Going Solo, Brewer Retains Eaton Ties

After nearly a decade helping private placement agent C.P. Eaton Partners expand, Lyons Brewer has begun working with the kinds of private equity groups squeezed out by the firm’s growth.

In the last month, Brewer opened up a one-man shop, LB Group, located eight miles down the road from C.P. Eaton’s offices in Norwalk, Conn. From there, he helps emerging buyout groups form their first funds and assists in big strategy shifts for funds backed by single investors.

“As boutiques get large—as large as Eaton has gotten—they want to have larger opportunities,” Brewer said.

At times, C.P. Eaton must also turn down mandates because it faces conflicts of interest with similar groups it is already helping to raise money. “That would present an opportunity for someone like me,” Brewer said.

For its part, Brewer’s former employer is happy to pass the work along to him.

“We effectively bring him business for more specialized projects that we wouldn’t take on, or wouldn’t have the capacity to take on, or frankly we don’t have the shelf space for,” said Daniel Vene, a vice president at C.P. Eaton.

Meanwhile, in a sign of its growth, C.P. Eaton this month brought on five new executives, bringing the number of professionals to 21. The new hires were led by Jerry Elliott, who previously handled operations and finance at educational company Cengage Learning; he is now the placement agent’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer, taking over some duties from founder Charles Eaton. Also, Peter Martenson, formerly a managing director at fund-of-funds outfit Macquarie Funds Management, joined as a senior vice president in the firm’s California office.