Wind Point Closes its Largest Fund

Wind Point Closes its Largest Fund

Wind Point Partners has held a hard-cap close of the firm’s ninth fund, Wind Point Partners IX LP, with approximately $1.5 billion in capital commitments. This is the largest fund ever raised by Wind Point.

Limited partner commitments to the new fund totaled $1.4 billion and includes capital from institutional investors – public and corporate pension plans, insurance companies, family offices, and endowments and foundations – in North America, Europe, and Australia.

“We are incredibly thankful for the support we received from a high-quality group of existing and new investors in Fund IX,” said Nathan Brown, a managing director at Wind Point.

Wind Point’s investment team is led by six managing directors with an average tenure at Wind Point of 17 years. Since the raising of Wind Point’s eighth fund in July 2017 with $985 million of capital commitments, the firm has added five investment professionals at the vice president level, a chief talent officer, and a head of investor relations.

“The success of this fundraise is a testament to the strength and depth of our team, which we have continued to invest behind to support Wind Point’s growth,” added Mr. Brown. “Our leadership team has worked together for nearly two decades and we have never been more excited about the firm’s culture and strong positioning.”

Chicago-based Wind Point invests from $50 million to $100 million in companies with EBITDA of at least $10 million. Industries of interest include business services, consumer products and industrial products. The firm utilizes a team of executive advisors (EAP), largely former CEOs of public and private companies, to advise and assist with strategy and value-creation at its portfolio companies. Wind Point’s EAPs committed more than $23 million of capital to Fund IX, and they will also make direct investments in the businesses in which they are involved alongside Wind Point.

“We have always believed that executive talent and leadership play a disproportionate role in the success of an enterprise,” said Alex Washington, a managing director at Wind Point. “Through our EAP network, we have C-suite access to 76% of S&P 500 companies within our targeted sectors, providing a tremendous advantage for the middle market companies with which we partner.”

“Our team is extremely excited about the opportunity to continue deploying Fund IX,” said Paul Peterson, a managing director at Wind Point. “We’ve committed approximately 40% of the fund so far and continue to see an attractive set of opportunities to execute our proven strategy of driving fundamental business transformation in well-positioned middle-market businesses through leadership enhancement.”

In October 2020, Wind Point acquired Handgards, a manufacturer of disposable products used in the foodservice sector including more than 200 types of gloves, bags, protective apparel and flexible packaging. The company has more than 300 employees and a 250,000 square foot facility and headquarters in El Paso, Texas. Wind Point partnered with industry executive Joe Kubicek – the former president of surgical glove maker Ansell – on this transaction. One month earlier, in September 2020, Wind Point acquired RTIC, a Houston-based direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce seller of coolers, tumblers, bottles, and travel bags used by outdoor enthusiasts. Wind Point partnered with the RTIC’s founders and Bill Pond, who joined RTIC as its CEO. Mr. Pond is an experienced digital D2C executive and he is the former president of (owned by Spiraledge). Earlier in his career, he spent 16-years leading the e-commerce business of L.L. Bean.

“The management teams across our portfolio have done a phenomenal job navigating a challenging environment over the last year. As a result, our portfolio has remained quite resilient, which was clearly valued by investors evaluating Fund IX,” concluded Mr. Peterson.

With the closing of Fund IX, Wind Point’s assets under management now total approximately $3.3 billion.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | February 23, 2021

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