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In 2010, Brightwood was founded by Damien Dwin, former Head of North American Special Opportunities for Credit Suisse, and Sengal Selassie, former Head of U.S. Merchant Banking Funds for Société Générale and Cowen Capital, to pursue investment opportunities in the under-served lower middle market. In 2011, Brightwood raised its first fund, a Small Business Investment Company, dedicated to this purpose.
Since its founding in 2010, Brightwood has invested in dozens of small to medium-sized businesses.
Brightwood’s investor base includes leading public and private pension funds, endowments, foundations, and high net worth individuals. They enjoy long-standing relationships with many of their limited partners and view these relationships as a key part of their business model. All members of the Brightwood team have invested capital alongside their limited partners, providing alignment of interest with their investors.
Brightwood pursues the highest industry standards as articulated by the Institutional Limited Partner Association (ILPA) guidelines. They engage top tier service providers to obtain an objective view on the value of their investments, to conduct due diligence on key matters, and to leverage best practices from their third-party administrator.
The firm’s culture and core values
They have worked hard to achieve a culture defined by passion, thoughtfulness, collaboration, and discipline.
The firm invests with an owner mindset. At Brightwood, every employee and advisor is an investor, creating unparalleled alignment of interests. They believe capital preservation is paramount.
Brightwood’s core focus is to support small and medium-sized U.S. businesses which they believe will continue to prosper, create more jobs, and help the entrepreneurial engines of their country grow. They focus on investments in established private companies with $5 million to $75 million of EBITDA across five industry verticals: Technology and Telecom, Energy, Business Services, Healthcare, and Franchising.
At Brightwood, they strive to exceed industry standards of compliance and transparency. They believe in continuous dialogue with their LPs, including active communication on their progress, an exchange of ideas, and the sharing of market insights.
With over 80 years of collective investment experience, Brightwood possesses a unique set of attributes–exceptional alignment of interests, industry leading infrastructure, and a disciplined focus on U.S. small and medium-sized U.S. enterprises.
With over $1 billion of assets under management across three funds, Brightwood provides capital to SMEs. They focus on the “lower middle market,” characterized by companies with EBITDA of $5 million to $75 million, and actively seek opportunities across five industry verticals: Technology and Telecom, Energy, Business Services, Healthcare, and Franchising.
Brightwood invests in a variety of debt and equity securities including:
- senior secured and second lien loans
- subordinated debt (mezzanine debt)
- preferred and common equity.
On a stand-alone basis, they can provide up to $75 million of financing, and together with co-investors, take positions in excess of $150 million.