Move Over, Silicon Valley: Utah Has Arrived BY ILAN MOCHARI When it comes to staggering sums of venture capital raised in 2014, there's... ...
- Fraser BullockFounder/Managing Director
Fraser Bullock is a Co-founder of Sorenson Capital and a Managing Director. He was an original partner of Bain Capital from 1984 to 1986 and prior to that worked as a Manager at Bain & Company.
Fraser was Chairman of the Board of Omniture through its eventual sale to Adobe for $1.8 billion. He was an early investor in Omniture, followed later by an investment by Sorenson Capital. Fraser assisted in setting strategy, mentoring the CEO, reviewing acquisitions and taking the company public.
Fraser led the following investments by Sorenson Capital:
-Omniture (see above)
-Mindshare Technologies, serves on the Board. He assisted Mindshare in the acquisition of Empathica, leading to Mindshare’s dominance in the retail, food and call center verticals in its marketplace.
-Imagine Learning, serves on the Board. He assisted in setting the direction to dramatically scale the business to a position of leadership in its sector.
-Health Catalyst, Chairman of the Board
-Bamboo HR, serves on the Board.
-Wilson Electronics, serves on the Board
-Mity Enterprises (sold to Prospect), former Chairman of the Board
-Erickson Construction (sold to MASCO), former Chairman
-Provo Craft (sold to BAML), former Chairman
-Jet Set Sports
-LSI (sold to Bob Barker Inc), former Chairman
-Goal Zero, serves as Chairman
-Tru Hearing, serves on the Board
Fraser assisted on the following investments:
-NCS, served on the Board (sold to Advent)
Fraser was the President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games of 2002. He joined the Organizing Committee in May of 1999 and acted as its Chief Operating Officer until his appointment as President and CEO in April 2002. As COO, Fraser directed Games Operations, and as CFO, he played a key role in balancing the budget of $1.31 billion for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, ultimately generating a $100 million profit. The Salt Lake Games are widely recognized as one of the most successful and best-operated in history.
In 1996, Fraser founded Alpine Consolidated, LLC, a company specializing in effecting business consolidations, and served as a Managing Director until 2002. In this capacity, Fraser sourced companies for consolidation, raised the requisite money, and took two companies public.
Fraser received a Master of Business Administration and a B.A. in Economics from Brigham Young University.Ron MikaFounder/Managing Director
Ron Mika was a co-founder of the Firm in 2002 and is a Managing Director of the Firm. His responsibilities have included all aspects of executing and harvesting private equity deals including sourcing deals, negotiating documents, structuring, managing and performing due diligence, hiring new management when needed, financing the acquisitions, assisting portfolio businesses in developing market strategies and executing operational improvements, board of directors involvement, exiting investments, and investment administration.
During the years 2008 and 2009 Mr. Mika was also a Managing Director at Huntsman Gay Global Capital (“HGGC”); he was also a co-founder of HGGC. He spent approximately 50% of his time at each of Sorenson Capital and HGGC during this period. In early 2010 Mr. Mika returned to spending 100% of his time at Sorenson Capital and became a special limited partner of HGGC. While at HGGC he participated in all aspects of starting the business including forming the fund, hiring personnel, fundraising and similar activities. Mr. Mika also served on the Investment Committee during his tenure.
Mr. Mika joined Bain Capital in 1989 and was a Managing Director of the firm from 1996 through the founding of Sorenson Capital Partners in 2002. His areas of investment emphasis included: manufacturing, automotive supply, chemicals, consumer products, distribution, scientific equipment, retail, and packaging in small and middle-market sized businesses.
