Blackford Capital hires former Gilbert Global Equity Partners executive

Blackford Capital hired
Jeffrey Johnson as managing director. Johnson joined from
Gilbert Global Equity Partners, where he was a managing director and a founding member of the firm.

Press Release

Blackford Capital, a national middle-market private equity firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., today announced the addition of Jeffrey W. Johnson as managing director.

Prior to joining Blackford, Johnson served as managing director for Gilbert Global Equity Partners, L.P., a billion-dollar private equity fund that was launched by Soros Quantum Funds alumni. As a key founding member of Gilbert, Johnson was involved in all aspects of the firm’s business and strategy and he originated, structured and closed several leveraged and growth-oriented platform investments up to $150 million that were focused on building shareholder value both financially and operationally. He represented the firm’s interests as a board member and oversight member of five of the firm’s portfolio companies. Throughout Johnson’s tenure, he worked closely with multiple global manufacturing and distribution companies to accelerate growth and transform their performance with superior customer-driven strategies, operations, organizations and technology.

Johnson brings to Blackford a wealth of experience in investment management, corporate development, corporate strategy, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to Gilbert, he worked as a director in the alternative investments practice at Russell Investments, a global asset management firm, and in a business development role at Hallmark Cards, Inc. where he co-managed the company’s acquisition and divestiture activities. Johnson also worked as an investment banker in the mergers and acquisitions department at Goldman, Sachs & Co.

“Jeff has an excellent private equity reputation for devising innovative financing, restructuring and exit strategies. He is a proven leader with success in acquisition integration and growth planning, and has had quantifiable success at originating, structuring and executing public and private investments across North America, Europe and Asia,” said Martin Stein, founder and managing director at Blackford Capital. “Jeff has sector experience in a number of the industries our portfolio companies represent, and will be instrumental in achieving our growth and deal initiatives going forward.”

Johnson earned a master’s degree from Harvard Business School and also holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Claremont McKenna College in California.

About Blackford Capital
Blackford Capital is a private equity firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich., that acquires, manages and builds middle-market manufacturing, distribution and service companies, with eight portfolio companies across the country. Blackford reviewed roughly 4,000 transactions in 2014, and has closed 33 transactions in the past eight years. The firm’s investment criteria include mature, profitable businesses with revenues between $20 million and $100 million, with management teams that are either willing to remain with the company or are seeking to retire. For more information, visit

SOURCE Blackford Capital