About Us

Richard J. Wood

MANAGING PARTNER & CO-FOUNDER

Richard has more than 20 years of investment banking experience spanning both boutique and middle market firms.  Prior to Co-Founding First Hill Partners in 2010, Richard was with Thomas Weisel Partners, where he served on the Private Placement commitment committee and led the firm’s private placement group. Before joining Thomas Weisel Partners, Richard worked at Cascadia Capital, where he was a member of the Management Committee and served as the lead private placement banker across the Technology, Internet & New Media, Healthcare and Cleantech sectors. Prior to Cascadia, he was an investment banker with Piper Jaffray. Richard began his career in finance and corporate development with The Cobalt Group in Seattle. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Seattle University, where he currently serves on the Board of Regents as well as the Chair of the Board of Advisors for the Department of Finance, and appears as a guest lecturer.

JEFFREY H. SUSSMAN

MANAGING PARTNER & CO-FOUNDER

Jeff brings over 20 years of experience in boutique and middle market investment banking firms, as well as principal investments.  Prior to co-founding First Hill in 2010, Jeff was a founding member and, later, Co-Head of the Cantor Fitzgerald Technology Investment Banking Group and served as lead banker on numerous transactions in the technology and healthcare IT sectors.  Prior to joining Cantor, Jeff was with Cascadia Capital where he was a member of the Management Committee and served as the lead banker on numerous mergers & acquisition, recapitalization and financing transactions across the Technology and Healthcare sectors. Before joining Cascadia, Jeff was with the Exigen Group where he led the firm’s corporate development efforts, as well as with Piper Jaffray as an Associate in the Technology Investment Banking Group. Jeff has also taught courses at the University of Washington and the University of Colorado and has been called to provide independent Expert Witness Testimony on technology mergers & acquisitions. Jeff graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder and holds a B.S. in Business Administration. He also sits on the Boards of Directors or Advisors of several private companies.

Michael J. Black

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Michael has more than 30 years of experience spanning investment banking, principal investing and engineering. He has led numerous mergers & acquisitions and equity offerings.  Prior to joining First Hill Partners, Michael was a Managing Director at Zachary Scott & Co., leading the firm’s efforts in the industrial technology as well as aerospace and defense sectors. Michael also ran a search fund to acquire control positions in lower middle market companies. Prior to his search fund, he was a Managing Director with D.A. Davidson & Co. where he built and led the semiconductor manufacturing and electronics value chain investment banking practice. Michael began his investment banking career as an Associate with Piper Jaffray. Prior to Michael’s career in finance, he was a Design Engineer. He holds both a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering as well as an M.B.A. from The University of Washington.

David E. Isett

MANAGING DIRECTOR

David joined First Hill Partners with over 30 years of executive leadership experience and a proven track record of financial growth, innovation and leadership success within the manufacturing, foodservice technology and equipment industries. David was CEO and Chairman of Concordia Beverage Systems a global leader in automated espresso and coffee brewing systems. In this role he led significant strategic alliances and development programs with such companies as Seattle’s Best Coffee, Starbucks, Coinstar (Outerwall), Coffee Planet, Coffee Nation (Costa Express), Caribou, Torani and many others around the world. Prior to Concordia Mr. Isett was President and Chairman of EMF Corporation a world leading machine manufacturer within the printing and publishing industry. Other positions included Marketing and International Sales Management roles within the cellular telecommunications and portable data processing industries. David holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Oregon State University, an MBA from the University of Washington and continued leadership training from the International School of Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.

BRIAN W. CARROLL

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Brian’s career spans over 35 years across investment banking and private equity. Prior to joining FHP, Brian was a Managing Director with Najeti Ventures, a family office focusing on growth equity. While at Najeti, Brian identified and structured new investment opportunities as well as advised on the divestiture of several portfolio companies. Before joining Najeti, Brian was a senior banker at Cascadia Capital as part of the firm’s east coast expansion. Prior to Cascadia, Brian spent his career with large institutional investment banks (Morgan Guaranty, JP Morgan and Bank of America), spanning M&A, portfolio management and sponsor coverage across the capital goods, defense, transportation and automotive industries. He formed and led the Transaction Development Group for Morgan’s financial sponsor coverage team, and served in that capacity at Bank of America. Brian also serves on the Board of Groundwork Hudson Valley, a non-profit dedicated to restoring environmental conditions of economically disadvantaged communities. He holds an M.B.A from Columbia University and a B. A. English Literature from Colgate University.

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