CHICAGO, February 26, 2007 – Baird Private Equity, the global private equity group of investment firm Baird, announced today it has partnered with Tholons, Inc. in Bangalore, India, to provide on-the-ground support and expertise to its current and future U.S. and European portfolio companies.  A senior advisor at Tholons will work exclusively with Baird Private Equity’s portfolio companies, particularly those in the business services sector, to evaluate, develop and execute appropriate strategies in India.  These strategies may include establishing captive operations in India, forming partnerships with third party service providers, or distributing products or services within the Indian domestic market.


The new dedicated resources in India complement existing Baird Private Equity operations in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, where a team of 20 operating professionals help Baird Private Equity’s portfolio companies establish operations in China to manufacture and distribute products, locate and qualify component suppliers, and evaluate potential acquisition candidates. With dedicated operational resources in both India and China, Baird Private Equity has established one of the largest presences in Asia of any U.S. or European-based, middle-market private equity firm.


“Our expanded presence in Asia supports our U.S. and European portfolio companies as they address both the competitive threats and commercial opportunities created by globalization,” said Paul Carbone, Director of Baird Private Equity.  “We have successfully leveraged our Asian resources to address opportunities across all of our funds and in each of our targeted sectors, including business services, manufactured products and life sciences.”


Tholons is a leading advisory firm focused on addressing the services globalization needs of organizations and has extensive government and industry relationships in India and throughout Asia.  The firm is led by Chairman and CEO, Avinash Vashistha, a recognized expert in the area of services globalization and co-author of the book The Offshore Nation.  “Our partnership with Baird Private Equity will enable Baird’s portfolio companies in the U.S. and Europe to leverage Tholons’ services globalization expertise and build shareholder value,” said Vashistha. “The partnership will bring together Baird’s deep investment experience with Tholons’ ‘best-of-breed’ globalization advisory and local market knowledge in Asia.”


Tholons’ team in India will augment Baird Private Equity’s existing U.S. and Asia advisory boards, a group of senior U.S. and Asian executives with deep operating experience in both India and China.  Jim Pavlik of Baird Venture Partners will serve as the primary conduit between Baird Private Equity and Tholons.  Baird Private Equity currently does not plan to invest in Indian-based companies. Rather, its goal is to augment the operations of its existing U.S and European portfolio companies that can benefit from a strategy in India.


“For small and medium-size U.S. and European companies to be successful in Asia, the local relationships and networks that support their efforts are critical,” said Bill Filip, Partner, Baird Venture Partners. “The people we’ve assembled in both India and China have the depth of experience essential to help our portfolio companies identify ways to grow and create operational efficiencies.”


Several of Baird’s portfolio companies already have a presence in India and stand to benefit from Baird’s presence there. A few examples are Baird portfolio companies HireRight, TrueAdvantage and Cerillion, which together have close to 300 people employed in the region. 


“Having resources in India is particularly important to our business services portfolio companies, which can leverage the business process expertise and offshore service delivery capabilities that have been developed in India over the past decade,” added Dave Pelisek, Partner, Baird Capital Partners. 


In addition to its resources in Bangalore, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Baird Private Equity operates out of offices in Milwaukee, Chicago, Madison (Wis.), Philadelphia, Hamburg (Germany) and London (England).