Trivest seeks to double size of portfolio support team with two pre-MBA analyst hires

Micah Dawson

Trivest Partners, the prolific investor in founder and family-owned companies, is looking to expand its year-and-a-half-old portfolio support group. Its search for two junior professionals highlights the growing opportunities for young operating professionals to join the booming private equity industry.

Based in Coral Gables, Florida,Trivest launched the group in October 2018 with the hiring of Vice President Micah Dawson. Prior to joining, Dawson served as vice president for Tru-Flex LLC, a manufacturer of metal hoses used in vehicle exhaust systems. He earlier spent two years in strategy and development for the company’s owner, St. Louis-based family office HBM Holdings.

With the blessing of Trivest’s senior partners Dawson early on set out to define the responsibilities for his budding group. These now include the on-boarding of new platform companies, such as bringing them into compliance with Trivest’s financial reporting requirements; and the creation of shareholder value during the hold period, in order to achieve the 3x return on equity that the firm strives for on all its investments.

It’s a big ask: Trivest last year alone invested more than $200 million to acquire 46 founder and family-owned businesses. Dawson added a second vice president to the group last summer, and he’s looking to double the group’s size again by hiring two pre-MBA analysts.

To qualify candidates need two to three years of related experience. They should be “intellectually curious,” be “comfortable communicating with upper level management,” and be “passionate about portfolio company operations,” said Dawson. “It’s not a backdoor on to the deal team,” he added. “It’s about helping these companies improve.”

Dawson is particularly interested in candidates who bring advanced skills and talents in the areas of accounting and data analytics. Someone strong in accounting would help meet the “huge need” of portfolio companies to sync their reporting systems to Trivest’s requirements; someone strong in data analytics would help portfolio companies make sense of the financial and operational data that they produce. Beyond that, the job descriptions are fluid. “There’s just a lot of stuff to do,” said Dawson. “I’m looking for someone who can come in and figure it out.” More about the opportunity:

  • Fundraising Status: Trivest, which acquires North American companies in manufacturing, distribution, business services, healthcare services and consumer products, closed the sixth in its series of flagship funds at $600 million in late 2017. Late last month the firm said it had closed its second “Growth Investment Fund” at $435 million; the fund is earmarked for non-control deals. The firm also closed its debut “Discovery Fund,” earmarked for smaller companies than its flagship acquires, at $235 million.
  • Corporate Culture: You’ll find a friendly, collegial crew at Trivest, and an environment where high performers have no difficulty striking a healthy life-work balance. “I’ve had incredible flexibility” to define my own position, said Dawson, “and I’d like to retain that [quality] in the group.” He added: “I want people who are entrepreneurial and want to push things forward.”
  • Perks: Miami is famous for its tropical weather and beautiful beaches. Dawson has an 8-minute commute to the office by scooter.
  • Compensation: Expect your bonus target to be about 50 percent of your base salary.

For more email Dawson.

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