Waud Capital Partners partnered with George Ahn, a software industry executive, to pursue investments in the vertically-focused application software industry. Ahn most recently served as the head of IBM’s smart infrastructure software organization. Ahn was chief executive of software company Tririga for six years prior to its acquisition by IBM in 2011.
Chicago, IL, March 7, 2016 – Waud Capital Partners (“WCP”), a leading lower middle-market private equity firm, today announced that it has entered into a partnership with George Ahn, a highly accomplished software industry executive, to pursue investments in the vertically-focused application software industry. WCP and Mr. Ahn plan to establish a platform by investing in a software company and transforming it into a category leader by accelerating its growth, improving and extending its product suite, delivering outstanding service and support, and completing strategic add-on acquisitions. WCP, a firm with a long history of partnering with exceptional management leaders to identify, acquire and build market-leading companies, has initially committed $100 million of equity capital to its partnership with Mr. Ahn. The partnership follows the recent close of WCP’s fourth private equity fund, Waud Capital Partners IV, which was significantly oversubscribed and closed at the hard cap of $1.056 billion of total capital commitments.
Mr. Ahn, a veteran of the application software industry for over 25 years, most recently served as the head of IBM’s smart infrastructure software organization. During his tenure with IBM, Mr. Ahn had responsibility for industry-leading solutions, which included products such as Maximo and Tririga. In that role, Mr. Ahn led initiatives that significantly accelerated growth, including expanding globally, migrating to the cloud and completing key acquisitions.
Previously, Mr. Ahn led Tririga as its CEO for six years prior to its acquisition by IBM in 2011. As CEO, Mr. Ahn transformed Tririga into a very profitable, high-growth company, which was recognized by analysts as the market leader in real estate and facilities management enterprise software. Prior to Tririga, Mr. Ahn had success in senior leadership positions and created significant shareholder value at several of the software industry’s leading companies. Mr. Ahn served as the head of PeopleSoft’s CRM division, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of TIBCO, and general manager of Siebel Systems’ middle market CRM division.
“We are tremendously excited to partner with George,” said WCP Partner Matt Clary. “He has an exceptional track record over his entire career, having created tremendous value at a diverse range of organizations spanning from rapidly-growing middle market companies to global software giants. We believe the combination of George’s leadership and WCP’s growth capital and experience developing platform businesses will lead to great outcomes from our partnership.”
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Waud Capital to acquire a vertically-focused software company and build it into an industry leader,” said Mr. Ahn. “The software market is rapidly evolving as SaaS delivery models create new opportunities and challenges, and as competitive lines become increasingly drawn around domain-specific expertise. Many software companies, particularly those in the middle market, have solid foundations for success but have yet to fully capitalize on their growth opportunities. WCP has a tremendous track record of partnering with executives to take businesses to the next level and a proven vision of recognizing opportunities, and I am delighted to be working with them.”
The partnership with Mr. Ahn comes less than a year after WCP’s acquisition of CyberGrants, a leading provider of corporate social responsibility software for employee engagement and grants management. WCP acquired CyberGrants following a similar partnership with software executive Mark Layden, who is now the CEO of CyberGrants and an Operating Partner at WCP.
“WCP’s partnership with George is a reflection of our continued commitment to the software industry and our belief in the transformational power of great leadership,” added Justin DuPere, Principal at Waud Capital Partners. “Having an executive-led strategy with a partner like George puts us in a unique position to create value and actively seek out a wide variety of software investments that can benefit from his leadership and experience.”
About Waud Capital Partners
Waud Capital Partners is a leading Chicago-based private equity investment firm founded in 1993 that partners with exceptional management teams to invest in U.S. lower middle market companies. WCP is a value-added investor, employing a disciplined approach to developing growth-oriented platform companies within two industries: healthcare services and business and technology services. The firm has successfully completed more than 185 acquisitions since its founding.
For additional information on WCP, visit www.waudcapital.com.