About us

Keebeck Cognitive Partners, LLC (“KCP”) is a Chicago-based private equity investment firm focused on investing in businesses in which human, organizational and intellectual capital are critical factors for success. We seek majority-interest investment opportunities in the lower middle-market in a wide range of industries. Keebeck Cognitive Partners was formed in 2019 as the evolution of private equity and long-term capital. KCP is a partnership between Cognitive Capital Partners, LLC, a private equity investment firm founded in 2006 and Keebeck Capital Partners, an affiliate of one of the country’s top independent investment advisors to high net worth individuals.

What differentiates KCP is our ability to provide long term capital. Our fund structure and our investor profile give us a very flexible investment horizon, allowing us to invest for 2 years or 20 years, depending on the needs and opportunities of our portfolio companies. As such, we have the ability to invest across all economic cycles, being opportunistic in down markets and patient when prices outpace value. We manage a limited number of high-quality investments, allowing greater focus on assisting management in growing and improving their businesses. Our unique approach to long-term private equity investing provides a deeper partnership with management, generating a more collaborative and productive relationship and alignment of objectives between employees, management and investors. While focused on long-term sustainable returns for all shareholders, we drive our portfolio companies to significant scale with the goal of major market influence in all of the industries we serve.

We bring significant operating and management expertise to the lower middle-market to support management and drive growth and value creation. Our experience includes operating, managing, growing, developing and advising companies ranging in size from family-owned to the Fortune 500, enabling us to leverage a deep understanding of the challenges and issues facing the companies we invest in and provide valuable assistance to our management partners.

Investment Criteria

With a concentration on active management of and partnership with our portfolio companies, we operate as lead equity sponsor in our investments.

Business Model

Proven/Sustainable Business Model with Strong Management in Place

Transaction Type

Management and Leveraged Buyouts

Role

Lead Equity Sponsor

Company Size

Enterprise Value: $20 million – $150 million; EBITDA: $3 million to $20 million

Equity Investment

$5 million to $50 million

Business Location

United States
We also have the ability to invest in substantially larger companies with additional co-investment from our L.P.

Investment Strategy

KCP seeks to achieve superior returns for its investors through pursuing a majority position with significant equity participation by existing management in successful, established businesses. We employ an investment strategy that focuses on the quality of the company and the industry, the growth prospects of both, and the management team in place. Our strategy of investing our time, managing a limited number of high-quality investments, allows us to dedicate more attention to the unique needs and opportunities of each business, developing a cohesive strategic plan with management by focusing on and dedicating resources to those areas identified as offering the greatest growth opportunities and return on investment.

Our approach provides a dedicated 2-3 person team to every investment. At KCP, we identify opportunities in the lower middle market to create value by guiding companies through a process of development and maturation, followed by significant scaling of the companies, creating a legacy and lasting value for current and future stakeholders.

Investment Focus

We focus on industries in which we have direct management experience and unique relationships, where we have been active and our expertise and longstanding relationships provide access to attractive opportunities for us to add value.

KCP has a broad investment strategy that evolves with industry trends and economic cycles and is often thematic in the approach.  The industry segments and subsegments noted are a representative example of select industries of interest at this time.

Manufacturing & Industrial Services

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace Parts and MRO Services
  • Agriculture Products & Services
  • Tooling, Automation, and Equipment
  • Clean Tech & Services
  • Flexible Packaging

CBRNE and Defense

  • Security Services, Training, and Logistics
  • Contract Services
  • Security Products and Services

Engineering and Technical Services

  • Energy, Power, and Utility
  • Telecom
  • Civil & Infrastructure
  • Environmental

Consumer Products & Services

  • Pet Care Services & Products
  • Branded Consumer Products
  • Branded Consumer Services

Data Analytics

  • Predictive Analytics and Modeling
  • Information Management Services
  • Data Aggregation and Data Enabled Services

Current Investment
Portfolio

We are interested in working with outstanding management teams at our portfolio companies to help them build successful businesses and long-term value.  We enjoy working with our companies to develop and implement strategies that yield growth and superior returns.  The KCP team has both operating and investment experience to come side-by-side with management to help them realize their goals.  We are honored to work with management teams in our portfolio.

Prospect Mold Holdings, LLC

Prospect Mold Holdings, LLC

Prospect Mold, Inc. designs and manufactures tooling primarily for the automotive and aerospace industries, as well as manufactures carbon fiber and metal production parts for the aerospace industry. Prospect Mold also serves other sectors including housewares, appliances, trucks and building industries.

Tower Engineering Professionals

Tower Engineering Professionals

Tower Engineering Professionals (“TEP”) is a full-service, multi-discipline, turn-key engineering and consulting organization focused on the wireless telecommunication industry. Since 1997, TEP has performed work on over 50,000 cell towers, broadcast towers, water towers, elevated signs, roofs and telecommunications sites.

