Fundraising veteran Robert Brown joins Motive Partners – exclusive

The BearTooth Advisors founder helped the fintech-focused investment firm raise its debut fund.

Robert Brown, one of the biggest names in private equity fundraising, has joined a financial technology-focused investment firm after helping raise its debut fund.

Bob Brown
Brown: PE fundraising veteran

Brown, who founded placement agent BearTooth Advisors before it was acquired by Houlihan Lokey in 2018, joins Motive Partners as founding partner and executive committee member. He will focus on capital raising, investor relations, business development and marketing & communications, among other duties.

“I’m excited to be continuing the journey with Motive as a member of their leadership team,” Brown, who spent almost 15 years in total as a partner at both Carlyle Group and Advent International prior to BearTooth, told Private Equity International.

“The firm is very focused on best-in-class practices across not only the investment process but customer service experience as well. Motive is committed to providing limited partners with best-in-class service – from the normal and mundane through to what should be expected of the next generation of private equity firms,” he added.

Brown helped raise Motive Capital Fund I which has held its final close, according to a statement seen by PEI. The main vehicle collected at least $473 million, the statement noted. A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission dated June shows the total programme had raised $534 million.

The fund’s target was $500 million and it launched in 2017, according to PEI data.

A spokesman for Motive declined to comment on the fund’s hard-cap and target returns.

LPs in the fund include public pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, alternative asset managers, family offices, endowments and foundations across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australasia.

All LPs in the fund have co-investment rights, Brown said.

Fund I focuses on growth and buyout opportunities in financial and business services technology companies. It has already invested in six portfolio companies – Avaloq, Dun & Bradstreet, Finantix, Global Shares, LMRKTS and LPA – which required a total of $3 billion in equity from Motive, LP co-investors and other investor groups, according to the statement.

Brown left Houlihan Lokey over the summer, PEI reported in August.

He was included in the Rainmaker 50 – PEI’s list of the most influential fundraisers – having been involved in more than 180 fundraises, including TPG’s first fund and Silver Lake I.

Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein, who has worked with Brown, said in the statement: “This is an exciting opportunity for Bob, who brings excellent judgement and a deep understanding of the private equity landscape to Motive and its investors.”

Motive typically makes control and minority investments in established businesses and installs its own members on the portfolio company’s management team. Across its portfolio, Motive has installed what it refers to as “industry partners” and board members which provide operational and technical expertise, founder and managing partner Rob Heyvaert told PEI.

“Everybody always talks about value creation,” Heyvaert  said. “Our value creation team are part of the core of the business – they’re not an afterthought, not the operating partner, not someone they hire for a once-off for one specific deal. They’re part of the fabric and culture of the portfolio firm and our ecosystem.”

Gibson Dunn provided legal counsel on the fundraise.