While at Bain Capital, Mr. Mika was instrumental in executing a series of investments in automotive component manufacturing and in the flexible packaging distribution industry, in addition to acquisitions in other industry verticals. In the automotive sector he initiated and led the analysis of the OEM supply market which resulted in a unique understanding of that market and its sectors. Mr. Mika developed relationships with automotive component supply executives, OEM managers, automotive business brokers and automotive investment bankers which led to a number of proactive and proprietary opportunities to invest in the sector. In the flexible packaging distribution sector he played a key role in the consolidation of the industry. Following the initial acquisition of a core platform business the company proceeded to acquire other competitors to become the leader in the industry over a two year period. Strong management and these prudent add-on acquisitions led to a successful investment for Bain Capital.
In his nearly 25 years in the private equity industry, Mr. Mika has developed a broad base of contacts including mid-market business brokers, fund-less sponsors, senior managers, small and mid-cap buyout funds, financing sources, consultants and other advisors who have been an important source of small and mid-market deal flow. In addition, these contacts will be in a position to assist in other aspects of effective execution of the portfolio’s business plan, namely in due diligence, efficient and low cost financing, bringing strong management to bear and exiting investments.
In addition to his deal participation described above, Mr. Mika has been actively involved in all aspects of managing private equity investments including administration, fund raising, human resources, recruiting, strategy development, and investor relations.
Prior to joining Bain Capital, Mr. Mika was an Associate Consultant / Consultant at Bain & Company from 1985 to 1987 where he was charged with analyzing strategic position, operational implementation and merger and acquisition structuring for consumer products, pharmaceutical, media, natural resources, transportation and lodging companies.
Mr. Mika received a Master of Business Administration degree with honors from the Harvard Business School in 1989 and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University in 1985.Tim LaytonFounder/Managing Director
Tim Layton is a Co-founder of Sorenson Capital and Managing Director.
Imagine Learning (Digital Education/Software)
Atlas Aerospace (Aerospace manufacturing)
PMC/WASI (Aerospace manufacturing)
Viton (Aerospace manufacturing)
Lifeport (Aerospace manufacturing)
Wilson Electronics (Consumer Electronics/Manufacturing)
M&M/ ESS (Energy)
Tim heads up Sorenson Capital’s Performance Group as well as originates and processes investments. The Performance Group is a team of seasoned Operating Partners that assists Sorenson Capital’s portfolio companies with growth strategies, operational and process improvements and add-on acquisitions. He has extensive experience in a wide range of technology, manufacturing, aerospace, energy, health care, consumer products and franchise businesses.
Prior to SCP Tim was CEO of Medeco Security Lock, the world leader in ultra-secure physical security products. He was also Managing Director of Alpine Consolidated, a firm specializing in industry consolidations. He also served as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Hillenbrand Industries where he led the strategic planning and implementation process for the corporation and the due diligence process for a number of successful acquisitions in the health care and security businesses.
Tim graduated first in his MBA class at Brigham Young University, and also graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Statistics and a Minor in Economics from Brigham Young University.
Luke SorensonManaging Director
Luke Sorenson is a Managing Director of Sorenson Capital and heads the Aerospace team within the firm.
– Product Manufacturing Corporation (consolidated as Atlas Aerospace), served on the board
– Wichita Aerospace Spares (consolidated as Atlas Aerospace), served on the board
– LifePort, served on the Board (sold to United Technologies)
– Custom Control Concepts, serves as Chairman
– SCP Aero (holding company of aerospace consolidation), serves as Chairman
• Roberts Tool Company (RTC)
• JWD Machine
• Excel Manufacturing
• Bora Engineering
• Lean Solutions
– Provo Craft (sold to BAML), served on the Board
– GoalZero (sold to NRG), served on the Board
– Michael’s Finer Meats (sold to Chef’s Warehouse), served on the Board
Prior to Sorenson Capital, Luke served in a variety of industries and functions through the Sorenson Companies, including Sorenson Media (video compression software), Sorenson Communications (video relay services), and Sorenson Development (real estate development). Luke also served as a director for Microject, a medical device company, and as an advisory board member for the University Venture Fund.
Luke is an advocate for social impact investing and serves as a director at the Sorenson Impact Foundation.
