The CHILDS Advisory Partners’ senior leadership team, supported by dynamic, knowledgeable associates and analysts, applies decades of experience delivering the investment banking services that help business services and technology companies succeed.
Jim Childs founded CHILDS Advisory Partners in 2006 to advise business and technology services companies raising capital, executing mergers and acquisitions, and developing strategic plans. Jim has a passion for advising high-growth firms and has advised on transactions totaling more than $4 billion.
Prior to founding CHILDS, Jim was CEO and co-founder of Impact Innovations, a $100 million IT services provider. Under Jim’s leadership the company raised more than $30 million in capital and grew to more than 700 employees nationwide prior to its sale in 2004. Backed by Cravey, Green and Wahlen and Allied Capital, Impact became a premier IT services firm in the Southeast serving both federal and commercial clients.
In the mid-1990s, Jim served as vice president of investment banking at Robinson Humphrey, a division of Salomon Smith Barney. Jim led more than 30 M&A transactions and capital raises for private and public companies, focusing on middle-market services firms as part of the business services practice at RH.
Jim started his career at Arthur Andersen in Atlanta. He graduated from Harvard Business School in 1995 and from the University of Georgia in 1990, where he was a member of the 1987 NCAA champion tennis team.
Cooper Mills joined CHILDS Advisory Partners in 2009 following successful tenures at several leading investment banks. He leverages his three decades of experience advising high-performing business and technology services companies to provide firm leadership, and he applies his extensive sector-focused-experience to help CHILDS’ clients meet their financial objectives.
Prior to joining CHILDS, Cooper founded SunTrust Robinson Humphrey's business and technology services industry group in 1993. Under Cooper’s leadership, this group became one of the most active equity underwriters and M&A advisors in the human capital management industry. In addition, he and his team were active in the marketing and information services and industrial services industries and they were responsible for developing and transacting public and private-equity capital raises, private debt placements, and M&A transaction and financial advisory assignments for companies such as Source Services, MPS Group, EmployBridge and Cross Country Healthcare.
Cooper's previous experience includes three years with Rotan Mosle in Houston, concentrating on financial institutions; and 10 years with Trust Company Bank as a manager of national accounts in Atlanta and as the manager of the European representative office in London.
Cooper also serves as an advisory director of the College of Management at Georgia Institute of Technology, foundation trustee of Atlanta Youth Academy, and foundation trustee of Center for the Visually Impaired in Atlanta. He received his M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia and B.S. in industrial management from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Tom joined CHILDS in 2013 to advise growth-focused software and services companies. Since 1998, he has worked on M&A and capital raising transactions totaling more than $2.0 billion in transaction value. Tom will work out of Boston.
Tom shares the entrepreneurial spirit and drive that his clients possess. Prior to CHILDS, Tom co-founded Bulger Capital Partners. While there, he helped to raise and invest a growth equity fund in addition to advising clients including Ansys, Rocket Software and TSD.
Previously, Tom was at Needham & Company for nine years, where he performed public and private equity offerings as well as M&A transactions for his clients. Tom also established the software and services group at Needham and was Co-Head of the East Coast team. He advised clients including Aspen Technology, Bottomline Technologies, Kronos and PTC on a wide range of transactions.
Tom started his career at First Call, a division of Thomson Financial Services. He received an M.B.A. from the F.W. Olin School of Business at Babson College and a B.A. from Hobart College.
Don Holbrook has more than 17 years of investment banking experience focused primarily on technology and IT services. As a director, he manages CHILDS Advisory Partners’ Los Angeles office, where he provides transaction advice and execution to high growth IT and professional services companies. Don has successfully led more than 40 M&A transactions.
Prior to joining CHILDS, Don was a managing director at DecisionPoint with responsibility for the firm's West Coast office. With an extensive background in technology mergers and acquisitions, Don has worked with a variety of differentiated companies, including Cumberland Consulting Group, Aggressor, MyIT Group, E2E Consulting, Visionary Integration Professionals, helping them achieve their strategic goals.
Previously, Don was with Stanford Keene, a middle-market investment banking firm, where he focused on M&A transaction advisory services for technology clients.
Don holds a B.S. in business from Roger Williams University and an M.B.A. from the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte, N.C.
Jimmy Secretarski is a Director at CHILDS and leads the IT & Professional Services Group. He has been an investment banker and investor in the technology and professional services sectors with firms such as Hambrecht & Quist, J.P. Morgan and Jefferies.
Dave Phillips joined CHILDS Advisory Partners following successful tenures at several global human capital firms. As a director, he manages CHILDS Advisory Partners’ Jacksonville, Fla. office, focusing on firms in the business services sector.
Prior to joining CHILDS, Dave served as the vice president of corporate development for Volt Information Sciences. Prior to that, Dave spent 10 years as vice president of corporate development for MPS Group, and executed over 40+ transactions across the IT, healthcare, legal, finance & accounting, marketing and VMS/RPO/MSP sectors. He leverages his three decades of experience acquiring, integrating and managing high-performing business services and technology companies to provide guidance to services firms. As one of the most active buyers in the human capital sector, he brings a unique perspective to our clients.
Dave’s previous experience includes over 15 years in general and sales management with technology firms servicing the banking, professional services and construction industries.
Alan Bugler serves as a Director at CHILDS Advisory Partners, focused on sourcing and executing mergers, acquisitions, and capital raises for business and technology services companies. He recently advised Fahrenheit Technology in the sale of its staffing operations to Global Employment Solutions, EmployBridge in its recapitalization with Morgan Stanley and Clovis Group in its sale to Eliassen Group.
The business and technology services sector is his primary focus and he has worked with companies such as On Assignment, FTI Consulting, Kelly Services as well as many middle market private held businesses. Alan also leads CHILDS' private equity coverage effort.
Prior to joining CHILDS in 2010, Alan was an investment banker in the Business and Technology Services Group and later in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, where he sourced and executed transactions representing in excess of $3 billion in value.
Previously, Alan was with the Christman Group, a Chicago based investment bank. Alan began his professional services career with Onboard Media, a global media company, where he led an international account program from inception to generating more than $12 million in annual sales in six countries.
Alan graduated salutatorian, summa cum laude with a B.A. in economics from Knox College in Galesburg, Ill, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He also studied at university in Southampton, England, where he is originally from.
“We are fortunate to have a strong team of smart, driven professionals who won’t settle for less than the best. It’s that drive that high-growth clients and private equity firms count on for results over the long-term.”
—Jim Childs, Founder
CHILDS Advisory Partners