Palladium Equity Partners, one of the private equity industry’s most diverse firms, added to its credentials with the hire of Erick Bronner as managing director of fundraising and investor relations.
Bronner joined Palladium this month after a more than two-decade PE career focused on fundraising and investor relations, according to a statement issued this week. He previously led global fundraising and IR activities at Riverside Company, where he worked for over nine years.
Prior to Riverside, Bronner was a founding partner with Mercury Capital Advisors, a PE placement agent. He also worked for more than 12 years at Merrill Lynch, where he was a managing director in the private funds group.
At Palladium, Bronner will build relationships with limited partners and oversee capital raising and communications efforts, the statement said. He will also be a member of senior management.
Bronner’s hire perhaps signals Palladium’s interest in launching a sixth flagship offering. The New York firm declined to comment.
Palladium closed Fund V in 2019 at $1.56 billion, ahead of a $1.5 billion target. It secured commitments from major pension systems like California Public Employees’ Retirement System, California State Teachers’ Retirement System and New York State Common Retirement Fund.
An investor in US mid-market companies in consumer, healthcare, industrials, services and other sectors, Palladium has over its 25-year history made diversity something of a raison d’être. For starters, it has an expressed goal of investing in family- and founder-owned businesses that leverage the economic impact of a growing Hispanic population.
As a result of the strategy, “we have survived, thrived and grown” across market cycles, chairman and CEO Marcos Rodriguez told Buyouts. Today, he noted, the $2.8 billion Palladium is “one of the oldest minority-owned private equity firms in the country.”
Palladium got there, Rodriguez said, by nurturing a culture of diversity and ensuring minorities and women are represented across the organization. In March, the firm reported 64 percent of its partners and 75 percent of its employees are diverse or female. In addition, 11 of the most senior professionals own a piece of Palladium.
“A diverse group of individuals makes better decisions and generates better outcomes,” Rodriguez said.
Palladium is by no means done diversifying, Rodriguez said. It set an objective that more than half of the partnership team will eventually consist of women, both in terms of numbers and ownership.
Cuban-born Rodriguez founded Palladium in 1997 after eight years at JLL Partners, where he was a partner. Since inception, Palladium has invested more than $2.5 billion in 36 platform investments and 140 add-on acquisitions, according to its website.
Quirch Foods, a Palladium-backed supplier of protein and Hispanic food products, last year completed a merger with Colorado Boxed Beef. The combined business, totaling over $3 billion in sales, is “the largest control investment in Palladium’s history,” partner Chris Allen told PE Hub.
Read Buyouts’ February cover story, LPs step up the pressure for GPs to make real progress in diversity, here.