Start-up StoneTree seeks second VP; eyes debut fund

StoneTree Investment Partners, a three-person Dallas-based firm that buys North American manufacturing companies, has an opening for a vice president to work on finance and transactions.

Among responsibilities, the vice president will contribute to due diligence on target companies, work alongside portfolio-company CFOs to improve financial planning, measurement and analysis; as well as contribute to the build-out of StoneTree’s own back-office.

It would be the second vice presidential hire at two-year-old StoneTree, which has aspirations to raise a debut fund down the road. Sean Caetano joined the firm in January 2022 with a background in engineering. He works with portfolio companies and their managers to improve performance.

The backgrounds of Caetano and the new vice president would parallel those of the two founders.

Partner Joel Stanwood cut his teeth as an engineer at Motorola, BMW and Siemens before advancing to partner on the value-creation side of American Industrial Partners during a nearly 10-year run. (Stanwood describes Caetano as a “better looking, stronger, smarter” version of himself.) Partner Chris Dupré started his career in investment banking and consulting before advancing to partner during an 11-year stint at Wingate Partners.

Stanwood and Dupré co-lead deals to ensure portfolio companies benefit from their complimentary talents and skill sets. Their broader goal on deals, etched in the firm’s tagline: “Transforming Industrials. Investing in People.”

More about the opportunity:

The Strategy: StoneTree looks for manufacturing companies generating EBITDA of $4 million to $10 million on revenue of $50 million to $200 million. In the words of Stanwood, they should be “commercially strong” but “operationally challenged”; the ideal target has the potential to at least double EBITDA organically during StoneTree’s holding period. The firm aims to acquire roughly one platform investment per year. Both Stanwood and Dupré feel strongly that they should leave everyone involved in a deal better off, from the CEO down to front-line employees.

The Portfolio: The firm got its first portfolio company, Power Test, under an LOI in 2021. The Wisconsin-based company manufactures testing equipment, including dynamometers, used in mining, trucking, oil and gas, electrification, and other industries. “We’ve hit every milestone that we mapped out on a whitebaord, notwithstanding a crazy macro-environment,” said Stanwood.

The Qualifications: For the VP of transactions and finance position you should have five or more years of experience in investment banking or private equity. An MBA is desired: Stanwood and Dupré met while studying for MBAs at the Kellogg School of Management and both see a lot of value in the degree. The ideal candidate would also have experience managing junior professionals.

The Culture: Just as the firm plans to space out its acquisitions, it also intends to take its time between hires. The partners want to have ample time to mentor and apprentice new hires. “Our intent is to grow and develop people at a sustainable pace,” said Stanwood. In candidates the firm looks for such qualities as a bias toward action, humility, the ability to consistently do things well but also a desire to have fun and enjoy their time in the office. “Integrity is always a critical value,” added Dupré. “Do what you say, say what you do.”

For more details contact Dupré at

–David M. Toll

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