Chris joined Sterling in December of 2019 as Operating Partner, Commercial. Previously Chris was the CEO of Oakwood Worldwide. Prior to Oakwood, Chris was a Senior Advisor with TPG Capital’s operations team for seven years building out the firm’s Salesforce effectiveness and commercial operations capabilities.
Franklin joined Sterling in 2017 as part of the firm’s accounting and finance team. He started his career with Ernst & Young in their Dallas, TX office as a part of the Financial Services Office, with a focus on wealth and asset management clients. He also served as a Senior Business Consultant with Protiviti in their Houston Office prior to Sterling. Franklin is a Texas CPA and holds a B.B.A. in Accounting, Cum Laude, and M.S. in Finance from Texas A&M University, Mays Business School.
Jim joined Sterling in 2013 to lead the firm’s sourcing efforts. Jim spent the first 15 years of his professional career assisting Fortune 500 companies with industrial site location needs across the southeastern US. Jim translated this experience, identifying the most important factors for a business’ success in a new facility, into a consultative approach to investment banking at Morgan Keegan and Raymond James. For eleven years, Jim has helped families and entrepreneurs, primarily in the industrial sector, find and structure the right solutions for their businesses. Jim is passionate about understanding the current and potential “future state” of a company and its industry, a passion shared across the Sterling team. Jim received a B.A. in Economics & International Studies from Rhodes College.
Erin rejoined Sterling in 2020 from Madison Dearborn Partners, where she was most recently a Director with the Basic Industries team. Previously, she was with The Boston Consulting Group, The Sterling Group and Greenbriar Equity Group. Erin began her career at Credit Suisse in investment banking. Erin received a B.A. in Plan II Honors from the University of Texas, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, graduating as a George F. Baker Scholar.
Bad Boy Mowers
Brandon joined Sterling in 2018 as Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for all financial management aspects of the firm, as well as advising the firm’s portfolio company CFOs on certain financial issues and transactions. Previously, Brandon was Chief Financial Officer at Parkman Whaling, an energy focused boutique merchant bank. Prior to Parkman Whaling, he served as Chief Financial Officer of ESS Funds, a private equity firm focused on providing growth capital to the energy industry, with a focus on small and mid-sized businesses, ventures and projects. Brandon began his career in the Investment Management division at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Brandon received an MBA from Rice University and a BBA in Finance from Fort Hays State University. He is a CFA Charterholder and Certified Public Accountant. Brandon serves on the Board of the Ronald McDonald House Houston, an organization that provides a “home away from home” for families of sick children receiving medical treatment in the Texas Medical Center.
Jared joined Sterling in 2019. Prior to Sterling, he was an Analyst at Credit Suisse, where he focused on mergers, acquisitions, and high yield financings for companies across the energy industry. Jared is a graduate of Brigham Young University, with a B.S. in Finance from the Marriott School of Business.
Tangent Technologies, Highline Aftermarket
Jacob joined Sterling in 2017 as a member of the Sterling Credit Fund. Many of Jacob’s previous career experiences revolve around private credit. He began his career in Deloitte’s business valuation group, before moving to the restructuring group within Houlihan Lokey where he focused on distressed M&A and special situations for middle-market debtors and creditors in the industrial manufacturing, food, consumer, and oilfield services industries. Prior to Sterling, Jacob was a Senior Analyst at EF Capital, a family office, where he performed due diligence and portfolio management for private equity and junior debt financings. Jacob received a B.B.A in finance and accounting, cum laude, with departmental honors in finance from Texas Christian University.
