A new investment firm has launched with offices in Dallas and New York City—and relationships will be a key driver of its growth investment strategy. Robert Covington, a former partner at RedBird Capital Partners, today announced the launch of Braemont Capital.
The relationship-based firm launches with a team of “eight experienced professionals” and will focus on defensive growth niches in both enterprise and consumer end markets, typically investing between $25 and $200 million of equity capital in either control or minority positions.
The firm’s growth equity investments will be made in partnership with founders, families, and entrepreneurs, the new firm says.
In a statement, Covington said his team’s “collective experience and relationships will help us identify, invest in, and grow great businesses,” especially in “niches where we have unique insight and the ability to be value-added partners to our management teams.”
Background at RedBird Capital and The Stephens Group
Before founding Braemont, Covington was a partner at RedBird Capital Partners, which Dallas Innovates profiled in July. He was previously a managing director of The Stephens Group, a private equity firm investing capital on behalf of the Stephens family, one of America’s longest-tenured private equity investors.
Prior to that, Covington was a partner at SSM Partners, a PE firm focused on expansion-stage technology, business services, and consumer services companies. Before SSM, Robert was the founder and CEO of Firstdoor—now part of Infor—where he directed a 70-person company that was one of the earliest “Software as a Service” business models.
Covington has more than the blessing of RedBird Capital in launching his new firm—he has its founder’s “full support.”
“We’re excited that Braemont will enable Robert to pursue his passion for investing in these targeted end markets,” said Gerry Cardinale, founder and managing partner of RedBird Capital Partners, in the statement. “He has our full support in building a differentiated investment business, and we look forward to collaborating with him over the long term.”
Braemont’s goal: “Invest to build”
Braemont plans to invest in “exceptional companies at growth inflection points.” The firm says its capital base will enable it to be flexible in structuring and holding business-building investments to create “enduring value.”
The firm says it has already held an initial close on its first investment vehicle, “with substantial capital commitments from an institutional investor representing several leading endowments, family offices, and individuals that are highly aligned with the firm’s strategy.”
Braemont will focus on both enterprise B2B investments and consumer B2C growth products and services. On the enterprise side, it will invest in “horizontally and vertically focused products and services addressing critical business needs.” Its B2B targets will include vertical SaaS firms; tech-enabled services; insurance distribution and services; facilities services and the built environment; and communications infrastructure.
Among B2C firms, Braemont will focus on growth products and services based around key technological, demographic, or other macro trends, including experiential hospitality; residential services; consumer and labor marketplaces; consumer-driven healthcare tech and services; and food/beverage and consumables.
Scaling investments over time
In July, we wrote about how RedBird Capital often takes the “long view” in investing. Covington seems to be planning the same thing at Braemont. Its planned “typical” equity investments of $25 to $200 million “can be scaled over time,” the firm says on its website, adding that “Our capital base allows for flexible hold periods so that we can prioritize and plan for long-term value creation.”
The Braemont team
Along with founder and general partner Covington, the Braemont team includes partner Jeff Volling, previously with Bessemer Investors, AE Investors, Madison Dearborn, and Credit Suisse; Herb May, who will be head of entrepreneur and family office partnerships following stints at DH Capital, Signal Hill Capital, Wachovia, and Deutsche Bank; Beau Allen, a principal of Braemont who was previously with JAM Capital Partners, RSE Ventures, and Rizvi Traverse Management; Max Green, a senior associate who was previously with UpEquity, RedBird Capital, and Cain Brothers & Co.; Steve Sims, CFA, Braemont’s COO and chief compliance officer, previously with New Republic Partners, J.P. Morgan, The Stephens Group, and Harris Williams & Co.; and Chief of Staff Jennifer Peppard, formerly with Speedwell Capital, St. Mark’s School of Texas, and The Winston School.
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