Meet the DBO Team
Our team offers unparalleled experience and demonstrated excellence in executing transactions, providing advice and building long-term trusted relationships.
Will joined DBO Partners as an analyst in 2020. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He also completed a second major in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and a minor in Spanish Language and Literatures. While at UC Berkeley, Will held a leadership position in the Berkeley Business Society and competed on the Cal Dragon Boat team. Prior to joining DBO, he completed internships in the technology groups at Mizuho and Alantra.
Mark is a founding partner of DBO Partners. He started his career with Morgan Stanley in 1985 after graduating from The University of California at Berkeley with a BS in Business Administration. He worked for two years as an analyst in the Firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions department. From 1987 to 1989 he attended Stanford Business School where he earned his Masters in Business Administration. He returned to Morgan Stanley in 1989 as an associate in the Corporate Finance department. Mark was the Global Head of Morgan Stanley’s Financial Sponsors coverage group for eleven years before becoming Chairman of the Group in 2011.
As Head of the Financial Sponsors Group, Mark was responsible for managing all of Morgan Stanley’s relationships with private equity firms globally. He has been involved in many of the largest and most complex LBOs. In addition, he has had the privilege of advising many private equity firms on financing and strategic opportunities at the GP level. Notable transactions where Mark was involved include the $45Bn LBO of TXU, $20Bn merger of Seagate and Veritas and the subsequent $2Bn LBO of Seagate’s disk drive business, $12Bn LBO of NXP, $11Bn LBO of SunGard and the $8Bn LBO of Avaya. At the GP level, Mark was involved in the $5Bn IPO of KPE, the subsequent merger of KKR and KPE and relisting of KKR on the NYSE, IPO of Blackstone, and the sale of a minority stake in TPG to CDB.
Mark currently resides in Hillsborough, California with his wife Kelly and three children.
Sam joined DBO Partners in 2020 after a summer internship with the firm in 2019. He graduated from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Business Administration with a focus in Finance. At USC, Sam held leadership positions in various clubs including the Trojan Investing Society, Performance Science Club, Club Volleyball and the Sigma Nu Fraternity. Sam also played Division 1 volleyball for Pepperdine University in 2017; the team finished 8th in the NCAA. Prior to joining DBO, Sam held internships at Morgan Stanley, Riot Games, & Mana Up Ventures.
Lexi joined DBO Partners in 2019 after a summer internship with the firm in 2018. She graduated from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley with a B.S. in Business Administration and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Technology. At UC Berkeley, Lexi founded her own education technology startup and held leadership positions in the Haas Social Venture Fund, The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee, and The Berkeley Group. Prior to joining DBO, Lexi held internships at HP Inc. and Bugsnag.
Lexi currently serves as a Board Member for the Young Professionals Board of College Track, a nonprofit that empowers students from underserved communities to graduate from college and as a Board Member for the Vintage Aero Flying Museum, a living history WWI and WWII aviation museum.
Joshua joined DBO Partners in 2018 as an analyst. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi from Stanford University where he completed a BS in Management Science and Engineering with a concentration in Finance and Decision Analysis. While at Stanford, Joshua held a leadership position in the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and was a member of the club soccer team. Prior to joining DBO, he completed an internship in the Long/Short Equity Group at Farallon Capital Management.
Gordon began his professional career as a securities lawyer in Washington DC specializing in the IPOs of financial institutions. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1986 where he rose to become a Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Investment Banking. He ran the San Francisco Investment Banking operations and was co-head of the firm’s Western Region.
Gordon has completed over 125 transactions, totaling over $100 billion of financing and mergers and acquisitions for clients including Albertson’s, BankAmerica Corporation, Boeing, Charles Schwab, Clorox, Coinstar, Consolidated Rail, Del Monte, KKR, Levi Strauss, McKesson, Molson Coors, PACCAR, Safeway, TPG, Transamerica, Univar, URS and Wells Fargo.
Gordon and his wife Kristin live in Hillsborough with their three children, Gordon, Jackson and Robby. He currently serves on the Board of Regents of Georgetown University as well as the Board of Directors of Engineering Change, KnowledgeBeat and the San Francisco Golf Club. Gordon also served on the Board of the San Francisco Opera and was Chairman of the San Francisco Zoological Society.
Jake joined DBO Partners as an analyst in 2020 after a winter internship with the firm in 2019. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Alpha Theta from Dartmouth College where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in History with focuses on colonial India and post-war Japan. While at Dartmouth, Jake was a Presidential Scholar and an Undergraduate Residential Advisor. Prior to joining DBO, he completed internships at Cambridge Associates and Coady Diemar Partners.