Joe joined Sterling in 2019. Prior to Sterling, he worked as an investment banking analyst with Harris Williams in Richmond, VA, where his responsibilities included advising clients in the healthcare and life sciences industry on mergers and acquisitions. Joe graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Accounting from the Eli Broad College of Business. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
Bad Boy Mowers, Time Manufacturing, DexKo
Sean joined Sterling as a Partner in 2017 after having spent the last 16 years as Sterling’s lead lender in his prior role as Managing Director in the Merchant Banking Group at BNP Paribas. Sean was involved in financing nearly every Sterling investment since 2001. Over the course of his career at BNP, Sean cultivated close relationships with sponsors that spanned many years and multiple transactions. Sean and Sterling shared the same philosophy: that sponsors and lenders should partner together to build winning businesses, achieving the best possible returns for all parties. In 2017, Sterling and Sean formed the Sterling Credit Fund to offer both Sterling and other sponsors a mezzanine and second lien lending partner that subscribed to this philosophy. Sean is an expert at originating, structuring and executing senior and subordinated debt instruments and equity co-investments in the middle market and has underwritten over $13 billion of senior, mezzanine and second lien debt and made over $80 million of equity co-investments. Sean received a B.B.A. from the University of Arkansas and an M.B.A. from the M.J. McNeely School of Business at Texas Christian University.
Greg started his career in investment banking at Merrill Lynch, but it wasn’t long before he set his sights on a job at Sterling. Greg first joined Sterling in 1994, leaving briefly for business school, before returning to continue driving fundamental changes at some of Sterling’s pre-fund investments. Greg also spent time as a Partner at the CapStreet Group, where he worked on several successful industry consolidations, including Sprint Industrial, Advanced Data Processing, Jackson Products and Trajen, an FBO network. When Trajen was sold to Macquarie, Greg followed his passion for operations and building companies, leaving private equity to form a new FBO network. He and the management team built Encore Aviation which was merged with Landmark Aviation. Greg remained on the board of Landmark but rejoined Sterling in 2008 and chairs the firm’s Sourcing Committee. Greg received a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College.
Frontline Road Safety, Polychem Corporation, Lynx FBO Network, ProcessBarron, Safe Fleet, Liqui-Box, Velcon Filters
Johann joined Sterling in 2018. Previously, he worked as an Associate in the Frankfurt office of Advent International, pursuing investments in the industrial and consumer and retail sectors. Johann started his career as an analyst in J.P. Morgan’s investment bank, focusing on M&A and capital markets transactions across North America and Europe. Johann received a Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Mannheim in Germany and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Artisan Design Group, ProcessBarron, DexKo
Anu joined Sterling in 2019 as Vice President, Fund Accounting. Previously, she was a Director in the Private Equity Operations and Fund Administration division at Blue River Partners LLC, where she established and managed the Houston office and served several clients within the alternative asset management industry. Prior to Blue River, she was an Assurance Senior Manager at PwC and spent ten years serving clients in the financial services sector, with a concentration in asset management. Anu graduated with honors from the University of Houston with a M.S. and B.B.A. in Accountancy and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Texas.
JR joined Sterling in 2020. Prior to Sterling, he worked as an Investment Banking Analyst with Morgan Stanley where he focused on advising clients across the Energy sector on mergers and acquisitions. JR graduated from Baylor University with a B.B.A. in Finance from the Hankamer School of Business. As an undergraduate, JR served as an Analyst with the Baylor Angel Network where he analyzed more than 75 early-stage companies seeking capital.
Frontline Road Safety, Polychem Corporation, Lynx FBO Network
John joined Sterling in 2018 from McKinsey & Company’s Houston office where he was an Engagement Manager focused on strategy and operational initiatives for industrial and energy businesses. Previously he worked at Madison Dearborn Partners on investments in the Industrials, Business Services, and Financial Services sectors. John received a B.S. in Systems Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Virginia, and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management and M.S. from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.
Tangent Technologies, Lynx FBO Network, Evergreen North America, Saxco International
John joined Sterling in 1992 after graduating from business school. He has been involved in every aspect of Sterling’s business over his 25 years with the firm including recruiting much of the current team, overseeing the firm’s transition from a fundless sponsor, and driving the firm to excellence in all areas of core competencies. Prior to business school, John was on the professional staff of Arthur Andersen & Co. He received a B.S.B.A. in accounting from the University of Tennessee and an M.B.A. with honors from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.
Bad Boy Mowers, Tangent Technologies, Lynx FBO Network, Highline Aftermarket, Specified Air Solutions, Saxco International, Liqui-Box, B&G Crane, Velcon Filters, North American Energy Partners, BTEC Turbines and Exopack
Brian spent the first decade of his career driving lean manufacturing, new product launches and capital efficiency projects at Amphenol, Motorola, and Siemens AG. After receiving his M.B.A. with concurrent Masters of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the University of Texas, Brian spent several years in investment banking at UBS before returning to his passion of operations at Sterling in 2008. Brian has been integral in driving process improvements, both at Sterling portfolio companies and at Sterling itself. Brian’s involvement with Sterling’s Operations Committee allows him to continually push the firm to improve its approach on fundamentally changing industrial businesses. Brian received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas.
