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.

Brian Baker

Brian serves as the Regional Head of North America for Brookfield’s Infrastructure Group. In this role, he is responsible for evaluating investment opportunities, including the oversight and investment strategy in the region. Prior to joining Brookfield in 2007, he was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for several oil and gas production companies in Western Canada. He was previously a Partner at Collins Barrow Chartered Accountants, where he focused on advisory work in the oil and gas sector.

Brian holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary and is a Chartered Professional Accountant.

Brent Belzberg

Brent formed TorQuest in 2002 following the 2001 sale of Harrowston, Inc., a publicly traded investment fund he founded to invest in and build businesses in 1992. Outside TorQuest, Brent serves as a Director of Sinai Health System, having previously acted as Chair. He is a member of the Investment Advisory Committee of the University of Toronto. Brent’s previous outside directorships include CIBC, O&Y REIT and Four Seasons Hotels. Brent was President of First City Financial Corporation from 1991–1993. In 2018, Brent was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada for his work as a business leader and philanthropist.

Brent received a B.Comm. from Queen’s University in 1972 and a J.D. from the University of Toronto in 1975.

Sam Blaichman

Sam focuses on making direct, long-term investments in private companies and leads our North American Direct Private Equity business. Prior to joining CPP Investments in 2007, Sam worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company and in the Corporate Finance and Assurance groups at PwC. He currently serves on the board of Ascot Group, Berlin Packaging and Wilton Re and previously served on the boards of The Gates Corporation and Air Distribution Technologies.

Sam holds a B. Comm. From McGill University and an MBA from Ivey Business School. He is a CFA Charter holder and a Chartered Professional Accountant.

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.