Dave Donnini Managing Director, GTCR

Dave Donnini, Managing Director, GTCR

Acquisition Activity


platform acquisitions
completed since 2000.*

*Additional information.

Acquisition Activity

$7 +

billion of total purchase
price since 2000.*

*Additional Information.

Acquisition Activity

40 +

add-on acquisitions
completed since 2000.*

*Additional Information.

Acquisition Activity Since 2000
Additional Information

Growth Business Services

Since the firm’s founding in 1980, GTCR has had a strong history of building companies that provide an essential service to other growing businesses.

GTCR selectively pursues these growth business opportunities in areas with strong growth and solid underlying fundamentals. Our firm looks to partner with exceptional management leaders who have proven their ability to generate superior business growth through product or service innovation, strong sales management and integrated brand marketing excellence.

Portfolio Company

Fairway Outdoor

Fairway Outdoor is one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the United States, operating approximately 20,000 bulletins, posters and digital billboard faces across key metro areas in the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest. Fairway provides strong customer service, outstanding creative support and a local focus to make outdoor advertising the medium of choice for its clients.

Location: Duncan, SC

Phone: 864.485.1899

Initial Investment: 01/16/2015

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Kevin Gleason

Kevin Gleason serves as president and CEO of Fairway Outdoor. Mr. Gleason has over 35 years of experience in the outdoor advertising industry, including serving as president and CEO of Adams Outdoor since 1991. Mr. Gleason joined Adams Outdoor in 1987, serving as general manager of various local markets, and then as executive vice president at the corporate level. Prior to joining Adams Outdoor, he was vice president of sales for Naegele Outdoor Advertising, responsible for southern California markets from 1985 to 1987. Mr. Gleason has previously served as chairman as well as the vice chair of marketing of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and has been honored by the association with the L. Ray Vahue Memorial Award. He was also a board member of the industry’s measurement bureau, the Traffic Audit Bureau.

Please click here for a complete list of portfolio company investments made by GTCR since its inception as well as past representative management leaders. Please see Terms of Use for important additional information.
Portfolio Company

Sterigenics International

Sterigenics International is a global provider of contract sterilization and ionization services for medical devices, food safety and advanced applications. Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Sterigenics is the sole provider of technology in all leading sterilization modalities, including gamma, ethylene oxide, electron beam and X-ray. The company has more than 1,300 employees and operates 38 service centers across North America, Europe and Asia.

Location: Deerfield, IL

Phone: 847.607.6060

Initial Investment: 03/25/2011

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Michael Mulhern

Michael Mulhern serves as chairman and CEO of Sterigenics International. Previously, Mr. Mulhern served as chairman and CEO for two other GTCR portfolio companies: Fairmount Food Group, LLC and American Sanitary LLC. Prior to that, Mr. Mulhern was a senior executive with Alliant Foodservice, Inc. and Baxter Healthcare Corp. Mr. Mulhern has a BA in economics from Pennsylvania State University.

Please click here for a complete list of portfolio company investments made by GTCR since its inception as well as past representative management leaders. Please see Terms of Use for important additional information.
Please click here for a complete list of past portfolio company investments made by GTCR since its inception as well as past representative management leaders. »
Leadership stories are for Management Leaders only and should not be used for investment purposes.OK Leadership Story
Cambridge Protection Industries/Honeywell Security Monitoring/Protection 1: Building Success by Building Relationships
Jim Covert  |  Cambridge Protection Industries/Honeywell Security Monitoring/Protection 1

While researching the security alarm monitoring industry in the early 1990s, GTCR met Jim Covert, a resourceful, experienced leader in the industry. At the time, Mr. Covert was CEO of SecurityLink, one of the industry’s leading consolidators and the second-largest company in the industry. Even after Mr. Covert sold SecurityLink to Ameritech in 1994, GTCR continued to cultivate a relationship with him throughout the remainder of the decade. GTCR’s patience paid off. In 1999, we collaborated with Mr. Covert to form a management start-up, Cambridge Security (“Cambridge”).

A proven leader, Mr. Covert was an ideal choice for a partner with whom we could take advantage of the attractive growth and cash-flow dynamics surrounding the security alarm monitoring industry. The industry was growing at attractive rates as security concerns and, thus, alarm monitoring penetration rates increased in both residential and commercial environments. The plan was to acquire several attractive, growing companies and transform them into a single integrated entity, resulting in large synergies and additional earnings. Based on his industry experience and reputation, GTCR had strong confidence in Mr. Covert’s operational capability, especially his ability to create a sales organization that would accelerate the company’s growth.

In 1999, shortly after the formation of Cambridge, the company purchased several smaller security alarm monitoring businesses throughout the Midwest and the Western United States. Then in 2000, GTCR contacted Southwestern Bell (“SBC”) and offered to purchase SecurityLink, which SBC had acquired when it purchased Ameritech. SecurityLink had deteriorated significantly since Mr. Covert’s departure, and the business was experiencing substantial cash losses. SBC had received a mandate from the FCC to divest this business as a condition of its acquisition of Ameritech.

