Laurence E. Hirsch
Responsibilities| As a co-founder and Chairman with more than 40 years of domestic and international experience leading operations of complex organizations, Larry focuses on the overall strategic direction of the firm. He plays an active role on the firm’s management and investment committee and its overall approval of each of the firm’s investments.
Experience| Larry co-founded Highlander Partners in April 2004, after retiring as CEO and Chairman of Centex Corporation, one of the largest homebuilding and related financial services companies in the United States. He joined Centex in 1985. Prior to joining Centex, Larry served as President, CEO and a director of Southdown Inc., a cement and oil and gas producer. He successfully transformed Southdown into one of the country’s premier domestically-owned cement producers, which was later acquired by Cemex, S.A. de C.V. Prior to that, he was a partner at Bracewell and Patterson, a Houston-based law firm.
Education| J.D., cum laude, Villanova University School of Law
Masters in International Public Policy (M.I.P.P.), Johns Hopkins University
B.S. in Economics, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania view details
Jeff L. Hull
President and CEO
Responsibilities| Jeff focuses on a broad array of industries and investment types, and his breadth of experience provides Highlander with the expertise to structure, finance, and manage successful transactions. As President and CEO, Jeff leads the day-to-day operations of the firm and management of the investment professionals and marketing strategies for the firm. He also heads the firm’s management and investment committee.
Experience| Jeff joined Highlander in 2009. Prior to Highlander, he most recently served as Vice-Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Equipment and Supply Corporation (SESC), one of the largest providers in the United States of design services, equipment and supplies for the foodservice industry with revenues of $300 million. Previous to SESC, he was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atrium Companies Inc., one of the largest building product manufacturers in the United States, with annual revenues of approximately $800 million and 7,000 employees. Prior to Atrium, Jeff held management positions with AmVestors Financial Corporation (NYSE: AMV) and Deloitte & Touche.
Education| M.B.A. in Finance, with honors, Emporia State University
B.A. in Accounting with distinction, cum laude, Ottawa University
Certified Public Accountant (inactive) view details
Alex L. Guiva
Responsibilities| Alex focuses on leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and growth financings within a variety of industries and his breadth of experience provides Highlander with expertise to structure, finance, and manage successful transactions. His focus is on the business development and add-on opportunities with firm portfolio companies.
Experience| Alex joined Highlander Partners in 2004, shortly after it was founded. Prior to Highlander, he was employed in the Corporate Finance department of Stephens Inc., most recently as an Investment Banking Associate. During his tenure, he provided support to a broad range of industry groups; including logistics, IT, manufacturing and financial services.
Education| B.A. in Economics, Lyon College view details
Stanley C. Bould
Partner - Asian and Alternative Investments
Responsibilities| Stanley is responsible for overseeing Asian private equity and alternative assets under management, including investment partnerships, mezzanine securities, real estate investments and several credit oriented investment strategies, as well as public/private equity investments across a range of industries, including the energy sector. His primary responsibility is Asia and the management of short term liquidity and yield enhancement opportunities for the firm’s portfolio.
Experience| Stanley joined Highlander Partners in 2011. From 2000 until 2011, he served as a Director in the Private Bank for Credit Suisse. Prior to Credit Suisse, he worked in the Private Wealth Management Group at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (“DLJ”). Stanley has more than 22 years of experience helping both wealthy families and institutional clients in all aspects of asset allocation and portfolio management.
Education| M.B.A., University of Texas at Austin
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin view details
Responsibilities| Jeff serves as a Partner for Highlander. He focuses on management buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth investments in a variety of categories, primarily in the consumer products areas. He is also responsible for working closely with portfolio company management teams to develop and execute strategic plans, with a focus on product development, branding, and channel expansion. He will also play a key role in sourcing and analyzing new opportunities in these categories.
