Norwest Equity Makes Schoenman an Operating Partners

Stuart Schoenmann has joined Norwest Equity Partners as an operating partner. Prior to joining NEP, Schoenmann served as CEO of CVI Melles Griot.


Norwest Equity Partners (“NEP”), a leading middle market investment firm with nearly $5 billion in capital under management, has hired Stuart Schoenmann to join its team as an operating partner. Schoenmann, a high-tech manufacturing and applied technology industry veteran, will help NEP evaluate and execute new investment opportunities. He will also play an active role in strategic planning, business growth and corporate governance for NEP portfolio companies.
Tim DeVries, NEP Managing General Partner, stated, “On behalf of the NEP partnership, I am thrilled to have Stuart join our team. Operating partners complement our overall investment strategy and are valuable resources to our investment staff and portfolio companies. Stuart’s deep industry expertise and CEO leadership experience will help our firm attract great investment opportunities, especially with businesses that have heavy technology and manufacturing capabilities.”
Schoenmann brings more than 25 years of high-tech manufacturing, applied technology, and diversified industrial expertise and 12 years of CEO and COO leadership experience to NEP. Prior to joining NEP, Schoenmann served as CEO of CVI Melles Griot (“CVI” or the “Company”), a leading global designer and manufacturer of precision photonics products, including components, assemblies and systems, in which NEP made an investment in 2003.
NEP partnered with Schoenmann as CEO and John Hale, another NEP operating partner, to build CVI into a leader within the photonics industry, transitioning the Company into a diversified photonics supplier, aggressively expanding its product offerings, and completing four add-on acquisitions. In addition to establishing manufacturing operations in eight countries on three continents, shareholder value was also increased through a variety of channels, including new product and market development, operating initiatives, and a growth strategy focused on technology–driven capabilities. NEP sold CVI to IDEX Corporation (NYSE:IEX) in June 2011 for $400 million.
Prior to his time at CVI, Schoenmann earned additional career experience through integral leadership roles at other applied technology companies, including Raytek Corporation, PerkinElmer, Corning, and Rockwell International. His experience also includes implementing aggressive growth strategies, including leading companies from $10 million to $200 million in sales.
Schoenmann stated, “I’ve been fortunate to work closely with the NEP team, and I continue to be impressed by the firm’s commitment to executing its investment strategy. The team works hand-in-hand with portfolio companies, providing value-add investment expertise and extensive resources. I’m excited to come on board to help source investment opportunities with fast-growing applied technology and diversified industrial companies.”
Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) is a leading middle market investment firm focused on partnering with business owners to build their companies into industry leaders. With a 50-year reputation for quality investments and exceptional financial returns, NEP manages nearly $5 billion of capital through a series of equity and mezzanine funds. Offering creative and flexible transaction solutions, NEP seeks $30-$150 million equity investment opportunities for growing and profitable companies within the agriculture, applied technology, business services, consumer products and services, distribution, diversified industrials, and healthcare sectors. Please visit for more information.