March 11, 2019
NEW YORK – Kinderhook Industries, a leading middle market private equity firm, has announced that Brandon Watson has joined as Managing Director – Growth, Innovation & Talent. Mr. Watson most recently ran KOM Partners, which focused on using a customer-first and data-driven approach to drive growth and innovation for its clients.
Mr. Watson brings over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and product-focused executive. Mr. Watson has worked as a senior executive at top technology companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Datalogix (purchased by Oracle). He also founded and sold a consumer Internet software company and previously worked as an investment professional at Soros Private Equity Partners.
For the past two years, Kinderhook Industries has worked with Mr. Watson in developing a proprietary operating framework to help their portfolio companies run faster. Mr. Watson’s responsibilities will include leading the team responsible for further development and execution of this framework across Kinderhook’s portfolio.
“We’re very excited to add Brandon as our newest partner,” said Chris Michalik, Managing Director of Kinderhook. “I’ve known and worked with Brandon for close to 20 years. Through his work in our portfolio he has opened our eyes to some of the factors which have made his previous employers so successful, and how to apply those learnings inside our portfolio companies. We look forward to his continued positive impact inside our current and future portfolio.”
Working with Kinderhook for the past two years, Mr. Watson has focused on unlocking value via mechanisms related to growth through digital channels, data analytics to improve decision making, software-based product innovation, and talent management for key leadership positions. Mr. Watson has provided support across the Kinderhook portfolio in all phases of the investment life cycle from pre-deal diligence to post deal execution. Formalizing his role with Kinderhook will allow for greater focus on providing enduring value to the Kinderhook portfolio companies.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity,” said Mr. Watson. “The Kinderhook team is one of the very best in the business. Their track record speaks for itself, but the quality of the team is very rare. Working with Kinderhook over the last two years has allowed us to build on our original thesis for how we could drive value through high-tempo operating frameworks in middle market and lower middle market non-tech companies. Formalizing the role and joining Kinderhook is the culmination of a lot of hard work and I couldn’t be happier.”
“The private equity business continues to evolve, and managers should evolve their teams to ensure the best investment returns,” added Tom Tuttle, Managing Director of Kinderhook. “The addition of a senior professional of Brandon’s caliber reflects our commitment to acting as the best financial and operating partner for our management teams. He’s had a very successful operating career as an entrepreneur and a tech executive. Over the last two years with us at Kinderhook and our portfolio companies he has made us a believer regarding how much value he can add to our team, our companies, and our investors through a relentless focus on growth, analytics, innovation and talent management.”
About Brandon Watson
Mr. Watson graduated Cum Laude from the Management & Technology program at the University of Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Science of Economics from the Wharton School with concentrations in Operations and Information Management, and Corporate Finance, as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Science Engineering. Mr. Watson also holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business. He has held executive leadership positions at Microsoft, Amazon, Datalogix, and Oracle, founded and sold IMSafer, and was a Principal at Soros Private Equity Partners. Mr. Watson currently sits on the board of StudyKik. Mr. Watson lives in Boulder, CO, with his wife and three children, and is an avid endurance athlete.