Leeds Equity taps Cates as partner

Leeds Equity Partners has named Susan Cates as a partner. Cates is the former president of executive development at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.


NEW YORK, June 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Leeds Equity Partners, LLC (“Leeds Equity”), the New York-based private equity firm focused exclusively on investing in the Knowledge Industries, announced today that Susan Cates has joined the firm as a Partner.

“On behalf of the entire firm, I am so pleased to welcome Susan to Leeds Equity,” said Jeffrey Leeds. “Susan’s professional career is a testament to her commitment to education, and her superb work in the sector reflects her dedication to excellence.”

“I look forward to supporting the firm in all of its work and to exploring new initiatives with my colleagues particularly in the education and training sectors, where my career has been focused,” said Cates. “Leeds Equity has been immersed in the Knowledge Industries for over 20 years and is committed to driving meaningful innovation and impact across these sectors. I fully share the firm’s view that a great business must also have a great mission. I believe that it is this perspective that has driven Leeds Equity’s successes and will enable it to continue to be a leader within the Knowledge Industries.”

Over her career within education, Cates has operated in several different roles including an investment banker, investor, advisor and operator. She has worked to develop innovative learning solutions for traditional universities and helped grow businesses that partner with and serve post-secondary institutions.

“Susan is also a longtime friend of the firm and has advised us and consulted on various strategic growth initiatives. We could not be more delighted that she will now be our partner and colleague,” added Jacques Galante, Partner at Leeds Equity.

Cates, a graduate of Duke University and the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, helped structure and implement collaborations between traditional universities and the private sector. At UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, she served as President of Executive Development, which designs and delivers custom executive leadership programs for Fortune 500 companies. While at UNC, she also led the creation and growth of the school’s ground-breaking online MBA program, MBA@UNC. From 2016 to 2017 she was the Chief Operating Officer at 2U Inc., where she oversaw all product and service delivery operations.

Before joining UNC, she was a Partner at Best Associates, where she led transactions in the education sector across Latin America and the United States.

Cates began her career at Wachovia Bank and was later an investment banker at Merrill Lynch, before being part of the founding team of ThinkEquity Partners, where she led the education banking vertical.

Among other responsibilities, Cates will focus on helping identify and implement strategic growth opportunities for Leeds portfolio companies, the firm and its affiliates, and will build a team to support these initiatives.

“We are confident that Susan will help ensure that the firm can continue to work with the many constituents in and around education and contribute to our efforts at Leeds Equity to make impactful and successful investments,” said Scott VanHoy, Partner at Leeds Equity. “As a fellow North Carolinian, I am especially happy to welcome her.”

About Leeds Equity Partners:
Leeds Equity Partners, LLC, is a New York-based private equity firm dedicated exclusively to partnering with management teams in the education, training and information services industries (the “Knowledge Industries”). The firm was founded in 1993 and currently manages $1.7 billion of capital across a broad spectrum of companies within the Knowledge Industries. Leeds Equity seeks to leverage its sector-focused expertise and market insights to create long-term value for its partner companies.

For additional information on Leeds Equity Partners, see