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PSG General

Press Release

Rick Essex Joins Providence Strategic Growth as a Managing Director

Rick Essex Joins Providence Strategic Growth as a Managing Director

Boston, MA – Providence Strategic Growth Capital Partners L.L.C. (“PSG”), an affiliate of Providence Equity Partners L.L.C., a premier private equity investment firm with over $40 billion in aggregate capital commitments, today announced that Rick Essex has joined the firm as a Managing Director based in the Boston office.

Rick joins PSG from Blackboard Inc. where he served as Chief Financial Officer and was instrumental in driving both strategic and operational efforts, most recently leading the successful sale of the company’s Transact division to Reverence Capital Partners for more than $700 million. Prior to Blackboard, Rick was the Chief Financial Officer of Survey Sampling International (“SSI”), where he led the global business through a period of strong organic and inorganic growth, including the successful acquisition and integration of numerous businesses, the sale of the company to HGGC and subsequent merger with Research Now, which created Dynata, one of the world’s largest providers of first-party data solutions and services.

“Rick’s unique experience as both an operator and an investor in software and technology-enabled service companies make him an ideal fit for the PSG team,” said Mark Hastings, Chief Executive Officer of PSG. “With a proven track record of driving organic growth, successful M&A, operational efficiencies and profitability, Rick is well positioned to support new investment opportunities and work with our founders and entrepreneurs as they grow and expand their businesses.”

“I am excited to have Rick join the PSG team,” said Peter Wilde, Chairman of PSG. “Having worked with Rick for more than 20 years in a number of different roles, I am confident that he can add tremendous value to PSG in variety of ways. His financial, operational and leadership expertise will be a great asset as we continue to capitalize on new investment opportunities and support growth within our existing businesses.”

About Rick Essex

Rick has more than 20 years of financial and operational leadership experience. He originally joined Providence Equity Partners in 2003 and served as a Principal of the firm before leaving to join SSI as CFO in 2012. Subsequent to SSI, Rick served as CFO at Blackboard Inc., a Providence portfolio company. Previously, Rick served as a Vice President of BCI Partners and also held roles at Dillon Read & Co and Arthur Andersen.

Rick earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business Administration from Washington and Lee University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University.

About Providence Strategic Growth Capital Partners L.L.C.

Providence Strategic Growth (“PSG”) is an affiliate of Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”). Established in 2014, PSG focuses on growth equity investments in lower middle market software and technology-enabled service companies. Providence is a premier global asset management firm that pioneered a sector-focused approach to private equity investing with the vision that a dedicated team of industry experts could build exceptional companies of enduring value. Since the firm's inception in 1989, Providence has invested in more than 180 companies and is a leading equity investment firm focused on the media, communications, education and information industries. PSG is headquartered in Boston, MA, while Providence has offices in Providence, New York and London. For more information on PSG, please visit www.psgequity.com, and for more information on Providence, please visit www.provequity.com.