From his offices in Philadelphia’s northwest suburbs, Andrew T. Greenberg wears two hats: one as a managing director at investment bank Fairmount Partners, the other as CEO of GF Data Resources LLC, a private equity data provider that reports on deal valuation and leverage information for transactions valued between $10 million and $250 million.
For both ventures, Greenberg depends on a deep bench of relationships. At Fairmount Partners, where he specializes in industrial and consumer products deals, Greenberg regularly makes use of the firm’s database of some 500 private equity shops. At GF Data, which issues reports on a quarterly basis, Greenberg and his team regularly rely on LBO shops to anonymously volunteer the terms of their latest deals. At present the data provider has 131 active contributors.
Greenberg began his career as a corporate lawyer with Drinker Biddle & Reath in Philadelphia, but his professional life soon took a detour to public service when, at 30-years-old, he was appointed as the youngest Secretary of Commerce for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. During his four years at that post, Greenberg took a liking to the deal-making aspect of public economic development and he decided to put that passion to work in the private markets.
In 1994, Greenberg became an investment banker at Brown Brothers Harriman, where he ran the bank’s Philadelphia-based M&A practice. Next, he moved to Commerce Bank (now owned by TD Bank), where he was hired to launch an investment banking business. When Commerce Bank decided to get out of investment banking, Greenberg took some of his colleagues and merged his practice with Fairmount Partners in 2006.
Fairmount Partners, with 18 professionals, closes an average of 15 to 20 deals per year; most of these are sell-side assignments, with the balance being capital placements and buy-side work. Typical sell-side assignments for Fairmount Partners involve companies generating EBITDA of $3 million to $10 million (with total enterprise values of $15 million to $100 million.)
Around the time Greenberg was getting ready to leave Commerce Bank, he saw a need for a business that could provide transaction data for deals in the oft-overlooked lower middle market. He teamed up with B. Graeme Frazier IV, president of consulting firm Private Capital Research LLC, and launched GF Data’s first pilot report in 2006. As incentive, qualified firms that report their deal stats are given free access to GF Data’s reports.