Qal-Tek Holdings, LLC

Qal-Tek Holdings, LLC

Qal-Tek Associates provides products and services to the CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives) market. Services include radiological response consulting and scenario training to CBRNE detection device calibration and sales. Qal-Tek is in partnership to develop the next generation radiological detection device for the United States Armed Forces, initially providing the device to the U.S. Army. Additionally, Qal-Tek provides radiological disposal services and holds one of the only licenses in the country to transport radiological sources internationally.

VSA Partners Holdings, LLC

VSA Partners Holdings, LLC

VSA Partners Holdings, LLC is one of the premier integrated marketing services firms in the country, providing a complement of digital and brand strategy, design and consumer activation strategy.

Meet The Team

The KCP team has an established record of successfully managing middle-market investments across varying economic conditions. In addition, we have consistently closed transaction on the same terms as the letter of intent.

We take pride in developing collaborative relationships with owners and management teams. Our team has 136 years of industry experience and a breadth of operating and investing experience, which enhances our ability to roll up our sleeves and assist management.

  • Chet Gougis

    Chet Gougis

    Co-Founder and Partner

    Chet co-founded KCP’s predecessor Cognitive Capital Partners in 2006. Chet’s professional experience includes over 25 years advising and consulting with family- and employee-owned companies, and broad experience in both mergers and acquisitions and capital raising. Chet is the former president and CEO of Duff & Phelps, a financial advisory and investment banking firm, growing revenue from $4 million in 1998 to $225 million in 2006.

    Chet is on the Board of DePaul University, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Terra Foundation for American Art, The Santa Fe Opera, and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Commercial Club.

    Chet has a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.B.A from the University of Chicago.

  • Ron Yokubison

    Ron Yokubison

    Co-Founder and Partner

    Ron co-founded KCP’s predecessor Cognitive Capital Partners in 2006. Ron’s background includes 10 years of operations and finance experience with General Motors Corporation and Connor Sport Court. At Connor Sport Court, he served as Chief Financial Officer and SVP of Operations, where he was responsible for all operations, finance, acquisition activities and integration. Ron also was previously a Managing Director at Duff & Phelps, with over 7 years of investment banking experience, with broad and diverse experience in mergers and acquisitions.

    Ron has a B.S. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.

  • Billy Smith

    Billy Smith

    Partner

    Billy has been with KCP’s predecessor Cognitive Capital Partners since 2009. He joined as an Associate and is currently a Partner of the firm. Billy serves as a key leader of the firm’s investment team, reviewing and closing new investments as well as working closely with management of portfolio companies. Billy is a former Senior Associate at Duff & Phelps, where he worked on a number of highly complex transactions in the valuation and investment banking divisions of the firm.

    Billy has a B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University, where he was the captain of the golf team.

  • Mike Marek

    Mike Marek

    Partner and Chief Financial Officer

    Mike is the Chief Financial Officer of KCP who joined the firm in 2009. Mike serves on the firm’s investment team evaluating new investments. In addition, he works closely with the portfolio companies to assist and support the development of critical financial accounting, forecasting and planning functions. Mike is the former Chief Financial Officer for Duff & Phelps, and has over 35 years of experience in a variety of financial and operational roles and industries, ranging from a Fortune 50 company to a family-owned asset management firm.

    Mike is a Certified Public Accountant with a B.S. and M.B.A. from DePaul University.

  • Bruce Lee

    Bruce Lee

    Partner

    Bruce is a Partner of KCP and the Founder of Keebeck Wealth Management. As a top advisor, he aligns with KCP’s focus on supporting management’s full growth potential and increasing long-term enterprise value. Bruce also serves on KCP’s investment committee.

  • Jeff Behrens

    Jeff Behrens

    Vice President

    Jeff joined the firm in 2011 as a Vice President. Jeff actively screens, reviews and closes new investments of the firm. Jeff also works closely with the senior management of portfolio companies to drive growth through acquisitions and strategy development. Jeff is a former Senior Associate at Duff & Phelps, where he worked on a number of high-profile family-owned and closely-held client engagements.

    Jeff has a B.S. from the University of Illinois.

  • Jack Wagner

    Jack Wagner

    Associate

    Jack joined KCP in 2019 as an Associate. He is a member of KCP’s investment team focused on reviewing and analyzing new platform investments and acquisitions for portfolio companies. Previously, Jack spent two years as an investment banking analyst at Duff & Phelps, primarily supporting sell-side M&A transactions in the industrials group.

  • Fiona McKenna

    Fiona McKenna

    Associate

    Fiona joined KCP in 2019 as an Associate. She is a member of KCP’s investment team focused on reviewing and analyzing new platform investments and acquisitions for portfolio companies.

    Fiona has a B.S. from Princeton University and was a member of the women’s ice hockey team.

Contact

Address

205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60601

Email and Phone

info@kcp-pe.com
312 268 6015