The ComVest Group (“ComVest”) announced that Peter J. (Pete) Kight, founder and former Chairman and CEO of Checkfree Corporation has joined the Firm as a Managing Partner. Mr. Kight will work closely with Managing Partners Michael Falk and Robert Priddy, taking a lead role in portfolio company oversight.
Since founding CheckFree in 1981, Pete Kight built a leading global electronic technology services business via a combination of organic growth and acquisition, with over $1 billion in annual revenue, and 4,700 associates in nine countries. CheckFree was acquired in December 2007 for $4.4 billion by Fiserv Corporation, where he is Vice Chairman. Under Pete’s leadership, CheckFree grew from a single person start-up to a dominant market leader in electronic financial transaction services. The company was a leading innovator in technology services, introducing electronic banking and consumer service products that are now pervasive across numerous markets, and pioneering the application of Six Sigma operating standards for the financial services industry. CheckFree was one of the most profitable businesses in its sector, held more than 100 patents for technology innovations, and served more than 10,000 financial institutions and 15,000,000 consumers around the globe at the time of its sale.
Since 2003 Pete has been a member of ComVest’s general partnership, a limited partner, an active advisory board member and a co-investor working closely with ComVest on a number of portfolio transactions.
ComVest Founding Partner Michael Falk said “Pete has been a close partner and advisor to ComVest for over six years. During this time, I have valued greatly the support and guidance Pete has provided in the selection of markets, deals, management, and strategy for ComVest’s investments. Pete’s full time commitment as a ComVest Managing Partner will dramatically enhance our organization’s ability to drive performance in our businesses and recruit the strongest management teams. Pete’s proven success in both building CheckFree organically and improving and integrating the many businesses CheckFree acquired, will dramatically strengthen our operational capability”.
Pete Kight stated, “Having worked with the ComVest team as an investor, advisor, and co-investor in a number of acquisitions, I have a great appreciation for ComVest’s unique positioning in private equity. They have established a great record of identifying businesses in their targeted under $350M range where there is much less competition and often a faster path for turnaround. I have worked with ComVest for the past several years in building an operating strategy that focuses on realigning management interests, actively supports and enhances management’s ability to drive returns through improved operations and applies a sharper focus on strategic planning discipline. As a full time Managing Partner I will concentrate on continuing to enhance our capabilities to help drive growth within our portfolio companies. This economy will supply a lot of opportunity in our target markets. With less competition in the below-$350M space and an organization that has always been designed for creating value through improved strategy and operations rather than through leverage, I believe ComVest is the right organization in the right place at the right time.”
Robert Priddy, ComVest Managing Partner since 1993, said “We are absolutely thrilled to have someone with such a tremendous track record of success in building and operating businesses join our team”.
The ComVest Group is a leading private investment firm focused on providing debt and equity solutions to middle-market companies with enterprise values of less than $350 million. Since 1988, ComVest has invested more than $2 billion of capital in over 200 public and private companies worldwide. Through its extensive financial resources and broad network of industry experts, ComVest is able to offer its companies total financial sponsorship, critical strategic support and business development assistance.