Luke received a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Accounting from Brigham Young University.Mark LudwigManaging Director
Mark Ludwig joined Sorenson Capital in 2003 and has worked on many of Sorenson Capital’s investments. His responsibilities have included all aspects of executing and harvesting private equity deals, as well as administrative operations. In the last few years, Mark led or co-led the investments in Mindshare Technologies, NCS Energy Services, Custom Control Concepts, Mindshare Technologies / Empathica, Nexmo, AtTask, Zarbee’s Naturals, Pluralsight, and Experticity. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and led the exit process for NCS Energy Services. Including NCS Energy Services, he has served or currently serves as a member of the board of directors for six of Sorenson Capital’s portfolio companies.
Prior to joining Sorenson Capital, Mark was an Associate Consultant with Bain & Company. At Bain & Company, Mark served clients in the private equity, retail, home services, distribution, shipping, and alternative energy industries. His selected consulting experience includes growth strategy, operational efficiency, due diligence, investment fund development and valuation, and corporate turnaround execution. Based in Bain & Company’s Dallas office, Mark worked in the United States, Mexico, and Europe.
Mark received a Master of Business Administration with Honors from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Russian from Brigham Young University, graduating summa cum laude.LeGrand LewisPrincipal
LeGrand Lewis joined the firm in 2008. He has had extensive experience in deal origination, business and financial due diligence, deal negotiations, transaction structuring, and portfolio management. LeGrand led or co-led the investments in Wilson Electronics, RTC, ReBath, and IDC as well as add-on acquisitions at IDC and RTC. He has also been involved in the realizations of LifePort and Mity. LeGrand serves as a member of the board of directors for RTC, Suncrest Solar, ReBath, IDC and serves as the Chairman of the Board for Wilson Electronics. He is a member of the firm’s aerospace and defense practice.
Prior to joining Sorenson Capital, LeGrand worked for Bain & Company in Dallas, TX. At Bain & Company, he served clients in the aerospace manufacturing, telecommunications, oil & gas, retail, airline, food processing and chemicals industries. Projects spanned a wide range of capabilities including corporate strategy, operational improvement, transaction due diligence, merger integration, corporate turnaround, and complexity management. Prior to Bain, LeGrand worked for Capmark Financial Group in Philadelphia, PA leading projects in real estate private equity, commercial real estate financing, and loan processing. He also spent three years in Silicon Valley at a boutique investment bank and at a technology focused venture capital fund. LeGrand received a Masters of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Accounting from Brigham Young University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Peter Sturgeon joined the firm as an Associate in 2006. During his time with Sorenson Capital, he has worked on investments in oil and gas, technology, consumer goods, and aerospace. Specifically, Peter led the realizations of Southeast Directional Drilling, M&M Pipeline, Energy Services South, and RWI Construction. Also, he was an integral team member on investments including Custom Control Concepts, NCS Energy Services, Empathica, and RWI Construction. Prior to joining Sorenson Capital, Mr. Sturgeon was an Associate with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). While at BCG, he worked in the oil and gas, transportation, and power generation industries. He worked closely with clients’ senior management on projects that included asset optimization, pricing strategy, customer segmentation, global trading strategy, process redesign, and operational improvement.
Peter received a Master of Business Administration degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar. He graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Political Science.
Mr. Roberts focuses on deal origination for Sorenson Capital. Previously, he was a Vice President of Institutional Client Services at Wasatch Advisors. Before Wasatch, Mr. Roberts held senior-level investment banking positions at UBS Warburg, SoundView Technology Group and Montgomery Securities (now BofA Merrill Lynch) concentrating primarily on the technology and real estate sectors. He began his career as a consultant in the real estate advisory group at Kenneth Leventhal & Company (now Ernst & Young).
Mr. Roberts received a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations.Matt MarshVice President
Matt Marsh joined the Sorenson Capital team in 2011 and is a member of the technology and growth equity investment teams. His focus areas cover a range of technology verticals, including enterprise software (including CRM, HCM, cybersecurity and communications), internet, digital media, mobile technology and clean technology.
