Chicago, IL, February 16, 2021 – Wind Point Partners, a leading Chicago-based private equity firm, today announced the recent closing of the firm’s ninth fund, Wind Point Partners IX (“Fund IX”), with approximately $1.5 billion in total commitments, including commitments from the General Partner and affiliates. The fundraise closed at the hard cap of $1.4 billion in Limited Partner commitments and represents Wind Point’s largest fund to date. Limited Partner commitments in Fund IX increased by $450 million, or nearly 50%, as compared to Wind Point’s 2016 predecessor fund. The Fund IX investor base includes a diverse set of leading institutional investors in North America, Europe, and Australia, spanning public and corporate pension plans, insurance companies, family offices, and endowments and foundations. The closing of Fund IX brings Wind Point’s total assets under management to approximately $3.3 billion.
Wind Point targets investments in well-positioned middle market companies that participate within the consumer products, industrial products and business services sectors. The firm brings considerable executive resources to bear with each investment opportunity, providing valuable network access, domain expertise and unique value creation insights. Wind Point’s longtime reputation as a preferred partner to family and entrepreneur-owned businesses looking for more than just capital is supported by a track record spanning more than 400 platform and add-on acquisitions across nine private equity funds.
“We are incredibly thankful for the support we received from a high-quality group of existing and new investors in Fund IX,” said Nathan Brown, Managing Director at Wind Point. “The success of this fundraise is a testament to the strength and depth of our team, which we have continued to invest behind to support Wind Point’s growth. Our leadership team has worked together for nearly two decades and we have never been more excited about the firm’s culture and strong positioning.”
Wind Point’s investment team is led by six Managing Directors with an average Wind Point tenure of 17 years. Since the formation of the firm’s prior fund, considerable depth has been added and developed within the organization, including 15 internal promotions, five additional investment professionals at the Vice President level, a Chief Talent Officer, and Head of Investor Relations.
A key differentiator in Wind Point’s investment approach is the utilization of an extensive executive network that provides valuable insights to accelerate equity value creation for portfolio companies. These executive advisors, largely former CEOs of public and private companies, are invited to be members of the firm’s Executive Advisor Partner (“EAP”) network with the raising of each new fund. Wind Point EAPs committed over $23 million to Fund IX and will make direct investments in the businesses in which they are involved alongside Wind Point.
“We have always believed that executive talent and leadership play a disproportionate role in the success of an enterprise. Through our EAP network, we have C-suite access to 76% of S&P 500 companies within our targeted sectors, providing a tremendous advantage for the middle market companies with which we partner”, noted Alex Washington, Managing Director at Wind Point. “We also recognize the tremendous importance of diversity, equity and inclusion within our firm and our portfolio companies. As a signatory to the Institutional Limited Partners Association’s Diversity in Action Initiative, we are proud to say that 43% of new EAP additions with Fund IX comprise executives of diverse backgrounds.”
Paul Peterson, Managing Director at Wind Point, commented, “Our team is extremely excited about the opportunity to continue deploying Fund IX. We’ve committed approximately 40% of the fund so far and continue to see an attractive set of opportunities to execute our proven strategy of driving fundamental business transformation in well-positioned middle market businesses through leadership enhancement.” Mr. Peterson added, “The management teams across our portfolio have done a phenomenal job navigating a challenging environment over the last year. As a result, our portfolio has remained quite resilient, which was clearly valued by investors evaluating Fund IX.”
Fund IX has completed five platform acquisitions to date, including U.S. Nonwovens, Tropicale Foods, CTSI, RTIC and Handgards. Wind Point has assisted portfolio company management teams in completing more than 80 strategic add-on acquisitions across the firm’s prior two funds. Notable realizations for Wind Point since 2019 include Evans Food Group, Paragon Films and Valicor Environmental Services.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel and Evercore Private Funds Group served as exclusive placement agent.