Long term horizons

We are a trusted partner for building outstanding businesses over the long term
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Who You Are

You are the builder of a great company

  • Your success is based on innovation and a relentless focus on execution.
  • Your people – their communities, and the environment – matter to you.
  • Your focus is on the long term and you seek a partner for the future.

We founded Cranemere to be your partner

Who We Are

A trusted partner

Cranemere is a distinct alternative

For those considering private equity, going public, or being owned by a large corporation.

Cranemere is a holding company for outstanding businesses in the United States and Europe.

We are a long-term, values-aligned partner with permanent capital, business-building expertise, and a global network.

Our lasting partnership enables innovative founders, entrepreneurs, and leaders to focus on the best long-term strategy and build exceptional companies.

A distinct alternative

We look beyond the horizon

Too often outstanding companies are trapped in short-term cycles of being burdened by debt and repeatedly sold. Some are weighed down by quarterly reporting and myopic scrutiny. Others are subsumed and neglected by corporate giants.

We create more value for all stakeholders: we are actively committed to the long-term success of our businesses, the wellbeing of people, the benefit of communities, and the safeguarding of the environment;

We avoid the pitfalls of short-termism: the cost, inefficiency and distraction of being sold, the burden of excessive leverage, and the resulting missed opportunities to grow the business;

We harness the power of compounding in a highly efficient model to generate greater returns for shareholders.

Principles

Values drive value

Long-term partnership

We create lasting partnerships based on respect and fairness, where decisions are
made together with a long-term mindset for value creation

  • Principal preservation

    We focus on careful management of risk with a conservative approach to leverage that enables ongoing strategic commitments to growth

  • Innovation is core to enduring success

    We believe that continuous entrepreneurial enterprise and creativity are essential components of enduring success

  • Open engagement

    We engage in open and proactive dialogue with all our stakeholders; we hold ourselves and others to the highest standards of transparency and integrity

Business should be a force for good

We look to mobilize the transformative power of business to have a positive impact
on our stakeholders and the environment – unlocking further business value

Our People

A team of partners

Vincent Mai is Cranemere’s Founder and Chairman.

Prior to Cranemere, Vincent was CEO and / or Chairman of AEA Investors, a private equity firm founded to make investments on behalf of S.G. Warburg & Co., as well as the Rockefeller, Mellon, and Harriman families. During Vincent’s 20+ year tenure, AEA was ranked in the top 10 of 5,600 firms worldwide for the most consistent high performance by research firm Preqin1. At AEA Vincent served on numerous boards in a period where more than 80% of the value creation was driven by revenue growth and margin improvement. Vincent also served as Chairman of the AEA Mezzanine and Small Business funds.

Vincent was the former chairman of the board of Sesame Workshop, producers of Sesame Street, has been a director of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has served on the boards of the International Center for Transitional Justice and the Juilliard School, among others.

1 Based the period of Vincent’s tenure, 1989 – 2011

Jeffrey Zients is the CEO of Cranemere.

Prior to Cranemere, Jeff served as the Director of President Obama’s National Economic Council. Jeff previously served as the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget and also was responsible for the technology turnaround of healthcare.gov.

Before serving in Government, Jeff served as the Chairman, CEO, and COO of the Advisory Board Company and Chairman of the Corporate Executive Board. During his tenure, these companies created more than $2 billion in equity value for shareholders.

Jeff also founded Portfolio Logic, an investment firm focused on healthcare and business services, serving on several portfolio company boards. With his wife Mary, he was part of the founding group of the Urban Alliance Foundation which provides economically disadvantaged youth with job training.

Our Team

Vincent and Jeff are joined by a team of dedicated professionals with business building expertise across the United States and Europe who have collectively created several billion dollars of equity value and made more than 50 acquisitions.

 

London (Head Office)
  • Eddie Gandevia

    Vice President

    Eddie has seven years of experience acquiring and building businesses. He focuses on identifying, evaluating and partnering with Cranemere's operating companies. Prior to Cranemere, Eddie spent several years working for McKinsey & Company and founded and sold an EdTech company. He has an MBA with honors from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, and a Bachelor of Laws with honors and a Bachelor of Science from the University of New South Wales.

