As it approaches the one-year mark since its creation, private equity firm Solamere Capital is nearing its goal of $200 million for its debut fund, according to SEC documents.
The Lexington, Massachusetts firm had raised $186 million by the end of May for its Solamere Founders Fund I vehicle, with commitments from nearly 40 investors. According to its website, the firm will invest in “high quality private equity fund partnerships within buyout, turnaround, growth equity, distressed, credit and venture capital strategies”, as well as investments in operating companies.
The firm is highlighting its relationships with private equity firms and the political connections of its executives. The firm was co-founded by Tagg Romney, son of Bain Capital founder and former Republican Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, while other partners include National Beef Packing Company chief executive John Miller and Spencer Zwick, the former national finance director for Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign.
The firm's political links received another boost in December when it added outgoing Missouri governor Matt Blunt as a senior advisor. Blunt was an early supporter of Romney's presidential bid and helped raise money for the campaign. However, only managing director Eric Scheuermann has had previous experience at a private equity firm.
The firm has been tight-lipped about the identity of its investors and whether any of the fund has been deployed to date. While Tagg Romney, who gave numerous interviews during the 2008 presidential race and maintained a campaign blog on Myspace, was introduced during a March television appearance on the Sean Hannity talk show as the founder of Solamere, he discussed current events rather than his firm's operations.
Tagg began his career at consultants Monitor Group and has also previously worked for Reebok, McKinsey & Co. and the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball franchise.
Mitt had a long career in private equity before moving to the world of politics, perhaps serving as an inspiration for Tagg. He worked for Boston Consulting Group after graduating with a joint degree in law and business administration from Harvard law and business schools. He then served as a vice president at Bain & Company.
In 1984, Mitt founded Bain Capital and spent the next 14 years leading the firm. Under his stewardship, Bain invested in or acquired companies like Staples, Brookstone, Domino's and Sport Authority.