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in Education-Focused Companies

July 18, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Where to Invest In the Education Industry
-- Childcare to Higher Education,
And Everywhere in Between

Private Equity Investing
In Education-Focused Companies

Education 2018 -- The Capital Roundtable


For private equity investors in education-focused companies, these are incredibly busy times —

  • An increase in federal spending has ignited investment interest in childcare and preschool companies.
  • Digital transformations — like increased digital delivery of content — in K-12 schools are helping the ed-tech market soar.
  • Excess capacity has come out of the post-secondary landscape, leading to a resurgence of interest from private equity investors.

Benefiting from a rare period of agreement between the Republican administration and the Democratic Congress — childcare and preschools have seen an upsurge in funding by federal, state, and local governments.

In addition, the investment landscape is very fragmented with many providers still owned by individuals, but not yet dominated by large providers, leaving middle market PE firms lots of room for roll ups and add-ons.

Meanwhile the K-12 market is complicated,  with new technologies rapidly changing the game. So putting the right people at the center of your education portfolio is paramount to keeping up.

Investors are spending more and more time developing world-class management teams to ensure their portfolio companies can provide teachers and students with instruction and support they need to succeed.

Some recent significant middle market deals include —

  • The Learning Experience, recently purchased by Golden Gate Capital Partners Group-backed KinderCare Education, acquired Troy, Michigan-based Rainbow Child Care Center from Quad-C Management.
  • Renovus Capital Partners bought Rasmussen College, a healthcare-focused college system with 10,000 students across 22 campuses.
  • Toronto’s Altas Partners bought the University of St. Augustine from Laureate Education in a deal worth $400 million.
  • Colibri Group, backed by Charlottesville’s Quad-C Management, acquired Allied Business Schools, which offers online real estate certification education.
  •  Dallas’s NCK Capital purchased Chicago-based Tricoci University of Beauty Culture.

For the past decade or so, private equity investors have hesitated to invest in post-secondary education companies — ever since the Great Recession, and ever since the restoration of the Gainful Employment Rule.

But times are changing!

  • Over 100 institutions closed their doors before the 2017-18 academic year — continuing a long downward trend. But happily, at the surviving schools, enrollment and revenue are rising again.
  • Family offices, impact funds, and sovereign wealth funds are interested in improving access, affordability, and quality in the sector, whether as LPs, partners, or deal-makers in their own right.
  • The regulatory environment is more favorable, because the Gainful Employment Rule has been greatly scaled back – even though it remains on the books for now.
  • Many post-secondary schools are demonstrating better results when it comes to measures like gainful employment, hence making them more appealing to investors no matter the level of regulatory oversight.
  • Many PE investors believe that a recession is on the horizon.  In general, post-secondary education does well when the economy slows down and people who are unemployed go back to schools.
  • Valuations remain reasonable, compared with other education sub-sectors like edtech.
  • It isn’t just investors who’re interested in this space – lenders have returned as well. For instance, Renovus financed the Rasmussen transaction with support from SunTrust, CIBC, and Bank of Ireland and NCK financed its acquisition of Tricoci in partnership with Greyrock Capital Group and NBH Bank.

And the opportunity in the post-secondary sector is much larger than just investments in for-profit colleges. Many traditional colleges are adopting aspects of for-profit models and looking for partners.

  • TPG Rise Fund is partnering with Arizona State University to roll out a company that will work with employers who want to offer their workers online access to ASU’s programs.
  • Both University of Massachusetts and State University of New York are planning national online colleges for adult learners, and considering partnerships with online program managers.

Chaired by

Bradley L. Whitman

Founding Partner
Renovus Capital Partners


Thursday July 18, 2019

8:00 – 5:00


Midtown, Manhattan


Drinker Biddle
EY Parthenon Logo

Marketing Partners

Register now to gain valuable insights as our 21 experts assess the outlook for the education industry and survey the prospects for each of its various subsectors when you attend The Capital Roundtable’s all-day conference on Private Equity Investing in Education-Focused Companies on Thursday, July 18, in New York City.