Experience| Jeff joined Highlander in 2018. From 2013 until 2017, Jeff served as the CEO of Truco Enterprises, the private equity-owned licensee for On the Border Restaurants. On The Border Tortilla Chips was the fastest growing tortilla chip brand in the US, with sales in the Food, Club and Mass Merchant, and Natural channels. Before Truco, he served as CEO of Combs Produce from 2010 until the sponsor’s exit in 2012. Prior to these roles, Jeff served as CEO of Wickham Supply Inc. until it was acquired by Pool Corp (NASDAQ: POOL). Additionally, Mr. Partridge served as Vice President, National Accounts at The Coca-Cola Company for 13 years, where he was responsible for both national and global customer relationships and was one of three executives responsible for Coca-Cola’s headquarters team managing the global Wal-Mart business.
Education| B.S. in Communications, University of Oregon view details
Ben R. Slater
Responsibilities| Ben serves as a Partner in Highlander’s private equity practice and is based in Dallas. In this capacity he focuses on leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and growth financings across a variety of industries. He is responsible for sourcing and assessing potential investment opportunities, managing the transaction process and working closely with portfolio company management teams. Additionally, Ben also serves as Head of Highlander’s Romania private equity practice based in Bucharest and is a member of the firm’s management and investment committees.
Experience| Ben joined Highlander Partners in 2016. Prior to joining Highlander, Ben was a member of Tipp Hill Capital Management, a hedge fund based in New York. He previously worked at AlpInvest Partners, a global private equity group and a subsidiary of The Carlyle Group. Ben started his career with Banc of America Securities in consumer and retail investment banking.
Education| M.B.A., with distinction, Columbia Business School (Value Investing Program)
B.S. in Commerce, University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce view details
Responsibilities| Mike focuses on management buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth investments in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing and distribution. He is also responsible for working closely with portfolio company management teams to develop and execute strategic plans.
Experience| Mike previously served as CEO of Apache Industrial Services from 2009 - 2021. Prior to Apache he served as CFO of HMT Tank from 2000 to 2007, as well as, a Partner of Nassau Point Investors. He began his career with Deutsche Bank Securities.
Education| B.B.A., University of Michigan view details
Responsibilities| David joined Highlander in 2019 and leads Highlander’s efforts in sourcing investments in the beauty and personal care industry and plays an integral strategic role in these businesses post-close. He also works closely with Highlander’s existing CPG-oriented businesses in the areas of product development, branding and channel expansion with an emphasis on digital excellence.
Experience| David has been a leader in the digital retail space for 20 years. Since 2016, and just prior to joining Highlander, he served as the CEO of private equity-backed Cos Bar, where he brought his digital and e-commerce expertise to transition and grow a traditionally brick-and-mortar beauty retailer into an omnichannel business, while remaining true to its luxury DNA. Prior to Cos Bar, he launched the beauty and grooming businesses at Net-A-Porter and Mr. Porter as Global Vice President, growing those businesses by triple digits annually during his tenure. He originally founded and was the CEO of an e-commerce cosmeceutical business, DermTeam, which he later sold to DermStore, where he went on to lead business development, buying, and operations before selling the business to Target in 2012.
Education| J.D., Cum Laude, University of Miami School of Law
M.B.A. Marketing, University of Miami Business School
B.A. History, University of California, Berkeley view details
Responsibilities| Paul works closely with Highlander’s existing manufacturing-oriented businesses in the general industrials sector, focusing on operational excellence and continuous improvement to drive cost and quality competitiveness and increase customer satisfaction. He also plays a key role in sourcing and analyzing new opportunities in the space.
Experience| Paul joined Highlander in 2019. From 2015 to 2019, Paul served as CEO of Demilec Inc., a leading producer of Polyurethane spray foam insulation and polyurea products in the US and Canada, with two manufacturing facilities and 23 distribution centers. He led Demilec through a successful sale process from private equity ownership to Huntsman Corporation in 2018 and remained as CEO for a year until joining Highlander Partners. Before Demilec, he served as President of Silver Line Building Products, the vinyl window division of Andersen Corporation. Prior to that, he had a 16-year career with Saint-Gobain Corporation, initially in their Coated Abrasives Division where he ultimately became head of the entire global division as Vice President of Coated Abrasives Worldwide. In early 2009, Paul was transferred from the Abrasives division, to the Construction Products sector of Saint-Gobain where he served as President of CertainTeed Insulation until late 2011.
