Off-duty: IMB Partners’ Tarrus Richardson on Zumba, Deep House and dreaded synergies

Richardson shares with us his favorite books, music, vacation destination, career highs and lows and his fantasy job as a self-help guru.

Tarrus Richardson, IMB Partners

Buyouts’ Off-duty provides a snapshot of top investors, including a few details about what they do in life when not chasing deals.

To help celebrate Black History Month, Off-duty is featuring Tarrus Richardson, CEO of IMB Partners. Founded by him in 2010, IMB is a mid-market buyout firm specializing in investments in businesses supporting electric and gas utilities and government agencies. It also happens to be minority-owned.

IMB is part of Richardson’s 25-year career in private equity. Before IMB, in 1998, he co-founded and was managing director of ICV Partners, a minority-owned, mid-market firm established in partnership with Willie Woods, Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter and American Securities. He also worked at JLL Partners.

Richardson is founder of the Council of Urban Professionals and a founding board chair of All Star Code, a non-profit focused on helping boys of color learn computer science.

Where is your hometown?


What was your New Year’s resolution?

Drop 20 pounds via working out five days and dieting via Noom.

If you weren’t in PE, what job would you like to have?

A self-help guru like Tony Robbins.

How do you relax when you’re not working?

Zumba classes or vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard and Miami.

What book are you reading right now?

The EOS Life by Gino Wickman and The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.

What is your favorite song, album, performer or music genre?

Deep House music, Salsa, Reggaeton.

Who in your career do you regard as a mentor?

Kelvin Pennington, managing director of IMB. We were introduced when I was a junior in college and he came to campus for a 10th anniversary Purdue/Kappa Alpha Psi alumni event.

He was doing my dream job: investing in companies by way of private equity and launching his own firm. What started as me pestering him with phone calls for weeks turned into mentorship, friendship and now partnership.

Professionally, what was your toughest moment?

Having to leave a firm I co-founded.

What was your most rewarding moment?

Rebounding and building IMB over the past 12 years.

What PE buzz words or jargon do you hate most?


What advice would you give a young person interested in a PE career?

Make sure to keep in touch with your role models. You never know what might come of it.

What word or phrase best describes you?

I truly believe diversity is an asset and together we are better.