David DeRuff has over 30 years of experience. David began his career at Morgan Stanley followed by over a dozen years at Montgomery Securities and Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette. David founded, built and sold East Peak Advisors, a leading M&A advisor to emerging technology companies. He has developed an excellent reputation as a thought leader and highly experienced advisor for emerging growth companies in industries where technology plays a transformative role. David has completed well over 100 transactions in his career.
David earned a BS in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley and a MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. David was a member of the 1984 US Olympic Rowing Team and finished sixth in the pair without coxswain event.
David and his wife Elizabeth have three children and live in Larkspur, California. David recently served as Senior Warden (chairman) at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ross, CA. He also served as the Chairman of the Estuary Boathouse Fund which successfully raised the capital for a new boathouse for the University of California, Berkeley.
Conor joined DBO Partners as an analyst in 2019. He graduated summa cum laude and Beta Gamma Sigma from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in Finance. At Notre Dame, Conor was a member of the NDIGI Investment Management Leadership Program and Unleashed Social Ventures. Prior to joining DBO, he completed an internship at Financial Technology Partners.
Andrew joined DBO Partners in 2020 as an analyst. He graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Notre Dame where he completed a BA in Economics. He also completed a secondary major in Applied Mathematics & Computational Statistics. While at Notre Dame, Andrew held leadership positions in the Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion (JIFFI) and Student International Business Council (SIBC). Prior to joining DBO, he completed internships with Vista Equity Partners and Dimensional Fund Advisors.
Mathew Hein joined DBO as a Partner in 2015 and has executed over 100 technology mergers, acquisitions and capital raising transactions. Previously, he served 17 years at Morgan Stanley, including as a Managing Director in the Technology Investment Banking Group and as Global Head of Semiconductor Banking.
Mr. Hein is responsible for managing relationships, providing strategic advice, advising on M&A transactions and leading financing transactions for established and emerging growth technology companies. He has advised public and private companies, representing buyers and sellers in negotiated as well as unsolicited transactions, and has raised capital in private (venture, growth equity, private equity) and public (IPO, follow-on, PIPE, convertible, high yield, investment grade) capital markets. He has completed transactions for a broad range of technology companies, including AMD, Applied Materials, Arbor Software, Atmel, Autodesk, Broadcom, Brocade, Ethertronics, Forte Software, Informix, Ingram Micro, InvenSense, LSI, Microsemi, Netscape, Polycom, Redback, SanDisk, Seagate, SGI, SK Hynix, Spansion, Spreadtrum, Sybase, The ASK Group, TrustArc and Verigy.
Mr. Hein lives in Los Altos with his wife and three children. Mr. Hein currently serves on the Board of Universal Logic. Mr. Hein is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in Civil Engineering and an AB in History.
Since September 2013, Margaret “Peggy” Hodel has been the external accountant for DBO Partners. In April 2018, she expanded her role to that of Chief Administrative Officer, with additional responsibilities covering compliance, real estate, technology and human resources.
Peggy began her accounting career with Deloitte & Touche, and is a licensed California certified public accountant. She received her BA in mathematics from Dominican University.
Peggy lives in San Rafael, and is an active member of Marin Tennis Club, having been a member of the Board of Directors and Finance Committee, in addition to playing on multiple USTA competitive tennis teams. Peggy also volunteers with AARP Tax Aide, a non-profit tax preparation program for low income taxpayers.
Arush joined DBO Partners in 2020 after a summer internship with the firm in 2019. He graduated from the Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Finance from the Wharton School of Business and B.S.E in Electrical Engineering. At Penn, Arush was the President of the Engineering Student Board, ESAC, a competitive dancer on Penn Raas, and a teaching assistant. Prior to joining DBO, Arush held internships at CalAmp and Narbis.
Peter joined DBO Partners as an analyst in 2020. He graduated cum laude from Bucknell University where he completed a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and Financial Management. At Bucknell, he was a four year member of the Men’s Soccer Team in addition to captaining the team his senior year. He was also an active participant in the leadership community as a member of the Athletic Leadership Institute. Prior to joining DBO, he spent three years at J.P. Morgan Private Bank supporting financial principals with investment advice and structuring fund level credit facilities.
Madeleine is a Managing Director at DBO Partners. Prior to joining DBO Partners, Madeleine was an investment banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley in the Financial Sponsors Group. She focused on leveraged buyout transactions across a variety of industries and valuation analysis of private equity firms.