Education| B.A. Commercial Law, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa view details
Chairman, CEE - Poland
Responsibilities| Stewart focuses on advising the Highlander in Europe team on portfolio company strategy and operations. He has over 30 years of executive leadership in large organizations and focuses on developing high-performance executive management teams for the firm’s Central Europe portfolio companies.
Experience| Stewart joined Highlander Partners in September 2008 to help evaluate investment opportunities and provide strategic consultation to portfolio companies. For 25 years he served as a CEO within the homebuilding industry with a wide range of achievements, including the successful restructuring and turnaround of Charles Church and overseeing its sale to Beazer Homes in 1996. He led Centex’s acquisition of Fairclough in the UK in 1999. After completing the company’s successful turnaround, it was sold to Miller Group in 2005. view details
Managing Partner, CEE - Poland
Responsibilities| As Managing Partner and CEO of Central Europe – Poland, Artur focuses on day-to-day operations of the office and management of the investment professionals and marketing strategies for the region. He uses his extensive operational experience to develop and implement value-creation strategies for both prospective and existing Highlander portfolio companies.
Experience| Artur has served as CEO of several pharmacy chains in Poland. He was the founder and CEO of Apteki Polskie S.A./Apteka 21, a successful start-up investment of a pharmacy chain by a major private equity fund. He subsequently managed the wholesale operations and logistics of the TAMRO (Phoenix Pharma) group in Poland, and spearheaded TAMRO’s entry into the pharmacy retail space. He next served as the CEO of Super-Pharm Poland, the leading Polish drugstore chain. Artur also founded and served as president of the Polish pharmacy employers’ association, PharmaNet.
Education| M.B.A., L’Université du Québec à Montréal
M.Sc. in Control and Robotics, Warsaw Polytechnical University view details
Managing Director - CEE - Romania
Responsibilities| As Managing Director of Highlander Central Europe – Romania, Raluca focuses on day-to-day operations of the office and management of the investment professionals and marketing strategies for the region, as well as sourcing and executing strategic transactions. She uses her extensive knowledge of the Romanian markets to develop and implement value-creation strategies for both prospective and existing Highlander portfolio companies.
Experience| Raluca spent more than 16 years in private equity with a focus on Romania as a part of the CEE teams of Advent International and GED Capital, both being among the first fund managers with teams dedicated to Romania. Prior to joining Highlander, she formed and managed Private Equity Partners, an investment advisory firm targeting PE funds and entrepreneurs, which led her to join Highlander Partners in 2018.
Education| MBA Joint Program ASE Bucharest – University of Ottawa – HEC Montreal
BA from Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest view details
Adrian Stroilescu, MD
Managing Director - CEE - Romania
Responsibilities| Dr. Stroilescu focuses on management buyouts, recapitalizations and growth investments in Romania, in a variety of categories, primarily in the healthcare area. He is also responsible for working closely with portfolio company management teams to develop and execute strategic plans.
Experience| Adi joined Highlander in 2018 and has over 20 years expertise in the healthcare sector with private equity backed companies in both executive and non-executive positions. He previously served as Chairman and CEO for Labormed. Prior to that he was Business Development Director for Europe with Ranbaxy and also worked with Pfizer.
Education| Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy view details
Responsibilities| John joined Highlander in 2018 and focuses on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chain across our portfolio companies. He is responsible for identifying and capturing supply chain improvement opportunities to drive near term value and unlock new opportunities for growth. He also spends a substantial amount of time on buy-side due diligence assessing potential supply chain synergies for new targets.
Experience| Since 2009, John served as a Principal at A.T. Kearney, a partner-owned, full service, management consultancy. John brings nearly 10 years of expertise in leading large-scale cost transformations for Fortune 500 companies across the globe. In addition, John brings deep expertise assisting private equity firms capture significant savings with EBITDA improvement within their portfolio firms.
