Sterling promotes two to managing director

The Chicago-based growth equity firm has added Kim Vender Moffat and Michael Drai to its team of managing directors, which now has nine professionals.

Mid-market firm Sterling Partners has promoted two principals, Kim Vender Moffat and Michael Drai, to managing director, bringing the total number of managing directors at the firm to nine, the firm said in a statement.

These are newly-created positions, a Sterling spokeswoman told Private Equity International.

Vender Moffat initially joined the Chicago-based firm in 1999 as an associate, and spent four years in that position, according to her LinkedIn profile. Before joining Sterling, she had been a research consultant at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare.

After her first four years at Sterling, Vender Moffat left to attend graduate school and then joined McKinsey & Company as a consultant, according to Sterling Partners’ website. At McKinsey, she focused on strategy and operational improvements for companies in the financial services, insurance, consumer and healthcare sectors, the website indicated.

She was at McKinsey for two years before rejoining Sterling in 2008 to participate in all parts of the deal-making process – such as sourcing, due diligence, and overseeing portfolio companies – while focusing on the healthcare services sector.

As a managing director, Vender Moffat will continue her focus on healthcare, searching for growth-oriented companies in the sector, according to the spokeswoman.

Drai joined Sterling in 2008, according to his LinkedIn profile. The statement from the firm said he helped develop Sterling’s business services practice, including deal origination, due diligence, and overseeing Sterling’s portfolio companies. Prior to Sterling, Drai was an associate at fellow Chicago-based firm GTCR, an associate at private wealth management firm Allen & Company, and an analyst at investment bank Salomon Smith Barney, according to his LinkedIn profile.

In his new role, Drai will stay focused on business services, particularly targeting companies in the industrial, energy and maintenance services sectors, the spokeswoman said.

Both Vender Moffat and Drai are based in Chicago, she added.

Sterling targets growth-oriented and control investments in US lower and mid-market companies in the business services, education, and healthcare services sectors. According to PEI data, it manages about $3 billion in assets and is currently investing out of three funds. Sterling Small Market Education Fund launched in 2015 seeking $200 million, and closed in March 2015 on that amount, according to the spokeswoman. Sterling Capital Partners IV, its fourth buyout and a 2011-vintage fund, closed in February 2013 on $917 million, while Sterling Partners Small Market Growth 2009 closed on $254 million in February 2010, the spokeswoman said.

Outside of its Chicago headquarters, Sterling also has offices in Baltimore and Miami.