Matt’s early career included time with the Global Technology Group of UBS Investment Bank in San Francisco, California. At UBS, Matt provided advisory services for mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, capital raises, and leveraged transactions. His clients included some of the most prominent firms in their respective technology verticals, including internet, software, digital media, telecommunications equipment and clean technology.
Matt received a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School, graduating as the 2009 Joseph P. Wharton award recipient. He also received an M.A. in International Relations from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, and B.A. degrees in Finance and Spanish from the University of Utah, where he graduated with honors.
Brady BroadbentVice President
Brady joined Sorenson Capital in 2008 and has facilitated (as a member of the deal team) nearly a third of the Fund II investments across various industries, including healthcare (TruHearing), software (Mindshare/Empathica), technology (Wilson Electronics), and energy (SEDD / M&M Pipeline), among others. Prior to joining the Sorenson team, he worked as an associate with L.E.K. Consulting at the firm’s U.S. headquarters in Boston. While with L.E.K., Brady’s work included engagements in the private equity, aerospace, digital media, publishing, healthcare, biotechnology, and retail industries. Such engagements included casework focused on the evaluation of strategic acquisitions, international growth strategy development (U.S. and Europe), merger litigation support, corporate turnaround strategy, and product development support.
Brady left the firm in 2010 to attend business school and returned in the fall of 2012. He received a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and as a student launched an award-winning technology startup. Brady graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Business Management, emphasis in Entrepreneurship, from Brigham Young University.
Mark BeanSenior Associate
Mark Bean joined Sorenson Capital as an Associate in 2010. He has worked on investments in technology, aerospace, energy and consumer goods. Within the firm’s portfolio, Mark has been involved with companies including Custom Control Concepts, Imagine Learning, and RWI Construction. Prior to joining Sorenson Capital, Mark was an Associate Consultant with L.E.K. Consulting in Boston. While at L.E.K., Mark worked in industries including aerospace, consumer goods, publishing & media, automotive, and financial services. The engagements included international and early-stage growth strategies, growth equity & LBO due diligence, customer segmentation and pricing strategy.
Mark received a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School and a B.A. in Economics from Brigham Young University.
Len BlackwellOperating Partner
Prior to joining Sorenson Capital’s Performance Group, Mr. Blackwell divided his twenty years of experience between consulting and executive positions; including CEO, operations, marketing, sales and general management of organizations needing rapid improvement. His specialty is creating rapid process transformations that improve a company’s profitability, cycle time, cost structure, working capital, information systems, and customer satisfaction. Having led multiple organizations through extensive change programs, he brings a unique perspective of hands-on experience. In addition, he has operational experience in Asia and Costa Rica. As a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, he led billion dollar companies through complex restructurings. Mr. Blackwell is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP), and active member of Young Presidents Organization. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Duke University.Brent RobinsonOperating Partner
Prior to joining Sorenson Capital’s Performance Group, Mr. Robinson was a Founder and Managing Director of The Durian Group, a professional services consulting company specializing in business strategy and information technology for small businesses. Previously, Mr. Robinson was a Founder and Managing Director of Alpine Consolidated, which specialized in creating scale enterprises through business consolidation. Prior to forming Alpine, he served as Senior Vice President of Business Development for VISA Interactive, where his responsibilities included strategic partnerships, corporate planning and product development. He was also a Founder and Vice President of Business Development for US Order, a smart phone and electronic transaction processing company. Brent also served as Vice President of WorldCorp, where he assisted in a major turnaround of this airline company, and in production and operations management for Varian Associates, an applied physics and manufacturing company.
Mr. Robinson holds an M.B.A. from the University of Santa Clara, and a Bachelor of Science, cum laude, from the University of Utah.Donald BlohmOperating Partner
Don joined Sorenson Capital in 2010 as a Vice-President in the Performance Group and is currently an Operating Partner. Prior to joining the firm, he spent five years in operations consulting and more than twenty-five years in operational executive roles, having had P&L responsibility for numerous operations in North and South America, Europe, India and Australia.
