Profile: New IVCA Board of Director Member, John Yeager of WhiteHorse Capital … Direct Lending Affiliate of H.I.G. Capital

Profile: New IVCA Board of Director Member, John Yeager of WhiteHorse Capital … Direct Lending Affiliate of H.I.G. Capital

September 2, 2020

Last year the Illinois Venture Capital Association (IVCA) announced their latest Board of Directors, who will serve from January 1st, 2020, to June 30th, 2021. There are many new faces and perspectives on the Board, so the IVCA is continuing a series of profiles for those recently minted BOD officers. The next profile is below …
 
New IVCA Board of Director Member: John Yeager, Managing Director
Representative Firm: WhiteHorse Capital, Direct Lending Affiliate of H.I.G. Capital
 
IVCA: Tell us a little about your firm and your tenure there.
 
John Yeager: WhiteHorse Capital is the Direct Lending credit affiliate of H.I.G. Capital. WhiteHorse provides debt financing to performing middle market companies in the U.S. and Europe. WhiteHorse has a broad investment mandate and provides senior, subordinated, and unitranche debt for refinancings, growth capital, acquisitions, buyouts, and balance sheet recapitalizations.
 
H.I.G. Capital is a leading global alternative investment firm with $37 billion of equity capital under management, with a focus on the small cap and mid cap segments of the market. We align ourselves with committed management teams and entrepreneurs and help build businesses of significant value. I first joined WhiteHorse in 2012 and became a Managing Director in 2017.
 
IVCA: What made you decide to Join IVCA’s board?
 
Yeager: I believe enhancing the understanding of and correcting any misinformation that exists among our legislators and broader community through more extensive outreach is vital … to convey the significant value private investment firms bring to our economy and society in general.
 
IVCA’s governmental and community outreach efforts are very important to me personally. I hope to use my involvement on the board to further this cause.  
 
IVCA: Can you talk about your involvement in correcting some of the misperceptions of the VC/PE business model and how it promotes economic growth? Any ideas for how IVCA can do this more effectively?
 
Yeager: As an organization, H.I.G. Capital promotes involvement. I am personally a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and on the board of Chicago Commons. In my opinion, the only way to correct any misperceptions is to be present and willing to engage in the tough conversations.
 
IVCA: The coming months will be difficult as we figure out how to move through the pandemic and expected recession, any thoughts on how VC/PE will fare?
 
Yeager: Historically, private investing through Private Equity and Venture Capital investment vehicles has performed better than the broader markets in the worst of economic times. Professional investors across the community take active roles to ensure their portfolios are protected and prepared for a variety of economic outcomes.
 
Access to fixed capital in the Private Equity and Venture Capital fund vehicles generally allows portfolio companies to better weather short term disruptions created by the pandemic and ultimate economic contraction, if it were to occur.
 
IVCA: The IVCA works to share ‘best in class’ operational practices across firms, any thoughts on how that might help firms weather our current storms?
 
Yeager: Our current environment is evolving at an unprecedented rapid pace, which makes collaboration among investors more valuable than ever. During my involvement on the board of IVCA, I’d like to see more efforts to create smaller cross-functional groups that can share ideas and look for best practices. Ultimately, these relationships can make the difference between a good investment and a great one.
 
IVCA: What are you hoping to offer and gain from IVCA Board Participation?
 
Yeager: I am looking forward to learning more about the legislative process, how we can get involved and create change where applicable. The IVCA has a tremendous base of membership, which I am honored to participate. I am very much looking forward to developing deeper relationships across the member firms.
 
For the WhiteHorse Capital bio of John Yeager, click here.