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Venn Growth beefs up team, adding L Catterton, McKinsey, Scotiabank execs

Launched this year by former OMERS Private Equity and McKinsey executives, Venn Growth is preparing to roll out an inaugural fund with a $300 million target.

Emerging growth equity manager Venn Growth Partners added to its bench with a fresh crop of hires, two people with knowledge of the matter told Buyouts.

Venn Growth, which is preparing to roll out a $300 million inaugural fund, recruited five senior team members over the past few months, the persons said.

They include three founding partners. Among them is Ravi Thakran, formerly chairman and managing partner of L Catterton Asia. Prior to that role, Thakran founded and led L Capital Asia, an LVMH affiliate that was part of the luxury conglomerate’s 2016 merger with Catterton.

John Crean, previously a long-time investment banker with Scotiabank, also came onboard. So too did Tim McGuire, CEO of Mobile Klinik and a senior partner emeritus with McKinsey & Company. Crean will be a full-time Venn Growth partner, while McGuire and Thakran will contribute on a part-time basis, the sources said.

Venn Growth also recruited Serena Lefort. Her role is not yet known, the sources said. Lefort is currently with The Connext Group, a consultancy she founded in 2018. Before then she held executive positions with OMERS, including head of financial and business operations for its PE and infrastructure portfolios.

Rounding out the additions is Aqsa Mian, a former McKinsey consultant brought on as a vice president.

The new team members join managing partners Jon McCarthy and Chris Reynolds, who launched Venn Growth earlier in 2020. McCarthy was previously a managing director with OMERS Private Equity, Buyouts reported in July, while Reynolds was an associate partner with McKinsey.

Venn Growth is planning to enlist a third managing partner, the sources said. No further details were provided.

McCarthy and Reynolds set up Venn Growth to be an operationally focused investor in lower mid-market companies in North America. It will target opportunities with revenue of $10 million to $100 million in consumer, education and healthcare services sectors, Buyouts reported.

Venn Growth will acquire minority or majority stakes in businesses, partnering with families and founders to accelerate growth. Fund I is expected to back eight to 10 companies, writing checks of $10 million to $50 million.

This month, Venn Growth closed its debut deal, the sources said. It acquired a minority interest in Higher Ground, a Lake Forest, California, early childhood education management company. Founded in 2016, Higher Ground is the largest operator of Montessori education centers in the US.

Venn Growth is presently in talks with family offices, high-net-worth investors and institutions about its first fund, which will likely begin marketing later this year, Buyouts reported. The firm is targeting an initial close in Q1 2021, the sources said.

Venn Growth, which has its head office in Toronto, declined to comment on this story.

Action item: Learn more about Venn Growth Partners here.