Cogent's founders believe that many of the sophisticated investment structures long available to the elite private equity arena and to publicly traded mid and large cap companies can also be effectively harnessed for the benefit of nano, micro, and small-cap public (and on occasion, soon to be public) companies. Our broad career experience base across the full range of private equity, public equity, hedge fund, investment management, structured investments, and operating management gives Cogent a unique perspective which we leverage for the benefit of the companies in which we make investments.
Our customized investment structures combine the best of the “long term investor philosophy”/private equity approach with the flexibility and fast timing of a private investment or hedge fund. As a result, we are often able to successfully fund direct investments in vibrant growing companies who may be “shut out” from the traditional capital and financing markets because of size or stage of development.
Gregory L. Kofford
is Co-Founder and Senior Principal of Cogent Capital Group LLC. He is involved in all phases of the firm's development and approves all capital commitments by the firm.
With 20 years of extensive experience in the capital markets, hedge fund and private family office investing, Greg previously founded Cogent's predecessor organization in 1995. Greg has also previously been responsible for publicly traded equity and debt investments at Taylor & Co in New York., an investment vehicle which managed approximately $4 billion for private investors Sid, Lee, and Perry Bass. Previously, Greg was responsible for public equity and debt in investments at Alexander Group in Houston, TX, a private family office owned by Les Alexander (who also owns the Houston Rockets).
Greg has held positions in New York with Windsor Associates/Manko & Company, a hedge fund with memberships on the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Greg also founded the corporate finance group at regional broker-dealer Wilson Davis.
A Utah native, Greg returned to Salt Lake City in 1990 to assume a three year operating role as President and Chief Operating Officer at his family's regional specialty retail chain (which executing the template he refined has today grown from 3 to 27 stores). He received an M.B.A. from the Sloan School at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.). Greg lives near Salt Lake City with his wife and 8 children near the foot of the Wasatch mountains.
Mark W. Holden is Co-Founder and Senior Principal of Cogent Capital Group LLC. He is involved in all phases of the firm's development and approves all capital commitments by the firm.
An experienced investor, Mr. Holden previously founded and led (2000-2004) one of the principal private equity investment practices at JPMorgan Partners, LLC ("JPMP"), a global private equity firm with approximately $13 billion under management. At JPMP Mr. Holden's responsibilities included sourcing, evaluating, structuring, negotiating, and actively monitoring private equity and venture capital investments including management buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth equity financings. While at JPMP Mr. Holden was active in evaluating over 2,000 potential direct investments undergoing diligence, including over $5 billion of direct investments completed by JPMP. These investments encompass a global mix of industries across the health care, consumer/retail, energy, industrial, TMT and financial services sectors. During this same period, Mr. Holden personally led approximately $400 million of successful direct private equity investments companies in partnership with strong company management teams.
Prior to joining JPMP Mr. Holden was a Principal with Trident II, L.P., a $1.3 billion private equity investment partnership focused on the financial services sector, between 1998-2000. He previously held positions at Morgan Stanley & Co. from 1989-1992 and from 1994-1998 where he advised a wide range of clients on private equity investments, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and financial strategy.
Mr. Holden has served as a directors of a number of companies including Strongwood Holdings, USI Holdings (NASDAQ: USIH), ERisk, and Axis Specialty (NYSE: AXS - board observer). He received a B.S., cum laude with University Honors, from Brigham Young University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and 5 children.