July 10, 2013
New PE firm Bridge has Canadian connections
Posted with permission from Globe and Mail
The private-equity firm includes former finance minister John Manley on its advisory board

There's a new private-equity firm launching to buy technology and financial services companies, and it comes with a strong Canadian pedigree.

Bridge Growth Partners will be run from the U.S., but it has Canadian content in its management team and on its advisory board.

The most recognizable names might be the Manleys, at least in Canada. Tom Manley, former chief financial officer of Ottawa-based software company Cognos Inc., will be a senior managing director. John Manley, the former federal finance minister (and Tom's cousin), is on the advisory board. Two other members of the advisory board have Canadian connections. Nanci Caldwell is from eastern Ontario, and Rob Ashe was chief executive of Cognos.

Bridge's management team includes founding principals Sander Levy, Alok Singh and Kevin Parker. Mr. Levy and Mr. Singh were most recently managing partners at big investment firms. Mr. Parker is a veteran software executive. All four found themselves at a point in their careers where they could launch something of their own, and went for it.

As a group they are "very focused on investments in technology and in the financial services sector," said Tom Manley, who spoke in an interview from California.

The firm has yet to set a size for its first fund, but is out actively fundraising. You can expect to see them on this side of the border, given their relationships on the company side and on the investor side.

"The Canadian market is certainly a strategic focus for us," he said.

Reprinted from Globe and Mail, in the "Streetwise" section.

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