Don’s assignments at Sorenson Capital include the following:
•Chief Operating Officer at Mity-Lite
•Chief Operating Officer at ReBath
•Advisor to NCS (assisted in establishing scalable supply chain)
•Chief Operating Office at Goal Zero
•Chief Operating Office at Wilson Electronics
•Advisor on operational issues at Provo Craft; Custom Control Concepts
Don has been involved in evaluating several potential acquisitions and in integrating operations post-close. His operations experience crosses over a number of industrial markets, including mining, oil and gas, power, chemical, and various consumer products. His particular expertise is in identification and implementation of operational improvements that impact bottom-line results.
Mr. Blohm holds a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering from Utah State University and is a registered professional engineer.David DameOperating Partner
Mr. Dame brings 29 years of operating, consulting and investing experience to Sorenson Capital. His operating career included functional leadership roles in sales, marketing, R&D and services. This led to numerous P&L executive positions ranging from small $20 million entities to large billion dollar entities.
Mr. Dame’s consulting career spanned 5 years where he co-founded a multi-million dollar Strategy Consulting business which was eventually merged into the IBM Consulting Group. As a Principal in the firm he applied management consulting and information engineering disciplines to uncover the root causes of strategic business issues and develop solutions integrating the right people, processes and Information Technology (IT). Clients spanned the Health, Manufacturing and Energy industries.
His investing career has spanned 12 years. He was a Partner with KPP a $700 million private investment group focused on the manufacturing, distribution and service industries. While at KPP he also provided operational support to portfolio companies to help them improve business performance. Additionally, Mr. Dame was a Managing Director at KVP, a technology growth equity fund with $175 million under management, where he focused on software investments. Most recently, and just prior to joining Sorenson Capital, Mr. Dame worked as a Managing Director at Huntsman Gay Global Capital, focusing on operational portfolio support and growth equity investments.
Mr. Dame received his M.B.A with Honors from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Computer Science from Brigham Young University.Brian DunnChief Financial Officer
Mr. Dunn joined Sorenson Capital as CFO in 2010. Previously, he was CFO of Abacus Private Equity, a leading independent investment firm that has been acquiring Canadian and international corporations since 1996. Abacus closed over $2 billion in transactions during Mr. Dunn’s five-year tenure as CFO. Prior to Abacus, Mr. Dunn was Executive Director of Finance for Verizon Information Services, which has operations internationally and throughout the United States. In that position, he oversaw the financial aspects for acquisitions, mergers, and divestitures, including valuations, due diligence, financing, and integration of acquired operations. Mr. Dunn’s career spans 25 years, and includes PriceWaterhouseCoopers, US WEST, and an international stint with Telia in Stockholm, Sweden. He has served on various corporate boards throughout North America, Europe, and Latin America.
Mr. Dunn is a CPA and earned both Masters and Bachelor degrees in Accountancy from Brigham Young University. He also received an MBA degree from California Coast University.Tom PierceDirector- Tax
Prior to joining Sorenson Capital in 2010, Mr. Pierce worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”). Mr. Pierce worked in the Los Angeles and Salt Lake City offices of PwC. At PwC, Mr. Pierce worked with clients in the private equity, consumer products, software, hospitality, and manufacturing industries. In Los Angeles, Mr. Pierce worked in the mergers and acquisitions group and consulted with his clients on various domestic and international tax issues. In Salt Lake City, Mr. Pierce provided tax compliance and tax consulting services to a variety of clients including private equity funds and their portfolio companies.
Mr. Pierce received a Masters of Accountancy and a BS in Accounting from Brigham Young University, graduating magna cum laude. Mr. Pierce is a licensed CPA in California and Utah.Kellie RobbinsPortfolio & Transaction Mgr.