Education| M.B.A. University of Texas at Austin – Concentrations in Finance & Entrepreneurship
B.S. Centenary College of Louisiana view details
Charles C. Thomas
Responsibilities| Chaz works closely with management teams on buyout, recapitalization, and growth financing transactions across a variety of industries. He also spends a substantial amount of time assessing potential investment opportunities, performing company valuations, and supporting the day-to-day activities in the transaction process, including managing due diligence, transaction execution, and portfolio company monitoring.
Experience| Chaz joined Highlander Partners in 2014. Prior to joining Highlander, he was a Hedge Fund Analyst with Stadtler Capital Management in Fort Worth, Texas from 2011 to 2014. Prior to Stadtler, he served as a Private Equity Associate with AlpInvest Partners in New York from 2008 to 2011 and an Investment Banking Analyst at Jefferies and Company, Inc. in New York from 2005 to 2008.
Education| B.S. in Commerce, with distinction, University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce view details
Responsibilities| Dustin, as a Director, participates in buyout, recapitalization, and growth financing transactions across a variety of industries. He focuses on managing due diligence and post-transaction integration activities. He also spends a substantial amount of time supporting day-to-day activities in the transaction process and portfolio company monitoring.
Experience| Dustin joined Highlander Partners in 2019. Prior to joining Highlander, he was a Principal with JMAM, LLC from 2014 to 2018. During this time, he served private equity clients with financial due diligence engagements and assisted numerous portfolio companies with financial and operational improvement initiatives. Prior to JMAM, Dustin spent eight years with KPMG, most recently as a Director in the Transaction Advisory Services practice, and also served for two years as Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions with Colorado National Bancorp.
Education| B.S. in Finance and Accounting, magna cum laude, The Ohio State University view details
Responsibilities| Michael engages as an operating executive and leader in our portfolio companies, with an emphasis that includes consumer products, food service/hospitality, ingredients and food/beverage. He works closely with portfolio company management teams to develop and execute strategic plans, with the objective of improving top/bottom line growth and cash flow through the use of various levers. He also plays a key role in sourcing and analyzing potential opportunities across these categories.
Experience| Michael joined Highlander in 2019 and was a senior executive at Pinnacle Foods until it was sold in 2018. Prior to Pinnacle, he worked in several roles focusing on procurement, supply chain, and commodity risk management at Kraft & KraftHeinz, Ahold and M&M Mars. He started his business career as a commodity trader-working for both Cargill and Louis Dreyfus. Michael is a former US Army Artillery Officer.
Education| M.B.A., The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
B.A. in Economics, University of Florida view details
Responsibilities| Kyle works as an operating executive in our portfolio companies, with an emphasis that includes consumer products, brand strategy, and sales management. He works closely with portfolio company management teams to develop and execute strategic plans, deploy effective price pack architecture with the objective of launching new brands profitably within the retail space.
Experience| Kyle joined Highlander in 2020 and was a senior executive at Chicago Custom Foods, a Highlander portfolio company. Prior to Chicago Custom Foods, he worked for Truco Enterprises, makers of On The Border Tortilla Chips, and Century Snacks as the EVP and head of sales. Kyle started his career with PepsiCo in category management and went on to hold sales leadership roles in the Frito Lay organization over 15 years.
Education| B.S. in Marketing, Texas Tech University view details
Responsibilities| Saurab works closely with management teams on buyout, recapitalization, and growth financing transactions across a variety of industries. He also spends a substantial amount of time assessing potential investment opportunities, performing company valuations, and supporting the day-to-day activities in the transaction process, including managing due diligence, transaction execution, and portfolio company monitoring.
Experience| Saurab joined Highlander Partners in 2021. Prior to joining Highlander, Saurab served as a Vice President with Lazard from 2018 to 2021, where he focused on M&A. He also previously worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Corporate Finance practice from 2016 to 2018 and with Wells Fargo in Corporate Banking from 2011 to 2016.
Education| M.B.A., with Honors, New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business
B.S. in Finance and Sport Management, Syracuse University
Responsibilities| Ryan focuses on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chain across our portfolio companies. He identifies and executes supply chain and operational projects across the portfolio that drive near term value and facilitate growth. He also participates in buy-side due diligence by assessing the operations of potential acquisitions as well as identifying any supply chain synergies.
