Tim Rampe, a former partner at DGS for nearly a decade, is the general counsel of Lovell Minnick Partners, a private equity firm focused on investments in the global financial services industry, including related technology and business services companies. Tim brings strong financial services experience to LMP, having represented privately held and public companies on a wide variety of acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, public stock offerings, and loans, as well as venture capital and hedge fund investments. In addition, he has advised clients on securities compliance and corporate governance issues. Tim earned his B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
What does a typical day look like for you at LMP?
- It really varies. Being in-house at a private equity firm, you of course have a heavy dose of M&A activity, both new platform deals and add-on activity within the portfolio. But the PE firm itself is its own business and it faces all the legal issues that any business confronts (employee matters, RE leases, etc.). Plus, many of our portfolio companies do not have any internal legal resources, so you also get brought into legal issues within the portfolio. A typical day for me is a mix of reviewing M&A agreements, speaking with portfolio company executives on legal matters (e.g., a piece of litigation), and then updating an LMP internal policy in light of, for example, new SEC guidance.
How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted your business?
- The biggest impact to us has been the inability to meet with management teams of prospective investments. Video conferencing is great, but it isn’t ideal for developing personal relationships with management teams, which we need before making an investment. The pandemic has had varied impacts across our portfolio, but, on the whole, we’ve been pleased with how it has held up. Being a sector specialist in financial services, we generally are not invested directly in the industries that have been most impacted (e.g., travel, restaurants, and hospitality), but we do have businesses that service those businesses and therefore have been impacted. In terms of LMP itself, as has been the case with most companies, we’ve transitioned fairly seamlessly to a work-from-home environment.
What is your favorite memory of working at the firm?
- Besides draining the winning shot in the lawyer league basketball semifinals, I’d have to say my favorite memories all revolve around working as part of a DGS team on a challenging transaction. I had several challenging transactions in my DGS tenure – some of the LMP acquisitions and gold mining deals come to mind – and the best part of those transactions are the bonds you develop with your fellow deal team members.
Who are some of the people at DGS that had the greatest impact on you?
- Well, Jay Newcom’s (former GC of LMP and DGS partner) impact was certainly great, considering that I’m writing this from Pennsylvania. There were many other DGS lawyers (Patricia Peterson, Ron Levine, Jeff Brandel, Mark Bussey, Randy Hubbard, Jonathan Marks, Sam Niebrugge, and Deborah Friedman, to name a few) who had positive impacts as well and who have specific strengths that I try to emulate. I also miss all the administrative support who helped me over the years and sometimes still do (thank you, Susanne Joslin, Lisa Schweger, and Christina Hill).
Even though you live in Philadelphia, you serve on the board of the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative to help protect and preserve the trails in the Rocky Mountain West. Does this give you an excuse to travel back Colorado?
- That was part of the master plan, but that’s been derailed a bit due to COVID-19. The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative does important work building trails on the 14ers and it’s a great way for me to stay connected to Colorado. DGS has been a strong supporter of CFI over the years. I missed out on the hiking season this year but hope to come back strong in 2021 and be able to spend some time in the Colorado high country and see friends/family in Colorado, including DGSers, past and present.