Prior to joining Sorenson Capital in 2008, Ms. Robbins was a Manager in the Transaction Advisory Services practice at Ernst & Young. At Ernst & Young, Ms. Robbins specialized in providing financial due diligence services to private equity firms and Fortune 500 companies. She advised on over 45 transactions including buyouts, carve-outs, roll-ups and private investments in public entities with purchase prices ranging from $75.0 million to over $5.0 billion. Additionally, Ms. Robbins analyzed financial and operational results of target companies through review of financial records and interviews with senior management, including finance, operations, human resources and marketing disciplines.
Ms. Robbins received a Master of Business Administration, as an Eccles fellow, and a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Utah. She is a licensed CPA in the state of Utah.Blaine FarrAssociate
Prior to joining Sorenson Capital, Mr. Farr was a Consultant with Monitor Group in the San Francisco office. While at Monitor, he served clients in the technology, industrial and healthcare industries. Mr. Farr’s consulting experiences included growth strategy, organizational design, product development and launch, and acquisition strategy. He has also founded an ecommerce and social media startup.
Mr. Farr graduated magna cum laude with a Masters in Accountancy from Brigham Young University and is a licensed CPA in the state of Colorado. He is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia.Mark NeiderAssociate
Prior to joining Sorenson Capital in 2013, Mr. Neider was an Analyst in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York City. At Goldman, Mr. Neider provided financial advisory services focused on mergers and acquisitions, equity offerings in public and private markets, debt offerings, and general corporate strategy to clients in the Energy, Power & Utility, Chemicals, and Metals & Mining industries.
Mr. Neider graduated with a B.S. in Accounting and a Minor in Mathematics from Brigham Young University.Chris SheltonAssociate
Prior to joining Sorenson Capital, Mr. Shelton was a Financial Analyst at Citigroup in San Francisco. While at Citigroup, Mr. Shelton was a member of the Global Technology Group and worked with clients in the Internet, software, semiconductor, communications equipment and clean technology industries. His investment banking experience included mergers and acquisitions and capital raising initiatives including debt and equity.
Mr. Shelton graduated with a B.S. in Finance from Brigham Young University.Daniel AshAssociate
Prior to joining Sorenson Capital in 2013, Mr. Ash was an Associate Consultant in the Dallas office of Bain & Company. While at Bain, Mr. Ash served clients in the airline, technology, retail, and oil & gas industries. He also spent time on Bain’s macro trends group, analyzing the global fallout after the recent financial crisis. Mr. Ash’s consulting experience includes corporate strategy, acquisition due diligence, process improvement, organizational design, and business transformation.
Mr. Ash graduated summa cum laude, with honors, from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Philosophy.Aaron LewisAssociate
Prior to joining Sorenson Capital in 2014, Mr. Lewis was an Associate Consultant in the Dallas office for Bain & Company. While at Bain, Mr. Lewis served clients in the technology and oil & gas industries. Mr. Lewis’s consulting experience includes corporate strategy, organizational design, performance management, customer strategy and marketing, and business transformation.
Mr. Lewis graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Economics and minors in Strategy and Political Science.Burke DavisAssociate
Prior to joining Sorenson Capital, Mr. Davis was a Senior Financial Analyst at the Open Innovation Center within Samsung Electronics. While at Samsung, Mr. Davis was a member of the Strategic Acquisitions group, facilitating acquisitions of technology companies focused in the Mobile, Video, Connected Health, and Internet of Things verticals.
Before Samsung, Mr. Davis was a Financial Analyst with Citigroup’s Global Technology Group based in San Francisco. While at Citigroup, Mr. Davis worked with corporate clients in the software, internet, semiconductor, and communication equipment verticals. His investment banking experience included advising on mergers and acquisitions with deal values totaling over $2 billion as well as raising over $5 billion in debt and equity on behalf of clients.
Mr. Davis graduated with a B.S. in Accounting from Brigham Young University. He is fluent in Korean.