Experience| Prior to joining Highlander Partners in 2019, Ryan was at A.T. Kearney for 5 years, most recently as a manager in the consultancy’s analytics practice. Ryan specialized in supply chain network strategy including network design and optimization, 3rd party manufacturing, and logistics. Ryan also has experience in post-merger integration synergy realization and large scale procurement transformation initiatives.
Education| M.B.A., Kellogg School of Management
B.A. in Supply Chain Management, Michigan State University view details
James J. Laureys
Responsibilities| James joined Highlander in 2021 and focuses on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chain across Highlander's portfolio companies. He is responsible for identifying and capturing supply chain improvement opportunities to drive near-term value and unlock new opportunities for growth.
Experience| Prior to joining Highlander, James served as Sr. Director of Strategy for Sally Beauty Corporation where he led strategic planning and growth initiatives. From 2016 to 2020, James served as Director of Strategy & Operations for Levi Strauss & Co, accelerating their international retail expansion. From 2008 to 2016, James worked as a Management Consultant for A.T. Kearney in their Consumer Practice. In this role, James focused on growth strategy, profit improvement, and supply chain efficiency for CPG and Retail clients.
Education| M.B.A. University of Toronto,
B.Com, Carleton University
Responsibilities| J., as a Vice President, works closely with management teams on buyout, recapitalization, and growth financing transactions across a variety of industries. He also spends a substantial amount of time assessing potential investment opportunities, performing company valuations, and supporting the day-to-day activities in the transaction process, including managing due diligence, transaction execution, and portfolio company monitoring.
Experience| J. joined Highlander Partners in 2014 as an Analyst and was promoted to Associate in 2016 and Vice President in 2018.
Education| M.B.A., Harvard Business School
B.B.A. in Corporate Finance, University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business view details
Nicholas E. Thicksten
Responsibilities| Nick, as a Vice President at Highlander, is responsible for overseeing our liquid and alternative assets under management, including the firm’s internal public equity portfolio and yield-oriented investments, as well as investment partnerships for private equity, real estate and credit oriented investment strategies. He is primarily responsible for managing the internal public equity portfolio, where he spends a substantial amount of time analyzing individual equities across a range of industries, as well as actively managing the portfolio and monitoring financial markets.
Experience| Nick joined Highlander Partners in 2013 as an Associate and was promoted to Vice President in 2016. As an Associate, he supported the private equity team on buyout, recapitalization, and growth financing transactions; he also assisted in overseeing the firm’s liquid investments and alternative assets under management. Prior to joining Highlander, he served as an Analyst from 2008 to 2011 and Senior Analyst from 2011 to 2013 at Highlander Partners Healthcare Fund (HPHF), an affiliate Hedge Fund of Highlander. While at HPHF he developed extensive knowledge of portfolio management and acquired broad analytical skills related to research, valuation and financial modeling.
Education| B.S.B.A. in Financial Management/Investments, University of Arkansas, Sam M. Walton College of Business view details
Vice President - CEE - Romania
Responsibilities| Nicoleta serves as a Vice President in Highlander’s Romanian private equity practice in Bucharest. In this capacity she focuses on leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and growth financings across a variety of industries. She is responsible for sourcing and assessing potential investment opportunities, managing due diligence, executing the transaction process and working closely with portfolio company management teams.
Experience| Nicoleta joined Highlander in 2018 and has worked in investment banking in Romania for over thirteen years. She previously led the research department of ING Bank, later moving into other senior roles KBC Securities and UniCredit Securities. Over the past five years, she has been fully dedicated to advisory work; supporting international private equity funds, hedge funds and strategic acquirers.
Education| M.B.A. from Nyenrode University, The Netherlands
M.A. in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands view details
Vice President - CEE - Poland
Responsibilities| Piotr, as a Vice President at Highlander, is responsible for assessing potential investment opportunities and executing transaction processes for the firm's Central Europe office. On the side of portfolio management, Piotr, with his hands-on approach, works closely with management teams on buyout, recapitalization, growth financing transactions, and new business development initiatives.