Key Reasons to Attend

Three Key Reasons Why You Should Join Us

  1. Hear how higher education is being remade to better support employers’ and students’ needs.
  2.  Understand which education sub-sectors are most appealing.
  3. Get insight into the long-term regulatory outlook.
Key Points Being Covered
  • Family office and sovereign wealth fund interest in education investing
  • Opportunities to work with non-profit colleges
  • Tips for helping schools develop online offerings
  • The latest trends in edtech
  • The outlook for student debt
  • How much leverage is available for higher-education deals now
  • How to do your due diligence for both the bottom line and educational outcomes
  • The Higher Education Act and state-level regulation
  • For-profit colleges’ prospects after the 2020 elections
  • Valuations of for-profit colleges vs. other education sub-sectors
  • Other promising education sectors – like childcare companies
  • Exit market trends
  • How changing demographics impact education deal-making
  • How a recession may impact the education sector differently than in the past
Chairperson Info

Bradley Whitman founded Renovus Capital Partners in 2010.  He leads buyout, mezzanine, and growth capital investments in small and mid-sized education, training, and human capital companies.  He also serves on the boards of 18 Renovus portfolio companies and is in charge of overall firm strategy.

Previously he was a managing director at Leeds Equity Partners, an education-focused private equity fund founded in 1993.  At Leeds Equity, he led a number of investments in education companies from 2005 – 2009.

From 2000 to 2005 he was a vice president at Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity funds.  He began his career as an analyst in Merrill Lynch’s M & A group from 1998 to 2000.

He earned an AB summa cum laude in economics from Harvard University.

Recent PE Deals

Recent Transactions in the Education & Training Sector 

  • Education Principle Foundation, which has ties to Colbeck Capital, plans to buy some Art Institute campuses from Dream Center.
  • Marblegate Asset Management-backed Ancora Education purchased certain assets of Delta Career Education.
  • TPG Rise Fund is partnering with Arizona State University on a “learning-services company” to offer employers and research institutions access to its online courses.
  • Summit Partners sold Trident University International to publicly traded Career Education Corp. for between $35 million and $44 million.
  • Learners Edge, a portfolio company of L Squared Capital Partners, acquired the Teaching Channel, a subscription-based software platform where teachers can learn new techniques to improve student learning.
  • Renovus Capital Partners acquired and merged Clinical Care Options and Practicing Clinicians Exchange, two continuing medical education companies.
Who We Are

This Capital Roundtable conference in midtown, New York City, is all-business, all-targeted, all-designed to be a completely focused day of practical information and revealing insights about education companies. You’ll gain valuable insights from —

  • Three informative panel discussions
  • Two revealing keynote presentations
  • Real-world perspectives from education company investors
  • Industry outlooks from noted sector experts
  • War stories and lessons learned from experienced hands

Chaired by
  • Bradley L. Whitman, Founding Partner, Renovus Capital Partners
Hosted by
  • Burt AlimanskyChairman & CEO, The Capital Roundtable
Speaker List
  • Jennifer L. Blum, S.V.P.–External Relations & Public Policy, Laureate Education Inc.
  • Frank F. Britt, Chief Executive Officer, Penn Foster Education Group Inc.
  • Dave Goldberg, Chief Executive Officer, Cadence Education
  • Todd Hand, Managing Partner, Knowledge Leaders
  • Jonathan A. Kaplan, Senior Operating Advisor, LLR Partners
  • Kathy Ligon, Founder, Hinge Early Education Brokers
  • William R. Loesch, Principal, Goldberg Kohn Ltd.
  • Robert Lytle, Managing Dir. & Global Head–Education, EY-Parthenon
  • Bradley C. Palmer, Chairman, Palm Ventures LLC
  • Ebony Pope, Principal, Rethink Education
  • John R. Przypyszny, Partner, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Aanand Radia, Managing Director, University Ventures
  • John Semel, E.V.P. & Chief Strategy Officer, Zovio Inc.
  • Zack Shah, Managing Dir.–Education Services & Technology, Lincoln International LLC
  • Tom Slagle, Executive Chairman & CEO, Rasmussen College LLC
  • Ofa Stead, Operating Partner–Talent, Sterling Partners
  • Joshua D. Susser, Partner, Cascadily LLC
  • Jonathan D. Tarnow, Partner, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Philip Vaccaro, Managing Director, EY-Parthenon
  • Robin Warner, Managing Director, Oaklins DeSilva & Phillips LLC
7:30am – 8:30am