Madeleine graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Statistics and a minor in Industrial Engineering Operations Research.
Nicholas’ banking career spans 31 years. Prior to co-founding DBO Partners, he was a Managing Director and Head of Global Technology Mergers & Acquisitions at Morgan Stanley. In this role he was responsible for managing relationships and advising on M&A transactions for leading global technology companies including Advanced Micro Devices, Applied Materials, Arcsight, Atmel, CNET, eBay, Electronic Arts, Ingram Micro, Intuit, Oracle, Omniture, Qlogic, Rightnow, Sandisk, Semtech and Zappos. He has completed transactions valued in excess of $100 billion and has extensive experience representing both buyers and sellers, structuring and negotiating significant JV’s and advising on activist and hostile situations.
Prior to joining the Morgan Stanley’s Technology M&A Group in 1996, Nicholas was a Vice President in the Financial Sponsor Group at Morgan Stanley and an Associate in the High Yield Finance Group at First Boston in New York City. In these roles he worked with leading private equity firms and their portfolio companies as well as large public companies structuring and executing leveraged buyouts, initial public offerings and highly leveraged financings. Prior to attending business school, he completed the management program and was corporate finance officer focused on large multinational clients at JP Morgan in New York City.
Nicholas is a graduate of Williams College with a BA in Economics and of the Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College with an MBA.
Gordon has over 15 years of investment banking experience in the US and Asia. Prior to joining DBO, Gordon led Morgan Stanley’s Southeast Asia Mergers & Acquisitions business from 2013 to 2018. In this role he advised local, regional and global companies and investors on acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. He was previously a member of the Asia M&A team based in Hong Kong, where he advised on transactions in China, India, Korea and Taiwan as well as in Southeast Asia. In his 10 years based in Asia, Gordon executed over $30Bn of complex, cross-border transactions for a diverse group of corporate, private equity and sovereign clients including AES, Aviva, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, CITIC Capital, GE, KKR, Petronas, PetroVietnam, RBS, Temasek, TCC Group, TPG, and Vietnam Airlines.
Prior to moving to Asia in 2007, Gordon was a member of Morgan Stanley’s Financial Sponsors Group based in New York, where he played a critical role in several industry-defining transactions such as the 2006 IPO of KKR PEI and the 2007 IPO of The Blackstone Group. He has advised on over $11bn of equity IPOs and over $2Bn of lead-managed leveraged finance offerings in support of private equity clients.
Gordon earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Prior to joining DBO, Creighton ran his own advisory and consulting business, through which he served in executive management and business development roles for enterprise technology startups. Clients spanned a range of industries: Autonomous Mobility Design & Manufacturing; Security Software; Healthcare Data Analytics; Insurance Technology; and Secure Collaboration. Assignments included raising equity capital, strategy and market development and partnership management.
Prior to starting his own business, Creighton led West Coast State & Local Government business development and sales at Palantir Technologies, and served as Vice President of Investment Banking at WR Hambrecht.
Creighton has also held various business development, strategy and financial analyst roles at Rocket Lawyer, Renaissance Technologies (now Meritage Group) and Advent Software. He began his business career as an Associate at Merrill Lynch.
Creighton served for four years as an officer in the US Marine Corps, with deployments to Japan and the South Pacific, and to Kuwait and Iraq in support of Operations Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom.
He holds a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford Business School.
Donald joined DBO Partners in 2019 after a summer internship with the firm in 2018. He graduated cum laude and Phi Alpha Theta from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. He also completed a second major in History with concentrations in Revolutions and Asian history. While at Notre Dame, Donald held leadership positions in the Wall Street Club and Student International Business Council. Prior to joining DBO, he completed an internship at JFP Holdings in Beijing, China.
Greg is an Associate at DBO Partners and joined the firm in 2020. Prior to joining DBO, Greg was an Investment Associate at Portfolio Advisors LLC from 2015 to 2017, where he focused on direct private equity co-investments and mezzanine debt investments. Before this, he was an Analyst in the Syndicated & Leveraged Finance group at J.P. Morgan, and an Analyst in the Capital Markets division at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.
Greg is originally from New York and graduated cum laude from Lafayette College with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Government & Law. He holds an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business.
Stephen is an Associate at DBO Partners and joined the firm in 2020. He has over seven years of financial industry experience having previously been a Research Associate at both RS Investments and Franklin Templeton Investments. His sector coverage responsibility included consumer discretionary and industrials sectors.
Stephen earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Colgate University, and is a CFA® charterholder.