  • Chad Rowe

    Finance Director

    Chad is a Chartered Accountant with 13 years of experience in finance and accounting. He manages the finance and accounting functions of Cranemere. Prior to Cranemere he worked at as an auditor for Deloitte, and in Manager and Financial Controller roles at public companies, including Anglo America PLC, and Subsea 7 S.A.. He has a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Information Technology from the Queensland University of Technology.

  • Catriona Brown

    Vice President - Legal

    Catriona has over eight years experience representing founder led businesses and investors in those businesses. At Cranemere, Catriona advises on all aspects of our acquisition and operating work. Prior to Cranemere, Catriona worked in the London office of Orrick, Herrington & Suttcliffe, representing clients in the UK, US, Europe and Africa in relation to investments and M&A, often with a cross border element. Catriona obtained her Bachelor of Laws with honors at Aberdeen University.

  • Lucie Barakova

    Corporate Secretary

    Lucie has over 20 years experience at FTSE 100 companies, Ernst & Young and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in company secretarial and other administrative roles. At Cranemere, Lucie is responsible for Company Secretarial and administrative support to the Board and shareholder communications. Lucie has a degree in Economics and International Relations from the Charles University in Prague and holds an International Certificate in Wealth & Investment Management from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment in London.

  • Christopher has spent four years with Cranemere focusing on identifying, evaluating and partnering with Cranemere's operating companies, developing Cranemere's structure and fundraising. Prior to Cranemere, Christopher was a member of the founding team of C5 Capital, a London-based growth equity fund, having joined from the strategic advisory firm, the Good Governance Group. He began his career at Close Brothers, the UK merchant banking group. Christopher has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Leeds.

New York
  • Christopher Mahan

    Senior Managing Director

    Christopher has been acquiring and building businesses for over 25 years including 20 years working with Vincent Mai at AEA Investors where he retired as a Partner and CFO. He has led, co-led or been an integral executive with respect to the acquisition and development of 12 operating companies, including Cranemere’s first two operating businesses. He serves on the Board of Directors of Exemplis and Marmite and has served as Chairman of the Board of Marmite, Convenience Food Systems and CPG International (now AZEK). He has served as a board member of virtually all the companies he has worked with. He started his career at Bain & Company and was an original partner of OceanBridge Partners prior to joining Cranemere at its founding. He graduated from Amherst College with honors.

  • Vivake Bhalla

    Managing Director

    Vivake has 20 years of experience acquiring and building businesses. He focuses on identifying, evaluating and partnering with Cranemere's operating companies. Prior to Cranemere, Vivake worked in management consulting for McKinsey & Company and as an investor in the clean energy, real estate and consumer sectors for Terra Firma Capital Partners and Qatar Holding. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Masters in Engineering from Imperial College, London.

  • Harry Crosby

    Managing Director

    Harry has over 25 years experience advising and acquiring businesses. He focuses on identifying and evaluating Cranemere’s potential operating companies. Prior to Cranemere, Harry was a Partner at Snow Phipps, a private equity firm, and was Group Head and Managing Director of the Financial Sponsors Group at Merrill Lynch, in addition to working at Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers earlier in his career. Harry has an M.B.A. from Fordham University and a B.F.A. from LAMDA College.

  • Sanford Krieger

    General Counsel

    Sandy has been advising private holding companies and investment vehicles for more than 35 years with a focus on legal strategies, fundraising, deployment of capital, compliance, regulation and governance. He was a senior partner in the New York and London offices of Fried Frank, was a partner and General Counsel at AEA Investors from 2003- 2013, and has been with Cranemere since 2013. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Cornell University.

  • Eric Minkove

    Managing Director

    Eric has been acquiring, building and leading businesses for nearly 20 years, including more than 10 years working with Jeffrey Zients. He leads Cranemere’s Healthcare and Business Services groups. Prior to Cranemere, Eric has been the CEO of PSA Healthcare and BestPractices and a Partner with TPG Growth and Portfolio Logic. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BBA in Finance from James Madison University.

  • Diana Propper de Callejon

    Managing Director

    Diana has over 20 years of experience backing and building purpose-led companies. She focuses on identifying, evaluating and partnering with Cranemere's operating companies. Prior to Cranemere, Diana was co-managing partner at Expansion Capital Partners, providing growth capital and was a board member of companies in sustainability markets including green building, energy services, and resource efficiency. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University.

