TBI Refuses Private Equity, Adds Supplier, Channel Managers

TBI signed the Norwegian contact center provider Puzzel.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

January 3, 2022

3 Min Read
TBI Refuses Private Equity, Adds Supplier, Channel Managers

Chicago-based technology services distributor TBI has expanded its portfolio and channel team amid its bid to remain financially independent.

TBI hired Grayson Throckmorton as VAR inside channel manager and Hunter Owens as channel manager. Throckmorton will recruit and support MSPs and VARs across the U.S., while Owens will work with agents in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.


TBI’s Hunter Owens


TBI’s Grayson Throckmorton

Throckmorton worked for TBI from 2017-2019 and most recently worked for Lume Cloud. Owens spent three years as a Lumen channel manager.

In addition, the firm promoted Pete Miserendino from sales manager to omni center director of sales.

TBI also tapped Norwegian contact center provider Puzzel to its line card. TBI director of sales Toni Leopoldo said Puzzel provides a Europe-based support team that will meet sales partners’ needs.

“We are keen to have European-centric suppliers who deliver first class technologies and services like Puzzel does. With leading edge services around customer experience (CX), we know Puzzel will be a great fit for TBI’s partner base in this region,” Leopoldo said.

Private Equity

Private equity courted TBI and its competitors in 2021. Some of them, including Telarus and Avant, have accepted deals. Customer-facing partners have also enjoyed increased attention from private equity firms like Berkshire. TBI in a blog post last month cited several reasons why it will not accept a private equity investment.

Nefertari Bilal first pointed to the loss of ownership that comes with private equity. She said investors typically take over 30-70% of control, which could create instability in the organization.

She also noted that the average time for PE firms to flip their purchases has dropped from six years to four and a half.


TBI’s Nefertari Bilal

“Private equity firms are not in it for the long haul and are quickly moving on to the next company once they receive profit. This can result in a company’s long-term vision being undermined and unsuccessful,” Bilal wrote.

Moreover, she said the PE focus on profit can cause internal disruptions. For example, the organizations might go through layoffs or financial cutbacks or additional M&A.


Rad-Info’s Peter Radizeski

Peter Radizeski of Rad-Info has written extensively about private equity and repeatedly warned that he has seen little good come of PE investments on the supplier side.

“We’ll see if any of these newly minted or recently merged entities can get their synergies together and deliver in 2022. Most likely not-so-much! Bigger is never better in the world of telecom,” he wrote in his latest blog.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email James Anderson or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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