asen graduated from Harvard College in 1966. In 1966 and 1967 he co-authored How to Make Money Selling Stock Options. Scott joined Mitchell, Hutchins & Co. in 1967 where he worked in the investment advisory department with responsibility for research on small technology stocks.
Between 1969 and 1974, Scott was a portfolio manager with Research and Science Investors, a New York based venture capital and money management firm. From 1974 until 1977, Scott was self-employed as a journalist specializing in reporting on municipal finance issues. In 1977, Scott became a general partner of Pioneer Ventures, a group of venture capital and special situations entities created by a wealthy New York investor.
Throughout the following two decades, Scott had primary responsibility for managing the various Pioneer Ventures entities.
At present, Scott sits on the boards of three privately held companies. He is a Trustee of Groton School and The Paris Review and a board member of the Mt. Desert Land and Garden Preserve.
Bill is founder and General Partner of Alta Communications and Marion Equity Partners, Massachusetts-based venture capital firms. He founded Alta's predecessor firm, Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co. in 1979, and has identified and backed several of America's leading growth companies in the information technology, life sciences, and communications industries.
Prior to founding Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co., Bill was a Partner at TA Associates. He began his career as a Manager of Venture Capital for New England Enterprise Capital Corporation.
He is past President and Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, a Trustee of Fairfield University, a member of the Board of Overseers of The Wharton School and a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Board of CRH plc, and a number of privately held companies. Bill is also a trustee of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Duniry Foundation.
Bill received a degree in Economics from Fairfield University and an MBA from The Wharton School.
Mr. Egan is a founder and Managing Partner at Marion Equity Partners, a Boston based investment firm. Prior to Marion, Mr. Egan focused on growth equity investments in the technology, healthcare, media, and business services industries at Polaris Venture Partners. Before Polaris, Mr. Egan began his career at Alta Communications where he executed investments in the media and telecommunications sectors. Mr. Egan also has previous experience with Comcast Corporation in business development and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Penn Warranty Corporation.
Mr. Egan received a degree in Finance from Fairfield University and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Augustyn is Founder and CEO of both NIP Group, a top 100 business insurance broker, and Extensis Group, a top 20 Professional Employer Organization (PEO).
Mr. Augustyn has been a successful entrepreneur and accomplished investor for more than 20 years. His investments are focused upon the financial and business services and healthcare sectors.
He currently serves on the board of several high-growth companies and chairs the Market Development Councils of two national insurance companies.
His early business success landed him a spot among New Jersey's Forty Under 40, a program that honors young men and women who have made outstanding contributions to their fields.
Peter Schober has been in venture capital since the mid-1980s. He founded and runs Milk Street Ventures, a firm that specializes in secondary transactions involving the acquisition of stakes in venture-backed technology companies near liquidity events. Earlier in his career, Mr. Schober started and ran the international investment activity of Boston-based M/C Partners with an office in London. He helped develop business plans and recruited senior management teams for several sizeable telecommunications start-ups with recurring revenue models. Mr. Schober also co-founded MVP Ventures, investing in a wide range of sectors, including information technology, communications, hospitality, and industrial.Throughout his career, Peter Schober has enjoyed working closely with entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses, frequently serving on their board of directors. Backing highly talented and ambitious search fund entrepreneurs is a natural extension of his interests and an important component of his personal investment activity. After growing up in Europe, Mr. Schober earned a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and an MBA from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. As a Fellow at Penn’s Joseph H. Lauder Institute, he also received an MA in International Studies.
Matt Estep is the Managing Partner and founder of Bosworth Capital Partners. Matt is responsible for identifying and sourcing target companies, conducting due diligence, deal structuring, negotiating, financing and ultimately working alongside management of the acquired companies.
In 2010, upon making the investment in Midwest Supplies, Matt worked with the founders desire to transition out quickly and assumed the role of President. Over the next 2 years, Matt worked at building out a leadership team that could help scale the rapidly growing ecommerce company to over $100M in sales.
Prior to attending Harvard Business School, Matt worked at Peoples Energy in Chicago, Illinois. During his time at Peoples, Matt rapidly ascended through the organization and worked in numerous capacities including design, project management and finally in operations management. Matt’s final role at Peoples involved the management of a utility maintenance facility with 250 union employees where he was responsible for the allocation of resources and the jobs that go along with this including: hiring, training, disciplining, budgeting, and staffing. Prior to Peoples, Matt spent time pursuing a career as a professional race car driver and as a result of his interest in motorsports and fabrication he co-founded of a go-kart manufacturing company.
Matt holds a Master in Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School and also graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.