Twin Brook co-founder Chris Williams gets into car wash business

  • Williams & Jepsen Management LLC is investing in Four Seasons Power Wash
  • Twin Brook is not an investor of Williams & Jepsen: source
  • Williams remains a Twin Brook employee

Chris Williams, the Twin Brook Capital Partners’ co-founder who is out on indefinite leave, has gotten into the car wash business.

Williams invested in Four Seasons Power Wash, according to sources and a Facebook post. An investor group that includes “business leaders from several central Illinois communities” launched Four Seasons, of Sterling, Illinois, the post said.

Williams is featured in a June 27 picture of Four Seasons’ groundbreaking ceremony. He is standing in the back row, with one hand holding a shovel.

Four Seasons is owned by Williams & Yepsen Management LLC, a management group, which is comprised of Williams and Kevin Yepsen, of Galva, Illinois, a story on Saukvalley.com said.

Four Seasons Power Wash has the “latest available equipment in the industry,” Williams said in the story. Williams & Jepsen is seeking to acquire other car washes and has submitted letters of intent to buy property in Plano and Sandwich, Illinois.

Twin Brook is not involved in the transaction, one of the sources said.

Williams is not the first PE executive to show an interest in car washes. Wildcat Capital Management, the family office of TPG Capital co-founder David Bonderman, invested in Moo Express and Flying Ace Express in April. Roark Capital in 2017 acquired International Car Wash Group of the United Kingdom. That year, AEA also recapitalized National Carwash Solutions.

Williams since spring has been on indefinite leave from Twin Brook due to the health of a family member. He remains an employee of Twin Brook, the source said, and is still listed on the firm’s website. He is also on the investment committee for Twin Brook’s second fund, Buyouts reported. Twin Brook in July clinched a $2 billion first close for its latest direct lending fund, Reuters reported. It’s unclear how much Twin Brook is seeking for the pool.

Williams, along with Partner Trevor Clark, launched Chicago-based Twin Brook in 2014. It is the mid-market direct lending business of Angelo Gordon & Co.

Prior to Twin Brook, Williams and Clark co-founded Madison Capital Funding LLC, a subsidiary of New York Life Investments, in 2001 with the backing of New York Life. In 2013, the two executives left Madison Capital after allegedly violating company policies, the New York Times reported.

Williams is not the first general partner to do an outside deal that doesn’t involve his or her firm.

“Everybody is entitled to have passive personal investments that are not a conflict of interest and that comply with a firm’s and the SEC’s rules,” a second person said. However, the source noted that it is unusual for the head of an investment firm to “be so deeply engaged with a startup that he is the name partner and talking to the press about it.”

Twin Brook declined comment. Williams could not be reached for comment.

Action Item: Reach Chris Williams here: cwilliams@twincp.com