Dallas-based private equity firm Highlander Partners has expanded its North American team with three new additions. Drew Koecher is coming on board as a partner while Allen Schaar and Charles Thomas have joined the firm as operating partner and associate, respectively. Previously, Koecher worked at KPMG where he served as a partner; Schaar was an interim president of Eagle Healthcare Physicians; and Thomas was a hedge fund analyst at Stadtler Capital Management.
DALLAS, April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Highlander Partners, L.P., a Dallas-based investment firm focused on making direct private equity investments in middle market companies, announces three additional professionals who have joined the firm’s private equity team. They are Drew Koecher, Allen Schaar and Charles Thomas, all very accomplished professionals and valuable additions to the Highlander team. The North American private equity team presently has eleven professionals, including Partners Michael R. Nicolais, Jeff L. Hull and Alex L. Guiva.
Mr. Hull, the firm’s Managing Partner, stated, “All of us at Highlander are very pleased to add quality transaction professionals such as Drew, Allen and Chaz. We continue to strengthen our team to enhance our sourcing capabilities, execute transactions, and grow our portfolio. We have become one of the most active middle market firms and intend to accelerate our growth over the next few years. This team will enhance our opportunity to continue to grow our existing investments while developing new platforms.”
Mr. Nicolais, the firm’s President, added, “Our capital base has grown significantly since our inception with over $1 billion of assets under management and over $600 million allocated to private equity today. With expected exits in 2014, it will continue to grow and we expect to focus that redeployment into private equity. These team additions are imperative to assist us in that deployment and we are excited to add such quality professionals.”
Drew Koecher, Partner
Drew joins Highlander from KPMG LLP where he served as a partner from 1999 to 2014, advising on both domestic and global transactions for corporate and financial M&A clients across a variety of industries. During his tenure, Drew helped lead the build-out of the US Transaction Services practice and held various national and global leadership roles for KPMG, including serving as the National Service Leader for Transaction Services. Most recently, Drew served as the Energy Sector Leader for Transaction and Restructuring Services in the US. Prior to KPMG, he held various consulting and attest roles with PwC and Arthur Andersen.
Drew will focus on leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and growth financings within a variety of industries. His breadth of professional advisory experience working with management teams and investors will provide Highlander with added expertise on structuring, financing, and managing successful transactions during their investment life cycle.
Allen Schaar, Operating Partner
Allen previously served as interim President of Eagle Healthcare Physicians, a Highlander portfolio company, during 2013. From 2007 to 2012, he served as a Partner and President of Bain’s Corporate Renewal Group. Prior to that, he served as a Partner at FTI Consulting from 2005 to 2006, Managing Director at Alix Partners from 2001 to 2005, President of Applied Business Technologies from 1998 to 2000, Partner at Booz, Allen and Hamilton from 1987 to 1997 and a manager at Arthur Andersen from 1982 to 1986.
Allen, who officially joined last summer, focuses on management buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth investments in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, business services and energy. He is also responsible for working closely with portfolio company management teams to develop and execute strategic plans, and is able to serve in executive leadership positions on an interim basis, if needed.
Charles (Chaz) Thomas, Associate
Most recently, Chaz served as a Hedge Fund Analyst with Stadtler Capital Management in Fort Worth, Texas from 2011 to 2014. Prior to Stadtler, he was as a Private Equity Associate with AlpInvest Partners in New York from 2008 to 2011 and an Investment Banking Analyst at Jefferies and Company, Inc. in New York from 2005 to 2008.
Chaz will work closely with management teams, supporting acquisitions and financing transactions across the portfolio. He will focus on assessing potential investment opportunities, performing company valuations, and supporting the day-to-day activities in the transaction process, including managing due diligence, executing transactions, and monitoring portfolio investments.
About Highlander Partners
Highlander Partners, L.P. is a Dallas-based private investment firm with partners that have committed over $600 million of principal funds for direct private equity investments in North America and Central Europe. The firm focuses on making longer term investments in middle market businesses in targeted industries in which the principals of the firm have significant operating and investing experience, including basic manufacturing and industrials, food, consumer products, building materials and business services. Highlander Partners uses a “buy and build” investment approach, creating value by partnering closely with management and helping companies grow organically, as well as through acquisition.
For more information about Highlander Partners, please visit www.highlander-partners.com.