Buz Walters is a former Vice Chairman, Global Investment Banking and Head of Venture Coverage in the Investment Banking Division at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He has over two decades of senior management experience in working with and serving the venture capital community through investment banking. He is an expert in venture capital, private equity, alternative assets, IPO originations, mergers and acquisitions and private wealth management.
Prior to joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Walters was a senior advisor and head of Venture Coverage in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs. During his eight-year tenure with Goldman Sachs, Walters strategically positioned the firm as a leading provider of investment banking services targeted to private equity firms. Prior to Goldman, Walters was Head of Venture Coverage for Alex.Brown and Sons.
Walters holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and graduated cum laude from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. He served on the W&L Foundation Board, and was former Board member and President, Youth Tennis Advantage. Buz and his wife Marianne live in Atherton, California.
Lauren Webster is a Principal of DBO Partners. She has provided strategic advisory and M&A services to enterprise technology, aerospace and defense, and security companies, as well as to investors in these markets. Most recently, Ms. Webster served in operating roles at multiple cybersecurity companies – as VP of Product at RedOwl Analytics, a behavioral analytics solutions for security and compliance, and then as Senior Director of Product at Forcepoint, following the sale of RedOwl to Forcepoint. At Forcepoint, Ms. Webster led the integration of security analytics into the Forcepoint product portfolio, launching a new Dynamic Data Protection solution for risk-adaptive data loss protection.
Prior to Ms. Webster’s operational experience, she was a Senior Director at Chertoff Capital, the investment banking subsidiary of Washington, DC-based Chertoff Group. There, she provided M&A advisory services totaling over $3bn in transaction values. Ms. Webster managed multiple PE-backed exits for cybersecurity companies, including the sale of Entrust to Datacard and Tripwire to Belden, and she provided extensive advisory services to leading PE acquirers of technology and government services business, including Apax Partners, Arlington Capital Partners, Behrman Capital, and LLR Partners. While at Chertoff Group, Ms. Webster also advised on the growth and product strategies for early stage companies through large cap technology, government services, and aerospace and defense leaders.
From 2008 to 2015, Ms. Webster served as a U.S. Navy Reserve Intelligence Officer, supporting the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Navy’s 10th Fleet and U.S Cyber Command, and the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Ms. Webster began her career in equity research at BayStreet Research, covering wireless telecommunications and video game companies.
Ms. Webster lives in Oakland with her husband and two daughters. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and has an MA from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service’s Security Studies Program, where she completed a thesis on cyber deterrence.
Brian leads the global security practice for DBO Partners, with a particular focus both on cyber security and government services. Beyond his background leading strategic and sponsor M&A deals, Brian has experience both as an operator and a senior government official. As an operator, Brian served as the COO and a member of the Board of Directors at RedOwl, a cybersecurity company that was acquired by Forcepoint in 2017, where he managed day-to-day operations, led all go-to-market activities including sales, marketing, customer success and finance, and drove the strategic direction of the business. Brian also served as an operator at Lockheed Martin where he spearheaded a $100M homeland security business. Brian also served as a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security, where he concluded his tenure as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary. Other notable positions include serving as the Chief of Staff in the Office of Policy; and serving as the first Congressionally mandated Director of Cargo, Maritime, and Trade Security policy. Brian also served as a Professional Staff Member in both the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives.
And as an advisor, Brian was a partner of the Chertoff Group where he led their advisory business and established the company’s West Coast technology advisory and investment banking practice. Brian’s past clients include AT&T, A16Z, Endgame Systems, Palantir, SpaceX, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, FireEye, and his previous deal experience includes the Arlington Capital Partners roll-up of Novetta, TripWire’s sale to Belden, and Entrust’s sale to DataCard.
At DBO, Brian led ProtectWise’s sale to Verizon, ZingBox’s sale to Palo Alto Network, and numerous advisory engagements with sponsors investing in the security market.
Brian currently serves on the Board of Advisors at the Center for New America Security (CNAS); and the Board of Advisors at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
Brian holds an MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University; and a B.S. from Syracuse University where he was a Division 1 student-athlete.
Bryant is a Managing Director at DBO Partners and joined the firm in 2012. He focuses on M&A and private placement transactions across all industries, with an emphasis on technology. Prior to DBO, Bryant was an Analyst at Morgan Stanley in the Financial Sponsors Group focusing on M&A and corporate finance advisory services for Private Equity firms and their portfolio companies.
Bryant is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and received his BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with honors. He was Captain of Penn’s Golf Team, and also a member of their 2007 Ivy League Championship Team.