Experience| Prior to joining Highlander Partners in 2021, Piotr worked for MCI Capital - Warsaw Stock Exchange-listed PE firm specializing in digital investments in the CEE region. Having most recently served as an Investment Manager, Piotr was involved in many successful investment projects in such sectors as B2B services, financial services, insurance, e-commerce and SaaS in both Poland and CEE. Previously he gained investment and operational experience through internships at Innova Capital in Warsaw and at SOSV in Shanghai as well as his positions at multinational companies such as Unilever and L'Oreal.
Education| CEMS Master's in International Management at Warsaw School of Economics & IIM Calcutta
M.A. in Accounting and Finance at Warsaw School of Economics
B.A. in Accounting and Finance at Warsaw School of Economics
B.A. in Management at Warsaw School of Economics
Robert B. Koudelka
Responsibilities| Bobby, as a Senior Associate at Highlander, supports the private equity team on its leveraged buyout, recapitalization, and growth financing transactions. He is focused on analyzing potential investment opportunities, performing company valuations, building financial models, executing due diligence, and conducting the day-to-day activities in the private equity transaction process. He also assists Highlander’s portfolio companies in achieving strategic initiatives.
Experience| Prior to joining Highlander in 2017, Bobby was a Strategy & Operations Business Analyst with Deloitte Consulting in New York, where he worked extensively in M&A Strategy and Implementation for clients in Technology and Consumer & Industrial Products.
Education| A.B. in Economics and Certificate in Finance, Princeton University view details
Associate - CEE - Romania
Responsibilities| Ana supports the private equity team on leveraged buyout, recapitalization, and growth financing transactions in Romania. She is focused on analyzing potential investment opportunities, performing company valuations, building financial models, executing due diligence, and conducting the day-to-day activities in the private equity transaction process. She also assists Highlander’s portfolio companies in achieving strategic initiatives.
Experience| Prior to joining Highlander in 2018, Ana was an Analyst with Private Equity Partners, working on deal sourcing and execution, and being part of the sell-side team. Previously she was an intern at Deloitte in the valuation and modeling department; working on various valuation projects from a wide range of industries, including agriculture, energy and information technology.
Education| B.B.A Management, Master Degree in Financial Analysis and Business Valuation, Bucharest University of Economic Studies view details
Senior Advisor - CEE - Romania
Responsibilities| Lucian has over 20 years of executive leadership in several organizations and focuses on working closely with portfolio company management teams to develop and execute strategic plans.
Experience| Lucian joined Highlander Partners as a Senior Advisor in 2019 and previously held several top management positions in local and international companies: former owner of the pharmacy chain Ecofarmacia (currently part of Phoenix Pharmahandel), former Commercial Director of Terapia and Labormed (pharma producers, both sold to multinationals), former CEO of Pharmafarm (pharma distribution company), advisor in various projects in human and veterinary pharmaceutical companies, member of the board of directors of several companies.
Education| Faculty of Finance-Banking and Accounting – Brasov, Bachelor of Economics view details
Robert A. Sussman
Chief Financial Officer
Responsibilities| Bobby oversees all aspects of accounting, tax and administrative matters for the firm. Specifically, he focuses on managing the financial reporting process, tax compliance and the administrative support function. Bobby also serves as a board member with certain portfolio companies.
Experience| Bobby joined Highlander in November 2008. From 1998 to 2008, he served as Managing Director of Hunt Private Equity Group, the middle market private equity investment arm of the Ray L. Hunt family. From 1995 to 1998, Bobby served as Vice President of Hoak Capital, a Dallas-based middle market private equity firm focused on the media and telecommunications industries. He also served as a management consultant with Bain & Company and as an Associate in the Reorganization Group of Credit Suisse First Boston.
Education| M.B.A., Stanford University
B.A. in Government, Harvard College view details
Chris M. McRorie
Responsibilities| Chris is responsible for all legal affairs for the firm, including acting as the primary legal officer for most of the firm’s portfolio companies. His focus is on legal structuring and due diligence related to our transaction executions, as well as post-closing oversight of legal matters and governance. Chris also assists in tax compliance and administrative support functions.