  • Minesh Mistry

    Principal

    Minesh has nearly 20 years of experience as an investor, entrepreneur and operator. He focuses on identifying, evaluating and partnering with Cranemere's operating companies. Prior to Cranemere, he co-founded a consumer technology business that was acquired by Groupon and spent nearly a decade as an investor at General Atlantic focused on healthcare technology and services. Minesh began his career at Morgan Stanley. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and a Bachelor of Science of Public Health with Honors from UNC-Chapel Hill.

  • Zaid Pardesi

    Principal

    Zaid has nearly 15 years of experience acquiring and building businesses. He focuses on identifying, evaluating and partnering with Cranemere's operating companies. Prior to Cranemere, Zaid co-founded and co-led H.I.G. Capital's Chicago office and worked with Vincent Mai and Chris Mahan at AEA Investors in New York and London. He began his career at Bain & Company. Zaid has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University.

  • Jackie Kier

    Vice President

    Jackie focuses on identifying, evaluating and partnering with Cranemere's operating companies. Prior to Cranemere, Jackie served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the National Economic Council (NEC) at The White House in the Obama Administration, working alongside Jeffrey Zients. Jackie began her career working in financial services at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Jefferies & Co. She has an MBA from The Wharton School and an AB from Dartmouth College.

  • John Morley

    Vice President

    John has seven years of experience investing in and advising businesses. He focuses on identifying, evaluating and partnering with Cranemere's operating companies. Prior to Cranemere, John spent several years at Greenbriar Equity Group, a private equity firm focused on investments in the logistics, distribution and transportation sectors. John began his career at Citigroup in its investment banking division. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, with a concentration in Finance.

  • Conor focuses on identifying, evaluating and partnering with Cranemere's operating companies. Prior to joining Cranemere, Conor was an Investment Banking Analyst in Citigroup's Global Industrials Group. He received a Bachelor of Applied Science with Honours in Economics and Management from the University of St Andrews.

  • Tiki Mpofu

    Associate

    Tiki focuses on identifying, evaluating and partnering with Cranemere's operating companies. Prior to joining Cranemere, he worked at McKinsey & Company where he worked on private equity engagements in the industrial sector. He received a B.S. in Economics with Honors from the University of Pennsylvania.

Frankfurt
  • Frank Jehle

    Senior Managing Director, European Operations

    Frank has over 20 years of leadership experience in cross continental management roles. Prior to Cranemere, he served for 10 years as the Deputy CEO and CFO of Mann und Hummel GmbH, a global leader in filtration. Prior to this, Frank spent 10 years at Ford Motor Company in the UK, US and Germany, and other management positions in production, strategy and finance. Across the course of his career, Frank has led 12 acquisitions with transaction values from €20 mm to €1 bn and directly managed financial investments of over €400 mm. Frank holds supervisory and advisory board positions and is Chairman of Marmite.

  • Marion Oswald

    Managing Director

    Marion has 17 years of experience acquiring and building businesses. She focuses on identifying opportunities, evaluating and partnering with Cranemere's operating companies. Prior to Cranemere, Marion worked in private equity for Advent International for 15 years as an investment professional across different sectors including industrial, consumer, healthcare / pharma. She has an MBA from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland and a CEMS MIM.

Our Shareholders

Our shareholders are major families and institutions from the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Many of our shareholders have built businesses over multiple generations. They share our vision of long-term value creation and play an active role by lending their expertise.

Our shareholders have joined us because we manage risk carefully with conservative leverage; our model is a highly cost-efficient model for compounding free cash flow; we have an engaged, shareholder-led governance structure; aligned management incentives; and a long-term orientation that builds greater value in our companies.

Our Story

Strong foundations

A conversation with Vincent and Jeff

Q: What inspired you to found Cranemere?

Vincent: A lifetime in finance and building businesses has taught me that, in an increasingly complex and uncertain world, among the best ways to create value is to own outstanding companies for the long-term.

The traditional private equity structure requires that you sell those businesses within three to five years, regardless of whether that’s the right decision for the business. In fact, many of the industry incentives encourage selling the best businesses quickly. That doesn’t make sense! Selling a business incurs substantial costs and is a significant distraction for management. For the private equity firm, it creates the problem of having to buy a new and equally good company when you have just sold an excellent business you knew very well.

