Ben Brandes, an experienced private equity (PE) professional, has joined the PE practice of CrossCountry Consulting, a McLean, Virginia-based management consulting firm. Brandes joins the firm as a director, and will be based in Boston.
Brandes brings 20 years of experience in private equity investment, financial advisory, and transactions. During his career, he has invested, managed, and advised on more than $2 billion in mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, and joint ventures.
At CrossCountry, Brandes will work with private equity clients to support their portfolio companies through the investment cycle. The firm’s growing PE practice helps firms make operational enhancements to drive value creation across their portfolio, with offerings in operational and IT diligence, IT system strategy and implementation, finance transformation, integration support, and sell-side assistance, among others.
Brandes was previously national director for private equity at Grant Thornton US, overseeing the accounting and consulting firm’s entry into the PE advisory space. Prior to that, he was a director in the PE practice of McGladrey (now RSM).
Earlier in his career, Brandes founded PE group Avalon Management with backing from ABRY Partners, overseeing the management of $500 million in capital for mid-tier deals. At Avalon, he co-founded two PE funds and formed eight portfolio companies with a total of 25 acquisitions.
Brandes holds an MBA in finance from The University of Chicago and a BSE in finance from the University of Pennsylvania.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ben to the CrossCountry team. He brings significant experience that will help us continue to grow our Private Equity practice and strengthen our relationships with our valued clients. As a highly talented growth equity investor in a wide-range of industries, his vast knowledge of the private equity industry will be an asset to our practice and our clients,” said Chris Clapp, partner and PE lead at CrossCountry Consulting.
Clapp joined the firm in March from MorganFranklin Consulting, where he was a managing director and founded and led the firm’s PE practice. The DC-area management consultancy was acquired by Vaco in August 2019.
“With valuations at all-time highs, it is essential for private equity funds to have a partner who can drive meaningful and sustainable operational changes across their portfolios,” Brandes said. “With CrossCountry’s suite of operational capabilities, they are exceptionally well-positioned to provide a scale of support for their private equity clients.”
Founded in 2011, CrossCountry offers professional services in accounting advisory, business transformation, corporate transactions, risk and compliance, and technology. The firm has more than 500 employees across offices in McLean, Boston, New York, Seattle, and San Francisco.