Former Senate leader joins Cressey’s latest firm(2)

Uncertainty over whether Thoma Cressey Bravo would completely split or raise separate, sector-focussed funds under one roof has been erased with the appointment of former US Senate majority leader Bill Frist to the newly formed Cressey & Company.

Former Senate majority leader Bill Frist has become a partner at Cressey & Company, the healthcare-focussed buyout firm that spun out last month from Thoma Cressey Bravo.

“He has a unique combination of experiences – both as a practicing physician and as a former majority leader in the US Senate – that we believe will help us immensely as we identify and partner with management teams to transform growing healthcare businesses into world-class companies,” Bryan Cressey, partner and co-founder, said in a statement.

A Republican senator representing Tennessee from 1994 to 2007, Frist was formerly a heart and lung transplant surgeon. The accomplishments on his extensive resume include founding and serving as director of Vanderbilt University’s Multi-Organ Transplant Center. At one time, Frist’s name was also mentioned as possible candidate for the 2008 presidential election.

PEO reported last month that San Francisco-based Thoma Cressey Bravo, itself a spin-out from the Chicago firm now known as GTCR Golder Rauner, planned to split its operations in half for its next round of fundraising, with partners Bryan Cressey and Peter Ehrich focussed on healthcare, and partners Carl Thoma, Orlando Bravo, Lee Mitchell and Scott Crabill focussed on the software and services sectors.

Though the firm said each of the new funds will be raised and managed separately, and the partners will continue to work together on existing funds and share administrative resources, it had remained unclear whether they intended to divide into two completely separate partnerships. The advent of Cressey & Company, or C&C, has settled any uncertainty as to how the partners will proceed.

C&C, according to its website, is headquartered in Chicago and “seeks to invest in high-potential segments of the US healthcare market”. In addition to Cressey, Ehrich and Frist, the firm’s team is comprised of six investment professionals, all of whom appear to be Thoma Cressey Bravo alumni or to have worked closely with C&C’s founders.