David W. Knowlton
David Knowlton successfully launched Watch Hill Partners LLC in 2003 and sold the firm to FBR Capital Markets in 2009. Watch Hill Partners advised on over $30 billion in assignments and made several highly successful merchant banking investments. Mr. Knowlton recruited and assembled a team of well known, experienced professionals from some of the most prestigious investment banking firms. Additionally a number of highly respected CEOs were investors in the firm.
Prior to Watch Hill, Mr. Knowlton successfully formed platforms at two firms that each generated over $100 million in revenue within eighteen months of inception. Mr. Knowlton was responsible for all aspects of the firms' relationships with financial sponsors and their portfolio companies. This included generating M&A business, ideas, and pursuing financial sponsor investment opportunities and delivering the firms' high yield corporate finance and bank finance capabilities. Mr. Knowlton helped establish new relationships, generate significant M&A revenue and develop numerous and substantial co-investment opportunities at each of his prior firms.
From December 1996 to March 1999, Mr. Knowlton established and ran Gleacher & Company's financial sponsor efforts, as Managing Director of North American Investment Banking and Head of Acquisition Finance for NatWest Markets, the U.S. M&A and merchant banking arm of NatWest. Mr. Knowlton's relationships among financial sponsors and their portfolio companies are both broad and deep.
Mr. Knowlton has had an extensive career on Wall Street serving the needs of CEOs, boards of directors and private equity firms. He began his career with an internship with the Joint Economic Committee in Washington DC, and then joined Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company in 1980. He held a number of positions in multinational client management and oil and gas industry lending before joining MHT's Acquisition Finance Group in 1985. After the mergers with both Chemical Bank and Chase Manhattan Bank, Mr. Knowlton continued his position as Managing Director in Acquisition Finance, generating ideas for financial sponsor clients, co-investing with them and providing them with high yield and bank financing.