Frank (Tripp) Brower III, a founder of Dallas-based placement agency Capstone Partners, died on Sept. 29 of multiple myeloma, at the age of 53, after a 16-month battle with the form of blood cancer.
From a standing start in 2001, Brower helped build Capstone Partners into a global player, raising money from offices in Dallas, Geneva and Singapore. The 25-person firm came to represent clients across the private equity spectrum, from venture capital to buyouts, and today might have anywhere from six to eight funds in the market, with fund sizes ranging from $250 million to $1 billion or more.
Brower, who earlier held executive roles at OffRoad Capital, Stephens Inc and J.P. Morgan & Co, set the tone for his organization, in part through his salesmanship, in part through his thorough mastery of presentation and public relations skills. Characteristically well-informed, prepared and articulate, Brower was a sought-after moderator at industry conferences, as well as a popular source for trade journalists seeking insights into trends for their stories, and the well-crafted quote. Buyouts itself benefited from these talents and as recently as July quoted Brower on how much tougher limited partners had become on potential GPs during due diligence. “If they used to call 30 references, they’re calling 60 in a lot of cases,” he told us.
Steve Standbridge, a long-time partner and colleague of Brower’s at Capstone Partners, said Brower leaves behind a firm on solid footing—it has eight partners and co-owners working in its three offices—and a corporate culture that keeps turnover low. “We tell clients that we as a firm are a big family in terms of how we take care of each other and our approach to the market,” said Standbridge. The still-growing firm is looking to add people in a variety of roles, he said.
Brower is pre-deceased by his son Pierce and survived by his wife Sheri and two sons Mason and Landon. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations go to the Tripp Brower Memorial Fund, earmarked for several charities that Brower supported. Send donations c/o Capstone Partners, 13355 Noel Road, Suite 1050, Dallas, Texas 75240.