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Vertu, led by ex-OMERS PE pro, hires TorQuest’s Davis for fund launch

Vertu Capital hired Kimberly Davis as COO and partner as the tech private equity firm prepares to unveil its inaugural fund, Buyouts has learned.

Davis joins Vertu following a more than two-decade career, including 14 years with TorQuest Partners. She was hired by TorQuest in 2005 as CFO and later became its chief compliance officer. Before then, Davis worked as a senior manager in Deloitte’s M&A PE tax practice and as an associate at Foley Broderick.

Toronto-based Vertu was founded two years ago by Managing Partner Lisa Melchior, formerly a managing director of OMERS Private Equity, the in-house PE arm of C$97 billion ($73 billion) pension fund OMERS. She was with the group for more than 17 years, leading North American tech investing.

Melchior began Vertu by investing her own and co-investor capital, a strategy intended to validate her tech investment thesis and build out a deal pipeline. Melchior told Buyouts this objective has been met and the firm is now planning to launch a first fund, Vertu Capital Fund I, in the early months of 2020.

Vertu is in talks with institutions, family offices, high-net-worth individuals and other potential investors about Fund I, the target of which has yet to be determined, Melchior said. She added that the hiring of Davis is key to ramping up this activity, given her prior experience with back office, fundraising, investor relations and LP reporting at TorQuest.

Melchior is recruiting additional senior and junior personnel, she said, with the goal of assembling a team which is “competitive at a global level.” Other recent hires include Director Eric Kafka, who joined Vertu in 2018 from Facebook, where he was an operations program manager. Kafka also previously worked with Melchior at OMERS as an associate.

Vertu invests $25 million to $75 million in B2B or B2G tech companies, with a focus on late-stage growth equity and mid-market buyouts. Target opportunities, based mostly in Canada, typically have revenue of $20 million-plus and are pursuing organic or M&A growth in markets of $1 billion or greater.

Earlier this year, Vertu closed its first investment, acquiring Firmex, a Toronto-based provider of virtual data rooms and secure document-sharing solutions, from Novacap. It partnered in the deal with BDC Capital.

Action Item: Learn more about Vertu Capital here.