Artisan Design Group, Tangent Technologies, Construction Supply Group, Safe Fleet, Saxco International, Stackpole, B&G Crane, Roofing Supply Group
Steven joined Sterling in 2017. Previously, he was an Engagement Manager in McKinsey & Company’s Dallas office, where he focused on strategic and operational topics for transportation and distribution companies. Steven previously held roles in marketing and revenue management at American Airlines during the Chapter 11 bankruptcy & restructuring process. Steven received a B.B.A. and an M.P.A. in accounting from The University of Texas and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Construction Supply Group, Time Manufacturing, Specified Air Solutions, DexKo
Chryl has been associated with The Sterling Group since 1986. From 1991 until rejoining Sterling full-time in 2005, she provided support for Gary Rosenthal in his various roles with Hydrochem Industrial Services, AXIA, Wheatley TXT Corp and Heaney Rosenthal Inc. Chryl attended Rice University and studied Managerial Studies and Sociology.
Abby joined Sterling in 2019. Prior to Sterling, she worked as an investment banking analyst with Evercore in Houston advising clients in the energy industry on mergers and acquisitions. Before joining Evercore, Abby worked in Ernst & Young’s Houston office in the transaction services group as a structured finance analyst. At Sterling, Abby assist’s in the firm’s fundraising and investor relations efforts. Abby graduated Summa Cum Laude from Texas A&M University in the Professional Program of Accounting with a M.S. in Finance and a B.B.A in Accounting. Abby is also a licensed CPA in the State of Texas.
Franny joined Sterling in 2010 to lead the firm’s fundraising and investor relations efforts. Franny brings experience from the Private Wealth Management Groups of Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers in New York, where she was responsible for fundraising, asset allocation, manager selection and investor relations for family offices and foundations. Franny received a B.A. in Art History from Princeton University.
Max joined Sterling in 2015 as the firm’s first in-house legal counsel. Prior to Sterling, Max worked in the private equity groups of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Ropes & Gray LLP, where his practice focused on representing private equity firms and strategic investors in leveraged buyouts, minority investments, public and private mergers, acquisitions and divestitures and other general corporate matters. Max received a B.A. with honors in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a J.D. with honors from the Emory University School of Law.
Brian joined Sterling in 2020. Prior to Sterling, he worked as an investment banking analyst with Morgan Stanley’s Global Energy Group in Houston, where he advised oil majors and upstream operators on mergers and acquisitions as well as capital raising activities. Brian graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master in Professional Accounting.
Artisan Design Group, Evergreen North America
Claudine joined Sterling in 2017 to lead Human Capital. She is responsible for developing and implementing people and talent management strategies at Sterling, as well as working across the firm’s portfolio to help drive growth through comprehensive people strategies and the identification and acquisition of talent. Claudine joins the firm from Jacobs Engineering Group in Houston where she was the head of Human Resources for the Petroleum and Chemicals businesses and was responsible for approximately 5,000 employees in several U.S. locations, Canada and Mexico. Prior to this, she led human resources planning and recruitment at Emerson Electric Canada Limited. She has lived and worked in Canada and the United States and has 13 years of human resources experience. Claudine holds a Bachelor of Management, with a major in human resources from the University of Lethbridge in Calgary, Canada.
Scott joined Sterling in 2014 from The Boston Consulting Group where he focused on operational improvement initiatives for industrial and energy companies. Prior to entering the private sector, Scott was a Ranger qualified officer in the United States Army where he led a scout platoon during the troop surge in Iraq, and later served as a company commander in charge of 120 personnel. Scott’s first investment at Sterling was American Bath Group, a turnaround effort and industry consolidation in the bathware manufacturing industry. Scott embedded with the company for a year, using his experience leading teams and driving operational change to completely transform the company’s transportation and logistics program, as well as executing four strategic acquisitions. Scott received a B.S. in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from the Wharton School.
