Riverside pro launches buyout shop

A new private equity firm, High Road Capital Partners, was recently founded by a former managing partner of Cleveland, Ohio-based private equity firm Riverside.

New York-based private equity firm High Road Capital Partners was launched in January by Robert Fitzsimmons, a former managing partner for the mid-market buyout firm Riverside Company.

“I had been at Riverside for 12 years through four very successful funds, and it just got to a point where I wanted to do my own thing, run my own shop,” said Fitzsimmons.

During his time at Riverside – which manages $1.5 billion in capital and has offices in New York, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Cleveland – Fitzsimmons led 18 buyouts, of which half were platform acquisitions and half were add-on acquisitions. He continues to serve on the board of directors for several of Riverside’s portfolio companies: HCPro, Axiom Automotive Technologies, and QualServ Corporation.

Immediately prior to his Riverside tenure, Fitzsimmons worked for Citicorp Venture Capital for several years doing leveraged buyouts and late-stage venture capital investing.

Two former Riverside executives, William Connell and Jeffrey Goodrich, also left the firm to become partners at High Road Capital. Both had been with Riverside for four years and served as vice presidents. Connell was involved with five Riverside acquisitions and three exits, while Goodrich played a role in five acquisitions and two exits.

High Road’s initial goals are to build up staff levels, retain a deal-sourcing professional, and develop new deal flow, Fitzsimmons said. Similar to Riverside, it will focus on purchasing companies with revenues ranging from $10 million (€7.6 million) to $100 million.

“We think there’s tremendous opportunity at the smaller end of the middle market,” Fitzsimmons said.

The firm has no plans to specialize in any particular industries, he said. “Our big focus is on buying good, well-run companies that have the potential to grow,” Fitzsimmons noted.

Another aim is apparent in the firm’s choice of name.

“We pride ourselves on being straight shooters,” Fitzsimmons said.