MiddleGround Capital Announces Promotions and New Partners
Continued Investment in Team to Drive Long-Term Success
MiddleGround has promoted several of its team members to Partner and C-Level positions. In terms of the Partner promotions specifically, the firm has expanded its Partnership to six, which now provides the Partnership with an equal representation of male and female members. These promotions are for individuals who bring decades of experience, both within private equity investing as well as business development and investor relations.
- Scot Duncan, who has worked with Stewart for over 25 years, has assumed the duties of Chief Operating Officer of the firm. In addition to his responsibilities as the Head of the Operating Team, Duncan is also responsible for the firm’s Strategic Services, which includes, Human Capital, Office Management, Compliance, Legal, Data Analytics, ESG and IT. Duncan founded the firm alongside Stewart in 2018, having also worked alongside him at Toyota Motor Corporation for 12 years.
- Justin W. Steil, who was previously a Managing Director on the Investment Team and Heads the New York Transaction Team and co-leads the firm’s Mobility Opportunity Fund, has been promoted to Partner. Steil brings two decades of private equity investing experience to his new role and will remain based in New York. Before joining MiddleGround, Steil served as a Managing Director in the private equity business of Evercore and, more recently, as a Managing Director on the Private Capital team of PineBridge Investments. Earlier in his career, Steil worked in the investment banking division of Merrill Lynch & Co. Steil earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with High Distinction from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts in Economics from New York University. He also studied public policy at New York University’s Wagner School.
- Christen Paras, who was previously Managing Director has been promoted to Partner. Paras will co-lead the North American Investment Team, which includes the Transaction Teams in both New York and Lexington as well as Business Development. In her new role, Paras will continue to focus on transaction sourcing and will assume responsibilities for deal execution as well as overall management of the Investment Team. Paras joined the firm from CoBe Capital, where she served as the Head of Global Business Development. Prior to CoBe Capital, she was a Managing Director at Orion Consultants, where she advised investment banks on managing their institutional relationships and optimizing market positioning. Paras received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Jamie Meurer, who serves as the Chief Financial Officer of the firm, will now assume responsibility for Fund Accounting in addition to her current responsibilities. Meurer is responsible for managing all aspects of corporate and fund accounting, as well as managing MiddleGround’s back office. Prior to joining MiddleGround, Meurer served as the Director of Fund and Corporate Accounting at Viking Partners, a real estate private equity firm based in Cincinnati, OH. Meurer is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and a CPA.
MiddleGround also announced the promotion of three senior leaders to the title of Managing Director. In light of these additions, the Executive Team at MiddleGround is now 45% women.
- Mike Bridge, who was previously a Director, ESG & Data Analytics, has been promoted to Managing Director of ESG & Data Analytics. Prior to MiddleGround, he worked for nearly two decades with Toyota Motor Corporation. Bridge graduated from the University of Louisville with his MBA in Business Administration and Masters in Engineering.
- Mandy Kamm, who was previously Director of Investor Relations, has been promoted to Managing Director of Fund Operations. In addition to her responsibilities leading the Investor Relations Team, Kamm will also manage the Marketing Team and for Valuation of the Fund(s) Investments. Kamm joined the firm with over 10 years of experience managing investment execution across global buyouts, growth equity, venture capital, private credit, and infrastructure. Most recently, she was an Investment Officer with the Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado.
- Stan Stanford, who was previously a Director on the Operations Team, has been promoted to Managing Director of the Operations Team. Stanford will oversee operations for a large portion of MiddleGround Capital’s portfolio and will be based in Kentucky. Previously, Stanford worked alongside Stewart and Duncan at Toyota Motor Corporation. He also spent nearly a decade at Parker Hannifin and most recently held the role of General Manager at Fluid System Connectors Division.
In addition to the Executive Team promotions, MiddleGround also promoted members of the firm to the Senior Management Team, who bring a collective full suite of expertise across operations, investment execution, due diligence, investor relations, and more. This includes: Krissie Bailey, who was previously Vice President and member of the Senior Management Team, has been promoted to Director & Head of Human Capital (HR); Dyana Baurley, who was previously Vice President, Business Development, has been promoted to Director, North American Business Development and joins the Senior Management Team; Ryan McComb, who was previously a Vice President on the Investment Team and a member of the Senior Management Team, was promoted to Director & Head of the Investment Team in Kentucky; Marty Sjoquist, who was previously Vice President on the Investment Team, has been promoted to Director on the Investment Team and joins the Senior Management Team; Amy Florence, who was previously the Management Company Controller, was promoted to Vice President of Corporate Accounting and joins the Senior Management Team; Joe Fields-Elswick, who is Chief of Staff, joins the Senior Management Team; Jennifer Cohagen, who is the Fund Controller joins the Senior Management Team; Madelyn Tuweiler, who is a Vice President and leads our ESG Team joins the Senior Management Team; Shelby Hundley, who is a Vice President on the Human Capital Team joins the Senior Management Team.
“2022 was a strong year of expansion at MiddleGround, reflected in steady growth across all aspects of our firm and I couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishment of the entire team,” added Stewart. “Over the course of the past year, we hired 51 employees, deployed $2.1bn of capital, $450M of co-investment deployed and maintained a work culture that is second to none within our industry. This impressive list of individuals are well deserving of their promotions as each person has made vital contributions to our firm that are enabling us to scale our operations and further serve our investors and fund’s portfolio investments. Their insights, expertise and values embody everything we stand for at MiddleGround, and I’m confident their leadership will position the firm to further maximize every opportunity. We are proud to recognize the best and brightest at our firm who demonstrate our amazing diversity of talent.”