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Emerging manager Seaside doubles team size, continues hiring spree

Originally a deal-by-deal investor, Seaside wrapped up marketing for Fund I in December and closed it in February at $160m.

Seaside Equity Partners, led by Wafra alumnus Andrew Thompson, doubled the size of its team after completing fundraising for a debut vehicle, sources told Buyouts.

The San Diego private equity firm over June-July brought on two new professionals, sources said.

They include Andrew Kleam, recruited as vice president, portfolio value creation. He came from EY’s strategy and transactions practice, where he conducted diligence for deals in the business services, industrials and tech sectors. Kleam is Seaside’s first hire on the operating side.

The firm also recruited Noah Seidenfeld as senior associate in the investment group. He joined from EagleTree Capital, where he held the same role with a focus on investing in business services, consumer and industrials. Before, he was an investment banking analyst at Citi.

These hires follow two others by Seaside earlier this year and in December. They are Hiral Pithadia, an ex-Leeds Equity Partners professional appointed to vice president, and Gabe Becerra, also named vice president after working for Atlantic Street Capital.

Members of Seaside’s team now total seven. Overseeing them is managing director Thompson, a more than 11-year veteran of Wafra’s direct equity group.

Personnel is expected to grow further, sources said. Seaside is looking to hire at least three more professionals for senior and mid-level positions.

Thompson founded Seaside in 2017 to be an operationally focused investor in lower mid-market companies in the western and southwestern US. It targets businesses with revenue of $10 million-plus and values of up to $100 million in mission-critical business and consumer services sectors.

Seaside has so far made six platform investments. Its most recent deal backed Absolute Performance, a provider of managed IT infrastructure solutions.

The firm is likely to make two more platform investments before the end of 2021, sources said, along with a number of add-on acquisitions.

Originally a deal-by-deal investor, Seaside wrapped up marketing for Seaside Equity Partners I in December and closed it in February at $160 million, Buyouts reported. It exceeded an original target of $125 million.

Seaside declined to provide a comment on this story.