APPLAUSE FOR BRAVO

His surname literally means “good”, but his partners clearly regard Orlando Bravo as outstanding.

In February, veteran US private equity firm Thoma Cressey Equity Partners became Thoma Cressey Bravo, in recognition, it said, of Bravo's “substantial contributions”.

According to the Chicago-based firm, in just the past four years, Bravo has led or co-led seven software-related buyouts worth approximately $2 billion (€1.5 billion), and closed 17 add-on acquisitions valued at roughly $1 billion.

The head of TCB's San Francisco office and technologyrelated investments, Bravo graduated from Brown University in 1992. He then worked in the mergers and acquisitions group of Morgan Stanley in New York prior to attending Stanford Law School and Stanford Business School.

Bravo joined the firm nine years ago, just as former Thoma Cressey partner Bruce Rauner split from Carl Thoma and Bryan Cressey to form Chicago-based GTCR.

The job was Bravo's first immediately following graduate school. “One job, one life,” laughs Bravo, who says a career in private equity has allowed him to cultivate his passion for investing.

In the past nine years, he says, “I've developed a really close relationship with all of my partners, been allowed to make mistakes, and have been very lucky.”

Much of his “luck” has been in working with middle-market software companies, such as Prophet 21 and VECTORsgi, and substantially accelerating their growth.

“We fell upon software when the market crashed in 2000 because we saw big value and big opportunities for consolidation,” Bravo says, noting that the prospects remain plentiful. “We're going to stay in this sector as long as I can tell.”

Also to remain unchanged in the future, he said, is TCB's buy and build strategy – one of the foremost factors that attracted Bravo to the firm.

“We completely follow and believe in our buy and build model,” he says. “First, that is how we make money here, and second, that is why our investors invest with us in this very crowded market among strong peers – and that strategy has worked.”

Bravo's role within TCB will remain exactly as it has been, he says, despite his name having been added to the firm's moniker.

“I'm flattered that my partners did that. It's humbling, it's great,” he says, “but we're busy working on our next deals.”

3i launches US growth capital Team
UK private equity firm 3i has launched a new growth capital team aimed at the American mid-market. The team of nine will help build on the success of 3i's US venture division. Robin Marshall, formerly the managing director of 3i's regional business in the UK, is leading the team along with Whitney Bower and Ken Hanau. Bower joined 3i from Bain Capital Ventures in October 2005. Hanau previously worked at the US mid-market firm Halyard Capital. The team will make investments between $20 million and $200 million in companies with an enterprise value of up to $1 billion. Most will be minority investments in family-owned businesses looking to grow.

FIRST RESERVE PROMOTES IN BACK OFFICE
First Reserve Corporation, an energyfocused investment firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut, promoted eight professionals at the end of January. Anne Gold, the firm's general counsel, became chief administrative officer. Kristin Custan became director of investor relations. Glenn Payne, who joined the firm as vice president in 2003, became a director. Rahman D'Argenio, Brian Lee, Tim O'Keeffe, Jeff Quake and Josh Weiner were all named vice presidents.

MONUMENT ADDS FOUR TO BOSTON OFFICE
Boston-based private equity placement agent Monument has promoted four members of its US team to partner. Those taking the step up are Lori Campana, Bart Molloy, Teresa Kinsella and Ryan Mueller. Campana, a managing director, joined from investment management firm Atlantic Trust Pell Rudman in 2003. Molloy, also a managing director, joined from private equity firm Audax Group in 2002. Kinsella, a principal and chief operation officer at Monument, joined in 2001 after holding various positions in Massachusetts' state government for 16 years, while Mueller, a principal, joined in 2003 from Commonfund Capital.

GSC GROUP PROMOTES GENERAL COUNSEL
GSC Group promoted David Goret, its general and chief compliance officer, to senior managing director. Forty-three-year-old Goret joined the firm in 2004 after serving as general counsel for several public and private companies, including Icon CMT Corp, a foodservice branding company. Known as GSC Partners until last October, GSC Group has undergone much expansion in the past two years. It hired a number of senior level executives, including a senior advisor and an investor relations team, in 2006.

HELIX ADDS TO US ROSTER
Helix Associates, the UK-based private equity fund placement agency that is a subsidiary of Jefferies International, added to its US team in February with the hiring of Karen Christofferson as a senior vice president. Christofferson will be based in Helix's New York office. She will lead the New York team in its research, analysis and due diligence for North American clients. She previously worked as a vice president in the investment banking division of JPMorgan Chase.

ILPA NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), a group that represents the interests of limited partners, has named Kathy Jeramaz-Larson as executive director of its board of directors. Her responsibilities will include overseeing the group's daily activities, as well as leading its plans for expansion and development. Jeramaz-Larson was the chief operation officer at Canadian private equity and venture capital market research firm Macdonald & Associates. She had a leading role in the sale of Macdonald to Thomson Financial, an information and technology solutions provider, in May 2005. She also helped introduce VCReporter, an online database software, to Thomson Financial. Jeramaz-Larson replaces Arlett Tygesen. Tygesen became the group's first executive director in March 2003 and split her time between ILPA and her position as a senior analyst in the private equity funds group at Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.

TOM REST JOINS AIGGIG
Tom Rest is leaving his position as manager of private equity at the New York State Teachers' Retirement System to become a vice president at AIG Global Investment Group (AIGGIG). Rest will report to Steve Costabile, managing director of AIGGIG's private equity funds group. Costabile is responsible for sourcing, due diligence, product development and marketing. The New York State Teachers' Retirement System is a pension that provides retirement disability and death benefits to New York State public school teachers and administrators. The fund has approximately $88 billion in assets under management. About five percent or $2.2 billion is allocated to private equity investments. AIGGIG is an asset manager with about $670.4 billion in assets under management and private equity assets of around $19.5 billion.