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Date ArticleType
9/9/2020 General
Baltimore’s Think Acquires Ventrue LLC

Baltimore’s Think Acquires Ventrue LLC In A Nationwide Bid To Expand Into Private Equity And Venture Capital Markets

Under the deal Mike Abbaei, Brij Sharma, Jeff Musgrove – three executives with deep ties to PE and VC markets – will become shareholders of the company.

BALTIMORE, MD –  September 9, 2020 – Think, a privately owned technology and operations advisory firm that provides on-the-ground transformation and consulting, announced today that it has purchased Ventrue LLC, a Naples, Fla.-based shared services company for an undisclosed price.

As part of the transaction Think has signed a partnership agreement with Naples Technology Ventures (NTV), a venture capital fund that invests in technology companies. Think will provide technology and advisory services to support NTV’s acquisitions. Ventrue currently offers NTV portfolio companies with companion services.

“This transaction is a major step for Think and opens new markets for the company across the country,” said Tony Gruebl, Think’s president. “It provides Think with unmatched expertise, connections and credibility that will enable us to build relationships with private equity and venture capital firms and propel Think into 2021 and beyond.”

Mike Abbaei, founder of Ventrue and NTV’s co-founder and managing partner, said, “We are excited about the chance to partner with Think. The combination accelerates and strengthens the value proposition for our portfolio companies and can become a model for the venture capital industry.”

Under the deal, Abbaei will become a shareholder of Think along with entrepreneur and investor Brij Sharma, who is the co-founder and managing partner of NTV. Sharma has more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and investor in the U.S., India, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. The two will advise Think and make introductions to companies backed by venture capitalists and private equity investors.

In addition, Jeff Musgrove joins Think as managing director of Think’s executive advisory, private equity, and venture capital services. Musgrove will lead the growth of Think’s existing executive advisory business, assist the company in bringing on new customers and develop new business areas in PE and venture capital markets.

Both Abbaei and Musgrove are former Legg Mason Inc. executives who were at the forefront of a $3.7 billion deal in 2005 in which the Baltimore-based money management company agreed to trade its brokerage unit for Citigroup Inc.’s money management business. Upon leaving Legg the two executives partnered to start Baltimore-based consultancy Finix Business Strategies, which was sold within 22 months of its launch. They also worked together in senior executive roles at DST Systems and Broadridge Financial Solutions.

Musgrove specializes in turning businesses around by not only developing the strategy but executing against the product and organizational alignment roadmaps. In addition, he is an experienced chief operating officer focusing on the intersection of operations and technology. And he has expertise in M&A; preparing businesses for sale, due diligence, deal closing and integration management.

Think also announced that as part of the deal Joe Poling has been promoted to director of client solutions. A Think executive, Poling has more than 25 years of experience helping build and launch technology companies that include On-Site Computer Services, Inc., Eyecon, LLC., and Sylvan Learning’s spinoff eSylvan. Poling also has expertise turning around troubled companies.

Gruebl has known Abbaei and Musgrove for 12 years and the two have advised Think on business strategies. In recent months Gruebl, Poling and the Think executive team determined that the company could expand nationally by offering its array of executive advisory services focused on cutting-edge technology, project management, cyber security and strategic hiring, to companies backed by PE and venture investors. Abbaei, Sharma and Musgrove proved a perfect fit with Ventrue and NTV, whose companies will benefit from Think’s services.

“This is a natural progression of our offering and, as it turns out, is very similar to the strategy Jeff and Mike had for Ventrue,” Gruebl said. “With so much natural synergy between Think and Ventrue we found a way to work together. We believe the capabilities we are bringing to the market are transformative and will give our new clients a major advantage over the competition.”

About Think

Founded in 2004 in Baltimore, Think is a privately owned technology and operations advisory firm that provides on-the-ground transformation and consulting, led by executives, adapted for the mid-market. Our team aligns company culture with your business mission and goals, leading to positive change and results. Think is now operating in both Baltimore and South Florida, working with client organizations to accelerate their growth. To find out more about Think, visit https://thinksi.com/