GTCR, Mr. Covert and Mr. Covert’s former SecurityLink colleague Tim Whall worked for almost a year to develop a financial plan to carve out the company from SBC and return it to its previous level of profitability under Mr. Covert. GTCR was able to develop confidence in the plan due to Mr. Covert’s and Mr. Whall’s informational advantage in having previously built and managed the business. Cambridge purchased SecurityLink in early 2001.

Mr. Covert, Mr. Whall and their Cambridge team moved quickly to carve out the business and operationally transform the company’s critical cash-flow metrics such as churn, cost of customer acquisition and overall profitability. Substantial cost cuts were initiated with negligible impact on business performance. As well, Mr. Covert and Mr. Whall were successful in reducing attrition, improving customer acquisition costs and leveraging SecurityLink’s strong brand and number-two market position.

Shortly thereafter, Tyco/ADT, the largest company in the industry, expressed interest in buying Cambridge. Mr. Covert and Mr. Whall had operationally transformed SecurityLink back into a strong competitor, particularly in the commercial sector of the market. In July 2001, six months after GTCR had purchased SecurityLink, Tyco/ADT purchased the business.

GTCR maintained a strong relationship with Mr. Covert, Mr. Whall and the other managers throughout their non-compete periods. Mr. Whall remained with Tyco/ADT and was ultimately appointed president of that business. In early 2004, with six months left to go in Mr. Covert’s non-compete period, Honeywell decided to sell its very attractive commercial security alarm monitoring business (“Honeywell Security Monitoring”). Honeywell stated publicly that it had let this business shrink in order to avoid fallout from direct competition with the monitoring company customers of its much larger security equipment business. GTCR had pursued the purchase of Honeywell Security Monitoring with Mr. Covert in the 1990s, and GTCR pursued it once again following these market developments. Mr. Whall was a critical contributor to this effort, and he left his position as president of ADT to assume the same position at Honeywell Security Monitoring upon closing.

Honeywell Security Monitoring was the second-largest player in the attractive commercial segment of the market, and its sale generated significant strategic interest. One strategic buyer offered Honeywell a materially higher price than GTCR, but failed to consummate the transaction due to the nature of the non-compete Honeywell was willing to provide. Honeywell stated it anticipated similar issues with other strategic buyers and decided to sell to a financial buyer. However, this transaction proved challenging to other financial buyers due to the need to carve out the business extensively from Honeywell branches, call monitoring centers, IT systems and back-office processing. It also required the immediate re-establishment of a larger sales force to maintain and grow the business. In contrast, GTCR believed it was uniquely positioned as the only viable financial buyer due to its management relationships with Mr. Whall and Mr. Covert and their track record in the industry.

GTCR purchased Honeywell Security Monitoring (renamed “HSM”) in June 2004. Mr. Whall was in place prior to closing to begin making needed changes, and Mr. Covert and the other managers joined the business shortly after closing. Management initiated the arduous carve out from Honeywell operations and completed a number of small acquisitions to leverage the fixed-cost operations of HSM and strategically transform its geographic footprint. Equally as important, Mr. Whall and Mr. Covert completely reversed the revenue decline in the business.

In mid-2006, two years after GTCR’s acquisition of HSM, StanleyWorks began to express strong interest in the company. StanleyWorks had a large presence in the physical security space (i.e., locks) and stated a desire for a turnkey platform to enter the electronic side of the business. In January 2007, StanleyWorks purchased HSM.

Seeing further opportunity in the security monitoring industry, GTCR maintained an active relationship with Mr. Whall and Mr. Covert after the sale of HSM. Mr. Whall had agreed to stay with StanleyWorks for a year post-closing to help it achieve synergies by folding parts of its operation into HSM. When he left a year later, GTCR and Mr. Whall teamed up again to acquire another company in the industry. Mr. Whall and GTCR immediately targeted Protection 1 as the most sizable remaining integrated electronic security monitoring platform in the industry. GTCR and Mr. Whall first approached Protection 1 in 2008. Dormant credit markets, however, made a transaction difficult to consummate. As credit markets improved, GTCR re-approached the company in the fall of 2009. Relatively soon thereafter, the board of Protection 1 announced a sale process for the company.

Using their extensive experience in the industry and with Protection 1, Mr. Whall and GTCR benchmarked Protection 1 performance on a range of critical growth, cost and cash-flow metrics against levels that were achieved in the SecurityLink and HSM transactions. Ultimately, this work culminated in a detailed operational transformation plan for the business. In April 2010, GTCR announced an agreement with the Protection 1 board to purchase the business. The acquisition closed in June 2010. Upon closing, Mr. Whall became CEO of the company and Mr. Covert joined GTCR on the board.

Please click here for a complete list of portfolio company investments made by GTCR since its inception as well as past representative management leaders. Please see Terms of Use for important additional information.