Armed with TCAP talent, SharpVue fund looks for middle market deals

From the Triangle Business Journal:

A pair of investment veterans are eyeing deals across the nation – armed with a new fund they say could boost Raleigh’s reputation in the institutional capital arena.

Former state budget director Lee Roberts and new partner Doug Vaughn, previously the senior managing director and chief administration officer at TCAP, are spinning off SharpVue Capital. In addition to its more well-known real estate investment tract, that includes an opportunity fund aimed squarely at middle market companies.

“We think there’s still a lot of gems out there,” says Vaughn, who plans to use contacts and experiences gleaned at TCAP to help score Sharpvue wins.

Sharpvue was previously an arm of Curi, formerly known as Medical Mutual. Curi still serves as “strategic partner” and investor, having fronted about $100 million toward the new independent entity.

“We have closed on about $160 million across our strategies,” Roberts says. “We have targeted raising approximately another $100 million, away from the insurance company.”

It’s the Sharpvue Opportunity Fund, a lower middle market vehicle that is already two deals in, that has Vaughn – the new addition – excited about the opportunities ahead.

“We’re trying to create a platform, an alternative investment platform that gets Raleigh to where it should be,” he says, noting it has the potential to keep investment professionals in Raleigh after graduating area universities, and to bolster the region’s position in the institutional capital arena.

And the opportunity is high, he says. “Deal flow begets deal flow,” Roberts says. “Once you start doing a few deals, people start to know that you’re there.”

Flexibility will be key in its strategy, Vaughn says.

“We want to have a wide fairway,” he explains. “In that way, we can find great opportunities regardless of where we are in the cycle.. That means being able to move between debt and equity.”

He says it’s hard to capitalize on opportunities with “only one arrow in our quiver.” And those “opportunities” could manifest in multiple ways. He sees deals being led by debt, estimating a mix of about 70 percent debt to 30 percent equity – but says it’s not a steadfast rule.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a typical deal,” he says. “It’s going to be situational.” And check sizes, too, will vary, between $5 million and $15 million – funneled into firms making between $10 million and $100 million.

So far, the new opportunity fund has invested in California firm Pondera Solutions and a Durham company Roberts and Vaughn declined to disclose.

Recent Articles

Moving Beyond LEED

The next steps in the green-building revolution may be more complex and expensive Lee H. Roberts – Scotsman Guide The push in the U.S. to

Read More »

SharpVue has deep experience investing alongside Independent Sponsors.

What we offer Independent Sponsors:

  • Flexible capital structures, including the ability to invest meaningful equity for a one-stop solution
  • Network of investment partners and industry experts
  • Deep experience partnering with Independent Sponsors
  • Tailored approach to governance and board structures

Lee Roberts

Managing Partner

Lee co-founded SharpVue and leads its real estate investment effort. He has spent his 25+ year career in real estate investment and finance and has been involved in the sector in several contexts, including private equity, investment banking and commercial banking. Immediately prior to SharpVue, he served as budget director for the State of North Carolina, a role in which, among other initiatives, he led an effort to rationalize the state’s real estate portfolio.

Before his time in public service, Mr. Roberts was most recently Managing Director of Piedmont Community Bank Holdings, a private equity-backed bank investment platform in Raleigh. He was earlier a Partner at Cherokee Investment Partners, a real estate private equity fund in Raleigh, and he spent nine years with Morgan Stanley in London and New York, focused on real estate investment banking.

Education: Georgetown, JD; Duke, BA

SharpVue is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen. We believe that integrating environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) considerations into our investment processes and firm policies supports value creation for all stakeholders.

  • In reviewing potential investment opportunities, we evaluate multiple factors including ESG considerations. We seek to identify ESG strengths and risks and incorporate them into our investment decisions and portfolio monitoring.
  • We aim to promote ESG awareness and accountability within the firm. Our ESG actions include:
    • Environmental: We endeavor to operate in an environmentally responsible manner by reducing waste and raising awareness of efficient energy and resource usage.
    • Social: We strive to maintain an environment free of discrimination in which all employees are provided opportunities for personal development and growth.
    • Governance: We maintain strict internal policies that emphasize firm governance, compliance, and ethical employee behavior.