Experience| Chris joined Highlander Partners in 2008. Prior to joining Highlander, he advised clients in public and private capital formation transactions, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate advising first as an attorney at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York and later at Andrews Kurth LLP in Dallas. Throughout his legal career, Chris has represented a wide variety of public and private companies, private equity firms and individuals in complex financial transactions and corporate governance matters.
Education| J.D., Yale Law School
B.A. in Letters and B.A. in Spanish, University of Oklahoma view details
Doran E. Smith
Associate General Counsel
Responsibilities| Doran serves as the legal liason to Highlander Partners’ portfolio companies. Her focus is on providing those companies’ management teams with legal guidance on business contracts, real estate, employment and other general operational matters. She also assists with documenting and due diligence for Highlander’s acquisitions and dispositions, as well as post-acquisition organizational support and integration.
Experience| Doran joined Highlander Partners in 2016 after 15 years as general counsel for a family office with real estate investment interests in the Pacific. She also practiced in the Washington, D.C., office of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, the Dallas office of Andrews Kurth and Case Lombardi & Pettit in Honolulu.
Education| J.D., Southern Methodist University School of Law
B.A. Plan II Honors and Government, University of Texas at Austin view details
Responsibilities| Ashley is responsible for the corporate governance affairs for all of the portfolio companies of Highlander Partners, in addition to providing legal insight and advice on the day to day to legal issues that arise at the portfolio companies. Ashley advises the business and sales teams at the various portfolio companies on structuring contractual terms within their marketing, distribution, development and non-disclosure agreements. Ashley also assists with matters that arise during Highlander’s acquisition and disposition of portfolio companies.
Experience| Ashley joined Highlander Partners in 2014. Prior to joining Highlander, Ashley spent eight years in the New York, Dallas, Austin and Houston offices of Vinson & Elkins. While at Vinson & Elkins, Ashley worked with private equity sponsors investing in private and public companies and executing initial public offerings with the SEC. Her experience also involved representing various investment banks during their underwriting of large debt and equity public underwritten offerings. Ashley also served as Assistant General Counsel at Jefferies & Co, Inc. in New York where she had broad corporate responsibilities at Jefferies including advising on securities law compliance and drafting Jefferies’ public disclosure documents with the SEC.
Education| J.D., University of Texas
B.A., Foreign Affairs, with Distinction, University of Virginia view details
Mark A. Blanchat
Responsibilities| Mark focuses on sourcing and evaluating new investment opportunities within a variety of industries. He has extensive experience in acquiring add-on businesses and working with private equity backed companies. Mark works closely with management teams to successfully execute their business plans, and he provides assistance with organic and add-on acquisition strategies.
Experience| Mark joined Highlander in 2012 as Director of Business Development and was promoted to Partner in 2016. Most recently, he was co-founder and a partner at BlackStripe Advisors, a boutique M&A advisory firm formed in 2009. He also was a partner with the JIAN Group, a middle market intermediary. Prior to that, Mark held senior positions for over 15 years with JELD-WEN, Inc. and Atrium Companies, Inc., two of the largest building products companies in North America. Mark also held various positions with GE Capital and First Southwest Company.
Education| B.A. in Economics, University of Colorado at Boulder view details
Bradford R. Hirsch MD
Responsibilities| Brad serves as an advisor to the firm’s management and investment committee in developing strategy and evaluation of investment opportunities. As a Senior Advisor, he has a particular focus on evaluating new investment opportunities in the healthcare and technology industries.
Experience| Dr. Hirsch is CEO and Co-Founder of SignalPath, a start up leveraging technology to make clinical trials more efficient and effective for research sites and sponsors. He was also a practicing medical oncologist with Texas Oncology. Prior to his present focus, he held leadership roles in technology companies and academics including as Senior Medical Director for Flatiron Health and as a faculty member of the Duke University School of Medicine and the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Across all of his roles, he focuses on the use of novel technology platforms to advance the frontier in medicine.
Education| M.B.A., with concentration in Health Sector Management, Fuqua School at Duke University
M.D., UT Southwestern Medical School
B.A. in Economics and the Biological Basis of Behavior, University of Pennsylvania view details