What’s In A Name


When christening LBO firms, buyout pros seem to have an affinity for street names.

There’s mezzanine funds Fifth Street Capital in New York and Tenth Street Capital Partners in Chattanooga, Tenn. In Chicago, there’s fund of funds giant Adams Street Partners and LBO firms Madison Dearborn Partners (located near the corner of Madison and Dearborn Streets) and Water Street Healthcare Partners. Buyout shop Thompson Street Capital Partners makes its home in St. Louis. On Calvert Street in Baltimore, you’ll find boutique Calvert Street Capital Partners, while in upstate New York there’s Buffalo’s Summer Street Capital and Albany’s Pine Street Capital Partners, located on Pine Street in that city. There’s also a secondary directs specialist called Lake Street Capital, located on Pine Street in San Francisco.

The former Tucker Anthony Private Equity fund-of-funds group renamed itself Park Street Capital in 2001, which you shouldn’t confuse with middle-market shop Park Avenue Equity Partners, located on the eponymous street in New York.

And moving beyond “street,” we find distressed investor Avenue Capital and buyout firm Pine Brook Road Partners. There’s even Rumson Capital Advisors’s fund of funds Rumson Silk Road Fund.

A less obvious tenant in the neighborhood of LBO shops named for streets is Pomona Capital.

The firm is often thought to be named for Pomona College, a West coast liberal arts school where people assume founder Michael Granoff got his degree (Granoff graduated from University of Pennsylvania). It’s actually named for Pomona Rd. in Worcester, Mass., the street on which Granoff grew up.

When Granoff got the idea to name his firm for his hometown street, he did a little research and discovered Pomona is also the Roman goddess of orchards—a good fit for the kinds of ripe returns the New York based manager of secondaries, funds of funds and co-investments strives to achieve.

The goddess Pomona is known specifically for the blossoming of trees, versus the coming of the harvest, which is associated with the god Saturn. Pomona is often seen in sculptures carrying a cornucopia, and her likeness graces the fountain outside the Plaza Hotel in New York City.