Hyde Park Capital investment boutique girds for statewide expansion
Above: Alex Sink (center), who lost to Rick Scott in the race to become Florida's governor last fall, last week joined Tampa's Hyde Park Capital investment bank. Here she is flanked by bank founders John McDonald (left) and John Hill (right) in the meeting room at Hyde Park Capital's downtown headquarters on Franklin Street. (Photos by Bryan Thomas, St. Petersburg Times.)
Alex Sink's spending half her time working at Hyde Park Capital to get the boutique investment firm better known in Florida, especially in the state's company-rich southern belt between Miami, Palm Beach and Boca Raton. She'll spend half of her time in South Florida (since she's working half time at the bank, that means, in effect, one quarter of her working time will be in South Florida). When she's not working at the bank, she's creating a public policy think tank to advance her ideas on how to improve Florida. It's a move that other ex-politicos, like Jeb Bush, have done to hone their political views, stay in the public limelight a bit, and stay fresh on issues in the event the opportunity and urge to run for public office arise anew. Here's my recent column on Sink's joining Hyde Park Capital after a sit-down interview with her and bank founders John Hill and John McDonald.
Hill and McDonald are in growth mode and hope a high-profile name like Alex Sink will help speed the pace, introducing more of Florida businesses to Hyde Park Capital's expertise in mergers and acquisitions and raising capital for smaller private companies. Hyde Park Capital played a big role in helping find private equity firms to invest upwards of $32 million in Oldsmar's Vology Data Systems (read my column on how that came about). The investment firm also helped Clearwater's Technology Research Corp., which makes electrical surge protectors and and related equipment, reshape a hostile bid into a friendlier deal by buyer Coleman Cable. And it's advising Clearwater's Nicholas Financial Inc., which deals in automotive lending, on the possible sale of the company.
Hill and McDonald say their competitors include St. Petersburg's far larger Raymond James Financial (where they both worked before starting Hyde Park Capital), and investment firms in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, among other cities.
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, St. Petersburg Times