ManagementGraue Mill Partners
Graue Mill Partners ("GMP") is a private equity firm which assists entrepreneurs and owner-operators plan and fund investments in those businesses. The firm has operated as an independent sponsor of private equity transactions, generating exceptional returns through active financial and operating management of attractive small and medium size businesses. More recently, GMP has actively sought to partner with qualified, high integrity Search Fund entrepreneurs to leverage its ability to identify, structure, and manage growth investments in companies with uniquely attractive competitive and strategic attributes.
|Robert S. Whitelaw
Mr. Whitelaw founded GMP in December 2000 and has played an active role in its development and oversight of the firm's investments. Previously, Mr. Whitelaw spent over twenty-five years as an investment banker to corporations of various sizes both domestically and abroad, advising in all areas of capital raising, corporate finance and mergers/acquisitions. Just prior to forming GMP, Mr. Whitelaw was Managing Director and Head of the Chicago corporate finance office for PaineWebber Group, where he re-established the firm's investment banking presence in the Midwest to leverage the middle-market, equity research driven focus of the firm.
Previous to this, Mr. Whitelaw served in various, increasingly senior roles at Merrill Lynch & Co. over nearly twenty years, both in New York and Chicago, most recently as Managing Director and Head of the Midwest Financial Institutions and Global Insurance Groups. As a strategic advisor, he was responsible for a variety of industry shaping transactions, capital raising transactions and defensive assignments for clients including BancOne, First Illinois Corporation, National City Corporation, Firstbank Illinois, US Bancorp and The Northern Trust Company.
GMP's largest portfolio investment to date was lead by Mr. Whitelaw, as he engineered a partnership with Axxon Groupe to aquire Vetbrands International, Inc., a Brazilian based manufacturer of animal pharmacueticals. GMP's ownership in Vetbrands provided exceptional returns to the firm and its investors with its sale to Ceva Sante Animale in 2007.
More recently, Mr. Whitelaw has lead GMP's efforts to refine its origination and investment focus in the Search Fund asset class, as the firm has successfully positioned itself as an active partner and unique resource to Search Fund Entrepreneurs in this very attractive alternative investment category. In 2013, these efforts culminated in an exclusive partnership with RMB Capital, a $4 billion asset management firm, which now serves as GMP's instituional capital partner in its rapidly expanding portfolio of Search Fund investments.
Mr. Whitelaw is an honors graduate of Vanderbilt University and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a past Chair of the Wellness House Foundation Board of Directors, a former President and Board Member of the Hinsdale Golf Club and is currently a Director of the Western Golf Association/Evans Scholars Foundation.
|Richard A. Bruder
Mr. Bruder has been managing private equity investments and partnerships for nearly 15 years. Prior to joining Graue Mill Partners in 2003, he was most focused on creating long term capital appreciation through participatory ownership with management. This overall theme of creating business environments that would motivate entrepreneurial executives, partners, and staff, laid the foundation for Mr. Bruder's work at GMP.
Beginning in 1980, Mr. Bruder spent 20 years as a member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange and 18 years as a member of the Chicago Board of Trade. At the CBOE, Mr. Bruder was a long-standing member of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and numerous standing committees. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Cincinnati Stock Exchange. He continues to serve as a public member of the Business Conduct Committee of the CBOE.
Mr. Bruder currently serves on the Board of Directors of Out of Home Holdings Corporation, the parent of OOHA Wilkins Media, a leading global provider of independent out-of-home advertising services and a GMP search fund portfolio company. He is a Director of Hinsdale Bank & Trust, a $1.8 billion community bank and a subsidiary of the $18 billion financial services holding company, Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC), and sits on the Board of another Wintrust subsidiary, Tricom Funding, Inc., a premier provider of payroll, administrative and funding services.
Mr. Bruder is a past Chairman of the Board and CEO of the USO of Illinois, and continues to serve on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ride 2 Recovery, and has been a member of the Board of Directors of numerous other philanthropic organizations.
Mr. Bruder received a BA with honors from the University of Southern California. He also attended a Doctoral Studies program at the University of Delaware.
|Mark D. Rothschild
Mark D. Rothschild Mr. Rothschild has been involved as an Advisory Board member of Graue Mill Partners for a number of years and now has recently joined GMP as a Partner. He continues to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of Iron Partners LLC, a Chicago-based multi-strategy, multi-manager fund of hedge funds. He led a group of investors that acquired controlling interest in Iron in July, 2007.
Prior to Iron Partners Mr. Rothschild was the Managing Partner of Sage Equity Partners LLC which provided strategic and financial advisory services to corporate clients, including: JD Edwards , Applied Films Corporation, Ball Aerospace Systems Engineering Group, Quicklink, IDES, C-COM and Webb Interactive Services. He served on the Board of Directors of eTrinsic, C-COM and Webb Interactive Services.
In 1996, Mr. Rothschild was named Co-Chief Executive Officer of International Language Engineering Corporation (“ILE”), a Boulder, CO software localization and translation services company. In 1997 he led the recapitalization of ILE by a prominent NYC private equity firm. He led the management team that grew ILE from 150 employees in 1996 to $24 million in revenues with 250 employees operating in five locations by 1999 when he left the company. ILE was merged with its largest U.S. competitor which was then was acquired by Lionbridge Technologies in 2000.
Mr. Rothschild served as a Vice President in the Corporate Finance Group of Kemper Securities . Prior to joining Kemper in 1994, Mr. Rothschild was a Founder and President of Memory Clearing Corporation, a startup company in San Francisco formed in 1989 to create a futures market in semiconductor memory products.
Mr. Rothschild was a member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange from 1978 through 1989 and a member of the Pacific Stock Exchange from 1983 to 1989. He was elected to the Board of Governors of the Pacific Stock Exchange in 1987 and served through 1989. From June 1976 through October 1978 he worked for Harris Bank in Chicago (now owned by Bank of Montreal) where he was responsible for commercial banking relationships to a wide range of corporate clients in the Midwest.
Mr. Rothschild holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Economics from Iowa State University.