Sunday, May 26, 2024

Triangle: What the doctor ordered

Doctors complain a lot about insurance companies, so they might as well own one. In North Carolina, they do: Raleigh-based Medical Mutual Insurance sells medical malpractice insurance to about 12,000 doctors in 37 states, earning $37 million in 2014, according to its most recent annual report. Now the 41-year-old company is getting more aggressive, completing its biggest acquisition in January and starting SharpVue Capital, a subsidiary to manage money for the company and its doctor-owners.

N.C. Budget Director Lee Roberts left state government in January to join SharpVue. Medical Mutual’s investments totaled $438 million at the end of 2014. About 10 institutional investors now manage those assets, including First Citizens Bank, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo. The goal is to shift asset management to SharpVue over time, CEO Dale Jenkins says. “Our whole goal is to help physicians in a variety of ways, and many were saying, ‘We would like you to do more.’” Roberts, who had the state post for a year and a half, previously worked for what is now Yadkin Financial, Cherokee Investment Partners and Morgan Stanley. Other SharpVue principals include veteran private-equity investor Matt Mongia.

Separately, Medical Mutual bought Healthcare Providers Insurance Exchange, a Philadelphia-based company started in 2002 when Pennsylvania doctors complained they couldn’t afford malpractice policies. Medical Mutual’s gross premiums averaged about $100 million a year over the last four years, with the acquisition expected to boost sales by about $30 million and add 2,000 doctors. The company has to pay if doctors mess up, but it appears quite successful in defending its members: It closed 91% of claims without making any payments from 2010-14, while winning 86% of its trials.

SANFORD – Coty will invest $19 million in its local plant and add 25 jobs over three years, bringing the workforce here to 775. The New York-based company makes cosmetics and skin-care products; brands include Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs and Playboy. Coty plans to acquire 43 of Procter & Gamble’s beauty and cosmetics brands in a $12.5 billion deal, expected to close in the second half of the year.

CHAPEL HILL – TrueBridge Capital Partners raised $400 million in its fourth fund, exceeding its target of $325 million. Founded here in 2007, the venture-capital firm invests primarily in early-stage technology companies based in northern California. TrueBridge has $1.6 billion in assets under management.

CARY – Xerox Commercial Solutions, a division of Norwalk, Conn.-based Xerox, planned to lay off 178 employees at its local call center this month. Xerox plans to split its document management and business process outsourcing divisions into two companies.

RALEIGH – Greenridge Investment Partners, an Austin, Texas-based private-equity firm, will acquire Consolidated Asset Recovery Systems for an undisclosed amount. Consolidated Asset provides software that helps lenders manage and sell repossessed property.

MORRISVILLE – Munich, Germany-based Adva Optical Networking will acquire Overture Networks for $35 million. Founded in 2000, Overture provides Ethernet networking technology.

DURHAM – Clinverse was acquired by Doylestown, Pa.-based Bioclinica for an undisclosed amount. Clinverse sells software that helps contract-research organizations and drug companies involved in clinical trials manage financial transactions. Previous investors included Durham-based Hatteras Venture Partners.


Ashton Poole, 49, was named chief executive officer of Triangle Capital, a Raleigh-based private-equity firm with $968 million under management as of Sept. 30. He replaces Garland Tucker III, who co-founded Triangle’s predecessor company in 2002 and will remain chairman. A UNC Chapel Hill grad with an MBA from Northwestern University, Poole joined the firm, which provides capital to lower middle market companies, in 2013 after 19 years working in the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley.

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