Polychem Corporation, Lynx FBO Network, Evergreen North America, Highline Aftermarket, American Bath Group
In the role of Operating Partner, Jud works closely with Sterling’s investment professionals and portfolio management teams to drive growth and build capabilities for Sterling portfolio companies. Jud brings over 25 years of operations experience gained in various roles, as an engineer and project manager at ExxonMobil, operations transformation leader at McKinsey & Company, general manager at Valerus Compression Services, and most recently as a Director of TPG Capital‘s Operating Group. In his role as the Chair of Sterling’s Operations Committee, Jud leads internal continuous improvement in the operational value creation process. Jud received bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and Plan II Liberal Arts Honors at the University of Texas and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management.
Nate joined Sterling in 2019. Previously, he was Director of FP&A at Warby Parker over a period in which the company scaled revenue 10x and significantly increased profitability. He started his career as a strategy consultant at Monitor Group in New York, focusing on the consumer and industrial sectors. He received a B.A. as a double major in History and Political Science from Yale, where he was a 4-year member of the Varsity Heavyweight Crew, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Frontline Road Safety, Polychem Corporation
Gary has been associated with Sterling as a Partner or operating executive since 1987. After clerking for a Federal appeals court judge, Gary practiced law as a Partner at Vinson & Elkins. However, he wanted to run, not counsel, businesses. His first operating role was as a member of the senior management team at Cain Chemical, the 1987 Sterling investment comprised of 7 world scale ethylene and derivative plants carved-out from 5 sellers in multiple closings. The resulting billion dollar plus entity was effectively built from the ground up and provided a unique opportunity for operational improvements, lean administration, and strong revenue and margin growth. Gary was a driving force in Cain Chemical’s creation, operation, and subsequent highly profitable sale. Gary then joined Sterling as a Partner. Subsequently, he took on numerous operating roles including Executive Chairman of HydroChem and Chief Executive Officer of AXIA, both prior Sterling investments, as well as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of publicly held Wheatley TXT Corp. and as Executive Chairman of privately held Diamond Products International. Gary rejoined Sterling in 2005. He has continued to bring his many years of transactional and management experience to acquiring and transforming Sterling portfolio platforms. Gary is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and of Harvard Law School and was the Charles Henry Fiske Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge University.
Polychem Corporation, Highline Aftermarket, Safe Fleet, CST Industries, Stackpole International, BTEC Turbines and Hudson Products, with management roles at HydroChem, AXIA, and Cain Chemical
Aryan joined Sterling in 2019 from McKinsey & Company’s Houston office, where he was an Engagement Manager focused on strategy and operational improvement initiatives across both B2B and B2C businesses – including those in the industrials, energy, and retail sectors. A Houston native, Aryan received a B.A. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Rice University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Christine joined Sterling in 2019. Prior to Sterling, Christine was an Associate on the Leveraged Finance team at J.P. Morgan in Houston focusing on acquisition financing, leveraged and high yield debt originations for regional diversified middle market and corporate clients. Christine graduated with honors from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Master of Arts in International Economics and Development.
Staten joined Sterling in 2019. Prior to joining Sterling, she worked at Deloitte Tax, LLP in Houston in the Investment Management sector where she focused on mid-market and large private equity clients. Staten graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor’s in Accountancy, a Master’s of Accountancy and a minor in Finance.
Brad started his career in investment banking with Goldman Sachs, followed by a transition to private equity with Capital Royalty. Brad joined Sterling full time after graduating from business school in 2008. Since joining Sterling, Brad has had the opportunity to leverage his transaction execution experience with a strong interest in strategy, operations, and human capital. Brad played a fundamental role in driving Sterling towards a set of best practices for company evaluation and transaction execution, and now oversees the firm’s Human Capital committee. Brad received a B.B.A. in Finance and Business Honors from the University of Texas, and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.
Frontline Road Safety, Time Manufacturing, ProcessBarron, Specified Air Solutions, Express, Universal Fiber Systems and Velcon Filters
John Henry joined Sterling in 2020. Prior to Sterling, he worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Moelis & Company, where he focused on M&A, capital markets and restructuring transactions across the Energy, Infrastructure and Chemicals sectors. John Henry received a B.S. and an M.S. in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University.
