Perella Weinberg to Pursue Lower Middle Market Investments
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Perella Weinberg to Pursue Lower Middle Market Investments

Perella Weinberg Partners has launched PWP Growth Equity, a new private equity strategy focused on investing in growth companies in the lower middle market.

The new strategy will be led by David Ferguson and Chip Baird, investment veterans who have joined the firm as Partners in its Asset Management business. Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Baird join Perella Weinberg Partners from Weston Presidio, a lower middle market private equity firm, where they were both Partners. They will be based in Perella Weinberg’s New York office.

The PWP Growth Equity strategy will invest primarily in lower middle market companies across the consumer, services and industrials sectors. The strategy will focus on investments in businesses with strong management leadership, large addressable markets, compelling margins and cash flow conversion, differentiated products or services, and strong growth prospects.

“Identifying proven and experienced professionals to lead new strategies and further diversify our offering of alternative investment solutions continues to be a primary focus for the firm. Dave and Chip have a demonstrated track record of successfully sourcing, overseeing and exiting compelling investments and delivering attractive returns for investors,” said Terry Meguid, Founding Partner and head of the firm’s Asset Management business.

PWP Growth Equity has already closed on two transactions with the acquisitions of Trench Plate Rental Company in August of 2012 and Fashion to Figure in February 2013. Trench Plate is one of the largest providers of government-mandated trench safety equipment to the underground construction industry in the Western U.S. The company operates 11 branches in Southern California, Northern California, Las Vegas, Reno, and Houston. The company is based in Downey, CA (www.tprco.com). Fashion to Figure is a retail chain dedicated solely to plus-size women’s fashion. The company has 11 locations across the United States and it operates an online retail business. Fashion to Figure is based in New York (www.fashiontofigure.com).

Mr. Ferguson has been in the private equity industry for 25 years, during which time he has invested in a variety of industries and has served on the boards of directors of over 30 former portfolio companies. Mr. Ferguson was a Partner at JPMorgan Partners (and its predecessor organizations, Chase Capital Partners and Chemical Venture Partners) and, most recently, a Partner at Weston Presidio. Previously, Mr. Ferguson worked in the Mergers and Acquisitions Groups of Bankers Trust and Prudential Securities. Mr. Ferguson received a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Loyola University Maryland and a Masters in Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Perella Weinberg Partners is a leading global diversified alternative asset manager that is highly regarded for offering quality alternative investment products. Its reputation, coupled with its institutional infrastructure, made them the ideal partner for our new venture. We are excited to be launching this new strategy under the Perella Weinberg Partners franchise,” said Mr. Ferguson.

Mr. Baird began his investing career over 15 years ago and has extensive experience across a wide range of industries, having served on the board of directors of numerous portfolio companies. Prior to joining Perella Weinberg Partners, Mr. Baird was a Partner at Weston Presidio. Previously, Mr. Baird was a private equity investor with The Beacon Group, where he focused on business and industrial services, energy, and general manufacturing companies. Mr. Baird began his career in the Investment Banking Division at Merrill Lynch, working on mergers and acquisitions, high-yield financings and public equity offerings. Mr. Baird received a Bachelor of Science in Finance and International Business from the Pennsylvania State University and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

“Dave and I have significant experience investing in the consumer, services and industrials sectors. We look to build supportive relationships with management teams to help them achieve long-term value. We assist our partners’ value creation efforts and we look forward to continuing this work as part of the Perella Weinberg Partners team,” said Mr. Baird.

PWP Growth Equity is the third strategy to be launched by Perella Weinberg Partners in the last year. In March of 2012, the firm introduced PWP Diversified Equities, a fundamental long/short equity and event-driven strategy led by Partner and Portfolio Manager, David Baker. In August of 2012, the firm launched PWP Alpha Europe, a European long/short equity strategy led by Partner and Portfolio Manager Andrew Dickson. Perella Weinberg Partners Asset Management business is comprised of eight strategies with more than $8.6 billion in assets under management and capital commitments (www.pwpartners.com).

© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 3-8-13

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