MiddleGround Capital plans to hire senior associate/VP for deal origination and IR team

Christine Paras

MiddleGround Capital, which closed its debut fund late last summer above it hard cap, plans to launch a search for a junior-to-mid-level professional to work on deal origination and investor relations.

The ideal candidate would have three to eight years of professional experience and a background in a related field such as investment banking, private equity or management consulting. Christen Paras, head of business development and investor relations, said that the search “will be getting kicked off pretty soon.” The new hire will report to Paras (pictured).

MiddleGround Capital has been on a deal-making, fund-raising and hiring tear since its founding in March 2018 by Partner and CCO Scot Duncan, Partner Lauren Mulholland and Partner John Stewart.

During that time the firm has added five platform companies to its portfolio, including two over the last four weeks; it closed its debut fund at $459.5 million late last summer with help from placement agent Credit Suisse; it has built its payroll from three to 22 employees working across two offices–its headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky and a satellite office in New York, New York where Paras and the new hire will be based. Here’s more about the firm, and how to apply:

* History: Stewart and Duncan pursued somewhat parallel careers before co-founding the firm with Mulholland. Both worked together for many years at Toyota Motor Corporation before moving to private equity shop Monomoy Capital Partners to build out the operations group. Prior to co-founding MiddleGround Capital Mulholland spent six years working in private equity with Stewart and Duncan, most recently serving as director on the transaction team. Before that she worked on infrastructure funds for Macquarie Capital, where she helped to launch a private markets capital desk.

* Investment strategy: The firm seeks to invest $25 million to $65 million to acquire North American b-to-b industrial and specialty distribution companies. Target platform companies typically generate revenue of more than $75 million. “We look for businesses where we can bring our operational expertise to the table to [create] long term-value,” said Paras.

* Corporate culture: Paras describes her colleagues as “a very tight-knit group.” Every day employees in both the New York and Lexington offices have lunch together, and using a video link employees in the two offices participate in regular meetings and the occasional deal celebration. Paras described the founders as being “ambitious, great people” who despite “really impressive experience” don’t take themselves too seriously. On Duncan’s bio page you’ll learn that the official song of MiddleGround Capital became “My Cherie Amour” following his memorable karaoke rendition of the song in Japan.

* Opportunities to move up: Working for a small shop, employees have the chance to go beyond their job descriptions. “You can put your hand up, and if you do something well, you can get more responsibility,” said Paras, who is a case in point. She joined the firm last April with a background in business development and management consulting to head up deal origination. After pitching in on investor meetings during the fund-raise, and letting the partners know she enjoyed the experience, Paras was promoted to take on responsibility for investor relations as well.

* How to apply: Send Paras an email if you’re interested in joining her team.

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