Who we are
Build winning companies to deliver superior returns to our investors.
Acquire good businesses and partner with management to drive fundamental improvement.
Our core competencies
- Continuous Improvement
- Lean, collaborative team, working directly with Partners and senior management
- Successful track record resulting in exciting growth
- 6 out of 7 current Partners started as associates or Vice Presidents at Sterling
- Resources Group, comprised of subject matter experts in Human Capital, Operations, Commercial, Strategy, Technology, and M&A, are members of deal teams and help drive improvements at portfolio companies
- Hands on investing model resulting in deep engagement with our portfolio companies
- We believe in long term partnership and collaboration
- Relentless, firm-wide commitment to continuous improvement
- We say "we" more than "I"
- Entrepreneurial spirit
- Passionate about building winning businesses
The Sterling Group is an operationally focused middle market private equity firm focused on the industrial sector. Founded in 1982, Sterling is one of the longest standing private equity firms in North America. Today, the firm has over $6.1 billion in assets under management. Approximately 70% of Sterling’s returns have been driven by organic EBITDA growth, a result of Sterling’s operational investing style. Sterling is currently investing in the middle market out of Fund V, which is sized at $2 billion in commitments. Sterling recently launched the Foundation Fund, sized at over $635 million in commitments, to execute its same operationally focused investment strategy within the lower middle market. Additionally, Sterling has raised two credit funds, and is currently investing Credit Fund II, which is sized at $320 million in commitments. Sterling’s investor base is comprised by some of the largest and most respected global institutional investors.
The Sterling Group is seeking a highly qualified 2024 MBA graduate to join our growing team of investment professionals in the middle market. The Vice President will play an integral role in the next phase of Sterling’s success and begin what we hope will be a long-term career with the firm. The Vice President will be provided with the guidance and tools for a Partner track.
Hands-on experience transforming companies and leading teams – As a member of Sterling’s investment team, Vice Presidents are deeply involved in the improvement, strategy, and operations of middle market industrial companies. Given Sterling’s strategy and investing style, this is a unique opportunity to be a part of transforming businesses and industries. Vice Presidents will contribute to and eventually lead all key efforts across the investment lifecycle, including investment thesis development, deal evaluation, diligence and execution, strategy development, key value creation initiatives, and exit preparation and execution. Vice Presidents are also actively involved with portfolio company boards with the goal of sitting on boards early in their career.
Operational experience – Vice Presidents are embedded in a portfolio company for a year to gain further operational experience and directly transform the business from the inside. Vice Presidents fill a senior management position, reporting directly to the CEO and work on projects ranging from operational improvements to acquisition integrations.
Personal development programs – Sterling offers an annual stipend towards professional development in addition to a competitive bonus structure and carried interest. Vice Presidents are teamed with one of the Partners as a formal mentor. This is an opportunity to learn from a diverse group of highly successful, but still deeply involved and committed Partners.
Ability to drive growth at Sterling – Vice Presidents help shape the firm’s continuous improvement efforts, best practices, and strategy. Vice Presidents are invited to sit on one or more internal committees which actively shape the growth of the firm. Current committees include Sourcing, Improvement, Deal Evaluation, Human Capital, and ESG.
Screen new investment opportunities and lead due diligence efforts
Drive transaction evaluation and execution
Collaborate closely with in-house functions such as Human Capital, Sourcing, Strategy, Operations, etc.
Assist in negotiating acquisition and financing documentation
Develop portfolio company strategy alongside management
Lead monthly operational review meetings and engage in quarterly board meetings
Lead internal initiatives and improvement efforts
Manage pre-MBA Associates in day-to-day activities and as part of deal teams
Graduate student enrolled in a full-time MBA program graduating in 2024
4 years of experience in investment banking, private equity, management consulting, and/or operational experience at a premier industrial company
Experience and/or interest in manufacturing, distribution, and/or industrial markets
Military or other significant leadership experiences are valued
Passion for improving and growing industrial businesses
Demonstrated academic excellence
Drive for continuous improvement on both personal and company levels
Personal ties to, or a desire to live in Houston
ABOUT THE STERLING GROUP
The Sterling Group is a middle market private equity firm based in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1982, Sterling invests in manufacturing, distribution, and industrial service businesses with enterprise values typically between $100 and $750 million. Sterling has sponsored the buyout of 67 platform companies and numerous add-on acquisitions for a total transaction value of over $22.0 billion.
Sterling’s investment strategy is predicated on acquiring good businesses that are under-managed or under-performing their potential and that have substantial opportunities for strategic and operational improvements. Through a hands-on approach and our Seven Levers Methodology, Sterling works in partnership with management teams to drive fundamental transformations of businesses and industries. The Seven Levers are the areas in which we consistently and materially impact businesses; Human Capital, Strategy, Execution, Commercial, Operations, Technology, and M&A. They are based on the principles of continuous improvement and are resources our management teams can use to enable speed, confidence, and consistency in business building. We take good businesses and transform them into winning companies. Doing so means winning for customers, winning for employees, and winning for investors, including Sterling.
On past realized investments, Sterling has generated a return of 3.0x gross invested capital¹. Over 70% of this return was driven by organic EBITDA growth. We believe Sterling generates the majority of its returns for its investors by fundamentally improving the strategy and operations of its businesses. This strategy has worked throughout a variety of market cycles.
Sterling currently has over $6.1 billion in assets under management. In 2020, Sterling closed $2.0 billion in Fund V, making this our largest fund size to date. Fund V was oversubscribed and closed in approximately four months. Sterling has a strong base of long-term investors, comprised of some of the largest and most respected global institutional investors.