Construction Supply Group, DexKo
Heather joined Sterling in January 2017. She currently provides support for Legal and Compliance, Strategy and Commercial Diligence and various Investment Professionals. Heather received her B.B.A in Business Management, cum laude from the University of Houston-Downtown.
Juan joined Sterling in 2020. Previously, he worked as an Associate with Greenbriar Equity Group, pursuing investments in the industrial and transportation sectors. Juan started his financial career as an investment banking analyst with Credit Suisse, in the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions group. Prior to entering the private sector, Juan was a high school teacher near his hometown in southern Texas, where he taught Algebra 1 and AP Computer Science to over 200 students. Juan received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.S. in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Lauren joined Sterling in 2017. Prior to Sterling, Lauren supported the CEO of Cathexis Holdings, an investing firm that focuses on oil and gas, ranches and real estate development, and commercial goods. She also brings private equity experience, having spent time at HIG Capital in Boston supporting several Managing Directors. Lauren has over 7 years of administrative support experience, including 2 years of personal assisting high net-worth individuals and families.
Kern joined Sterling in 2019. Previously, he worked at Tiger Global Management and Golden Gate Capital, analyzing investments in the technology and consumer sectors. Kern started his career at McKinsey & Company where he focused on strategy and operational improvement initiatives for industrial and manufacturing companies. Kern received a B.A. in Mathematical Economic Analysis and Managerial Studies from Rice University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School.
Kent joined Sterling in 2001 after graduating from business school. Kent has been involved with Sterling investments totaling in excess of $3.0 billion in total enterprise value during his 19 years at the firm. Kent also has strategic oversight of the firm’s lending relationships, many of which have worked with Sterling over several decades. Prior to business school, Kent managed an energy loan portfolio at Long-Term Credit Bank. Kent started his career at Coopers & Lybrand. Kent received a B.B.A. and an M.P.A. in accounting from the University of Texas and an M.B.A. with honors from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago.
Bad Boy Mowers, Artisan Design Group, Time Manufacturing, Evergreen North America, DexKo, Saxco International, B&G Crane, Stackpole International, Universal Fiber Systems, Hudson Products, Panolam Industries, Propex and North American Energy Partners
Annika joined Sterling in 2019 as the Management Company Controller. Annika joined Sterling from Trussway Manufacturing, LLC where she served as Assistant Controller. She started her career in Ernst & Young’s assurance practice. Annika is a Texas CPA. She received a B.B.A. in Accounting, with honors, and M.S. in Accounting from Texas A&M University.
Eric started his career in strategy consulting working alongside private equity firms like Sterling performing due to diligence to evaluate hundreds of industries and assets for six years prior to business school. After graduating, Eric realized that the opportunity to impact value on portfolio companies would be far greater from inside of a private equity firm. Eric joined Sterling in 2014 and now leads the firms’ commercial diligence efforts for new platforms, and works with management teams of portfolio companies to craft comprehensive strategic growth plans. He also is a member of the Transaction Evaluation Committee and helps drive continuous improvement efforts in the areas of diligence and strategy process across the firm. Eric received a B.A. with honors in Economics and Political Science from Swarthmore College, and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College.
Kevin is an Advisory Partner at The Sterling Group and the CEO of Mountaire Farms. Mountaire is one of the largest poultry companies in the U.S. with nearly 10,000 employees and $2 billion in revenue. Mountaire has been in Sherrill’s (Kevin’s wife) family for over 100 years. Prior to Mountaire, Kevin was a Partner at The Sterling Group for 17 years. At Sterling, Kevin led the firm’s investments in DexKo Global, Roofing Supply Group, Hudson Products, Hydrochem, Express Integrated Systems, and Evergreen North American. Prior to Sterling, Kevin was at Enron in the mergers and acquisitions group and led Enron’s private equity business. He also spent time at Parker and Parsley Petroleum and Stephens Inc. Kevin received a B.A. from Rhodes College and an M.B.A. with honors from the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University.
The Sterling Group is an operationally focused middle market private equity firm that builds winning businesses for customers, employees and investors.
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