In today's episode, Ally McCloskey sits down with Ganesh Rao, Managing Director and Head of Financial Technology and Services at Thomas H. Lee Partners ("THL"), the $16B+ private equity firm. THL invests in middle market growth companies exclusively in three sectors: Financial Technology & Services, Healthcare, and Technology & Business Solutions. Since its founding in 1974, THL has raised more than $34 billion of equity capital, invested in over 160 companies, and completed more than 500 add-on acquisitions representing an aggregate enterprise value at acquisition of over $210 billion. Specifically within Financial Technology & Services, THL has invested $5.7 billion in 28 companies. Some notable exits you may know include: BlackKnight, FIS, FirstbanCorp, and MoneyGram, among others.
Ganesh, has been with THL for over 20 years, coming from Morgan Stanley's FIG group and after completing his MBA at Harvard Business School. He is currently a director of AbacusNext, Black Knight, Dun & Bradstreet, ServiceLink Holdings, Ceridian HCM Holding Inc., AmeriLife Group, Auction.com
, Hightower Advisors, and Insurance Technologies, and a board observer at Guaranteed Rate.
Ally and Ganesh discuss:
• The ways in which Private Equity has changed over the past 2+ decades
• How THL is structured, where its latest $5.6 billion fund will be deployed, and the 5 Identified Sector Opportunities Ganesh focuses on within Financial Technology & Services
• THL's sourcing and relationship building process with target partner companies
• THL's role after a deal is inked
• Ganesh's forward-looking theses on Vertical Software with Integrated Payments and Insurance Tech & Services
• His most memorable deal and spending an atypical 13 years with that company before exiting
• And a whole lot more
Ganesh B. Rao is a managing director at Thomas H. Lee Partners. Prior to joining Thomas H. Lee Partners, Mr. Rao worked at Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated in the Financial Institutions Group. Mr. Rao is currently a director of AbacusNext, Black Knight, Dun & Bradstreet, Ceridian HCM Holding Inc., AmeriLife Group, Auction.com
, Hightower Advisors, Insurance Technologies, Nextech, Odessa and a board observer at Guaranteed Rate. His prior directorships include Comdata, Nielsen, MoneyGram International, Optimal Blue, ServiceLink Holdings and Ten-X Commercial. Mr. Rao holds a B.A., summa cum laude, in Economics from Duke University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
THL invests in middle market growth companies exclusively within selected Identified Sector Opportunities (ISOs) in three industry groups: Financial Technology & Services, Healthcare and Technology & Business Solutions. The firm couples deep domain expertise with dedicated internal operating resources to transform and build great companies of lasting value in partnership with management. Since 1974, THL has raised more than $34 billion of equity capital, invested in over 160 companies and completed more than 500 add-on acquisitions representing an aggregate enterprise value at acquisition of over $210 billion. Its global investor base includes some of the world's leading public and corporate pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions, endowments and high net worth families, which THL considers to be a valuable asset, providing additional co-investment capital as well as insight and relationships useful to its portfolio companies. Since 2015, the firm has raised approximately $15 billion for its Flagship, Continuation and Automation Funds and over $5.5 billion of LP Co-investment vehicles.
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