Top 50: Americas Private Equity Dealmakers

“Distinction in Dealmaking”

Published exclusively by Global M&A Network, the 9th annual list spotlights 50 most accomplished, influential, and creative private equity dealmakers from the North and the Latin Americas. 126 firms and 645 professionals were evaluated for the current A-list.

All transactions are truly a team effort. Inclusion in the A-list also recognizes the firms’ leadership, investment focus and skills for executing growth transactions irrespective of deal size. We have range of identifiable criteria for making the often-hard editorial decisions.

Congratulations: Top 50 Private Equity Dealmakers, and firm’s they represent!

Philip co-leads the Knowledge and Learning Solutions Practice at The Vistria Group, a next generation private investment firm with approximately $10BN in committed capital. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of Really Great Reading, ESS, Edmentum, and MSI Information Services and is a former board member of FullBloom and Penn Foster.

Philip also serves as a board member for the University of Chicago Medical Center, P33 Chicago, WTTW (Chicago’s PBS Affiliate) and Innovation for Equity. Prior to joining Vistria, he was a principal at a $6.0BN private equity fund. He received an A.B. from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

What he most enjoys about his career... One of the most fulfilling aspects of this job is working closely with our CEO partners to lay the groundwork to drive performance. Our mandate is to drive BOTH financial performance and impact. This can take additional effort (strategy, recruiting and technology) but highly rewarding when it comes together.

Craig joined GTCR in 2000 and is currently a Managing Director of the firm. Previously, he worked in the investment banking department at Credit Suisse First Boston in both Chicago and London. He is currently a Director of Dreamscape, EaglePicher Technologies, Jet Support Services Inc., Lexipol and In addition, Craig was previously a Director of GTCR’s past investments including Avention, CAMP Systems, CellNet, DigitalNet, Fairway Outdoor, Landmark Aviation, Six3 Systems, Solera, TransFirst and VeriFone.

Craig holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BBA in finance with high honors from the Business Honors Program at the University of Texas.

Donald Bramley

Don mainly focuses on business services, distribution, specialty chemical, and industrial technology investments. For nearly 20 years Don has been involved with more than 40 of Audax’ platform companies. Prior to joining Audax, Don was a Partner with The Parthenon Group, a strategic advisory firm; a Managing Director with Meredith, Martin & Kaye, an investment management firm; FMC Corporation in their corporate development department; and at Salomon Brothers in investment banking in both New York and Hong Kong.

Don received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Middlebury College.

Thomas “TJ” Carella

TJ joined Warburg Pincus in 2016. He is a Director of Aetion, Alignment Healthcare, Ensemble, PolyPlus Transfection, Quantum Health, Summit/ CityMD, Vertice Pharma and WebPT. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, TJ was a Partner in the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs and Global Head of the Division’s Private Equity activities in the healthcare sector. While at Goldman Sachs, he led, or was actively involved in several investments across Life Sciences, Healthcare Services and Healthcare Information Technology.

TJ earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and then obtained his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Jim Carlisle

Jim manages a large, diverse portfolio and works closely with the Strategic Resource Group to drive value creation for the firm’s portfolio companies. He currently serves as the Chair of the Board for Autostore and Fortna, among other of THL’s automation investments. His prior directorships include Achievement Technologies, Agencyport Software, iHeartMedia, Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Front Line Management Companies, Ten-X Commercial and Univision Communications. Before joining the THL team, Jim worked at Goldman Sachs in the Financial Institutions Group.

Jim is a graduate of Princeton University, B.S.E. Operations Research, and M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

Brian rejoined the group in 2015. Most recently, he was a vice president at Red Ventures where he led the predictive analytics and advanced digital marketing teams. He has also worked with HOPE International in Brazzaville, Congo, and spent two years as an investment banking analyst with Harris Williams & Co., specializing in mergers and acquisitions. On behalf of Blue Point, Brian serves as a director of National OnDemand, SASE and Transtar.

Brian graduated from Washington and Lee University with a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics.

Michael Choe

Michael joined Harvard Private Capital Group, the predecessor to Charlesbank, in 1997 from McKinsey & Company, where he focused on corporate strategy work. He serves on the Board of Governors of Partners in Health, the Board of Trustees of Nativity Preparatory School of Boston and the Board of Directors of Wayfair. He lived in Seoul, Korea, before moving to Boston to attend university.

Michael is a graduate of Harvard University, B.A. in biology.

Matt Cwiertnia

Matt currently serves as a member of the Boards of Directors for the parent entities of Convergint Technologies, Ryan, CoolSys, and Resource Label Group. Mr. Cwiertnia's previous Boards of Directors experience includes Valet Living, LLC and Insight Global LLC. He also serves as a member of the Ares Private Equity Group's Corporate Opportunities and Special Opportunities Investment Committees. Prior to joining Ares in 2005, Matt worked in the Financial Sponsors Group at Credit Suisse First Boston, where he focused on providing advisory and financing services to financial sponsors and their portfolio companies.

Matt holds B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of California Los Angeles in Business Economics and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management, where he graduated as a Carter Fellow.

John Danhakl

John joined LGP in 1995. Prior to LGP, John was a Managing Director in the Los Angeles office of DLJ, which he joined in 1990, and where he worked extensively with LGP as its lead investment banker. Prior to DLJ, John was a Vice President in corporate finance at Drexel Burnham Lambert from 1985 to 1990.

John earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

José Feliciano

José founded Clearlake Capital Group in 2006. In addition to his investing responsibilities, he is responsible for the day-to day management of the firm. Prior to co-founding Clearlake, he was a Partner and member of the investment committee at Tennenbaum Capital Partners, a senior executive at govWorks, Inc., and started his career in investment banking in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Finance Groups at Goldman, Sachs & Co.

José graduated with High Honors from Princeton University, where he received a B.S. in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. He received his M.B.A. from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.