Networking & Registration & Breakfast

8:30am – 9:00am

Welcoming Remarks & Audience Self-Introductions

9:00am – 9:30am

Conference Chairman’s Introduction —
Bradley Whitman, Renovus Capital Partners

9:30am – 10:15am

Morning Keynote — Robert Lytle, EY-Parthenon

10:15am – 11:00am

Networking & Coffee

11:00am – 11:45pm

Morning Conversation —
The Regulatory & Legislative Outlook —  How Higher Education Act Reauthorization Could Change Investing

11:45pm – 12:45pm

First Panel —
Postsecondary School Investing 2.0 — Challenges & Opportunities

12:45pm – 1:45pm

Networking & Luncheon

1:45pm – 2:45pm
Second Panel —
Investing in Childcare & Pre-School Companies — What Are PE Firms Doing to Add Value?

2:45pm – 3:00pm

Networking & Dessert

3:00pm – 3:45pm

Afternoon Conversation —
Working with Mission-Driven Investors — The View from Impact Investors & Family Offices

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Third Panel —
How to Find & Retain Top Talent — Putting the Right People at the Center of Your Education Portfolio


Networking & Adjournment

Space at this conference is limited, so register as soon as possible to assure yourself a seat. To avoid disappointment, please contact Chris Agar today to confirm your attendance at 212-832-7300 ext. 0 or

Please note that Capital Roundtable limits the number of registrants from a single firm to three.

Best Rate – Early Registration

Save $300 off the standard fee of $1,495 when you register by Friday, May 31. Just $1,195.

Incentive Registration

Save $200 of the standard fee! Register by Friday, June 21, and the fee for the conference is $1,295.

Conference Rate

$1,495 increasing to $1,595 day of conference, space permitting.

Group Rate

$1095 each until Friday, June 21, when you register two or more people to attend from the same company . This rate increases to $1295 each after Friday, June 21.

You can pay by credit card (using the links above or below) or by check. Mail your check and business card to: New York Business Roundtable Inc., 747 Third Avenue, Suite 200, New York, NY 10017.

Can’t attend but want to hear the program? You can buy the audio package along with the handounts.

This event is sponsored by:

Marquee Sponsors:

Drinker Biddle
EY Parthenon Logo

Contributing Sponsor:

Data Partners:

Marketing Partner:

Amerigo Education
Arcady Bay Partners
Ashworth College
Axial Networks
Azure Creek Capital
Bain Capital
Bookhead Ed Learning
Bridges Fund Mgmt.
BSG Team Ventures
Cain Brothers & Co.
Carl Marks Advisors
China Hi-Tech Group
CIP Capital
College of Health Care Professions
Crestline Investors
Cushman & Wakefield
Drinker Biddle & Reath
Duane Morris
EagleTree Capital
EdNexus Advisors
Enova Decisions
Enterprise Ireland
Epic Partners
Erda Capital

Exceed Capital
FF Ventures
Flinn Scientific
Frontline Education
GEMS Education
Gladstone Companies
GLBL ED, S.A. de C.V.
Goldberg Kohn
Guild Education
Halladay Education
Heidrick & Struggles
Insight Venture
Institute of Culinary Education
Intersected Advisors
Investcorp Intl.
KIPP Foundation
Language Stars
Laureate Education
Learn Capital
LLR Partners
Magnolia Capital
McGraw-Hill Education
McKinsey & Company
MHT Partners

Millpond Equity
Morgan Stanley & Co.
National Center for Faculty Development
NCK Capital
Northeastern Univ.
O’Donnell Learn
Parchman Vaughan
Penn Foster
Prairie Capital
ProBility Media Corp.
Quad-C Management
Renovus Capital
SJF Ventures
Solamere Capital
Sollers College
Sprout Health Group
Sterling Partners
Strada Education Network
Symposium Ventures
Tethys Invest
Tyton Partners
TZP Group
Universal Technical Institute
University Ventures
WorldBridge Partners
VisitDays Corp.
Weld North
Whiteboard Advisors
William Blair


July 18, 2019
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Contact Us

747 Third Avenue | Suite 200 | New York City | 10017