Not only that, when you have a short-term mindset, commitments to innovation, expansion and the well-being of people and the environment are too often neglected – weakening both the businesses and society.

Cranemere was established to solve this problem. We have permanent capital in a corporate structure that enables us to focus on the best strategy to create value over the long-term and aligns the incentives of shareholders, management and the companies we partner with.

Recent Partnerships

Partnering with an Innovative Leader in Office Furniture

“I was looking for a long term, value-added strategic partner that genuinely wanted to be on this exciting journey with us. We found that partner in Cranemere” — Founder and CEO, Paul DeVries

Cranemere has partnered with Paul DeVries, the entrepreneurial co-founder and CEO of Exemplis, a market leading manufacturer of office furniture in the United States. For over 20 years the Company has been implementing and improving a unique, disruptive business model that combines affordable, award winning products, produced on a real-time made-to-order basis. Innovation, design, and relentless focus on execution are core to the company’s ongoing success. The team has built a company that has been winning for decades and is now a platform poised for continued expansion and growth.

“Exemplis has a strong culture of innovation and success. I was looking for a long term, value-added strategic partner that genuinely wanted to be on this exciting journey with us. We found that partner in Cranemere. They act like long term partners and decisions are made in the best interests of the company.

They differentiated themselves from the beginning and they’ve been true to their word every step of the way. I couldn’t have made a better choice. The highest compliment I can give is that I would, without hesitation, make the same partner selection decision again.” – Paul DeVries

Paul selected Cranemere ahead of multiple top-tier private equity firms due to our partnership-based approach, commitment to business building, and long-term focus. He didn’t want a boss, he wanted a partner to help navigate the big strategic questions ahead.

Today, our conversations are distinct. We talk about reinvestment to build a great company not repositioning for a sale. We focus on driving innovation, expanding into new markets, enhancing culture, and preserving legacy.

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Transforming a Market in Europe

“Marmite is a leader in engineered stone bathroom products and is contributing to a major materials conversion cycle as our material replaces ceramic and acrylic products. The Cranemere team’s strategic and operating experience combined with their long-term approach is a great fit. They have helped us open new markets, build our team and invest aggressively to capture our potential.” – Andrzej Kramer, CEO Marmite

Marmite is a leading designer and producer of premium engineered-stone bathroom products in Europe. Marmite established its leading position through the development of proprietary technology, disruptive manufacturing techniques and a culture of excellence. The management team and Cranemere are committed to continuing to build the company while maintaining its culture and values. Marmite’s fundamentally superior engineered stone product is contributing to a materials conversion cycle, away from the traditional alternatives of acrylic and porcelain by offering greater design flexibility, heat-retention, scratch and stain resistance, and a more luxurious feel.

Roger Johansson founded Marmite in Sweden in 1975, growing the business into the clear European market leader.  He believes Cranemere is a unique partner.

“Cranemere offered a partnership approach to Marmite unlike any of the other options that were being considered. Cranemere think about the future of Marmite in the same way as I did as the founder all those years ago: they think strategically for the long term and are genuine partners to its strong management team. A great deal of Marmite’s success is down to the culture and values of its people which was built up over many years. I knew on meeting the team at Cranemere that this culture would be maintained and nurtured over the years to come. Already they have made decisions to benefit the long-term health of Marmite, decisions which I believe other owners would not have made, which made me believe that Marmite would continue to flourish under the stewardship of Cranemere” – Roger Johansson, Founder

Since partnering with Marmite, Cranemere’s long term approach has translated into opening a new manufacturing facility, expanding internationally in Europe and America, and the active pursuit of acquisition opportunities that expand our product portfolio and geographic reach.

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Other News

Jeffrey Zients was the businessman’s businessman in the Obama White House — someone whom corporate leaders felt they could talk to in an administration they often thought was too tough on them.
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Leading Anesthesia Care Provider Poised to Expand Under Cranemere’s Long-Term Partnership-Driven Ownership Model

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What’s in a name?

Vincent grew up next door to an iconic farm in South Africa called Cranemere, which is home to the national bird, the Blue Crane. The farm has been operated for seven generations by one family – each generation improving the farm before handing it on to the next. Our firm is inspired by this example of the power of private enterprise to steward lasting intergenerational growth with enduring values.