Kevin Prokop

Founding partner of Rockbridge Growth Equity in Detroit. Rockbridge is a private equity firm focused on investing in fast-growing technology-enabled service businesses with enterprise values in the range of $100 to $200 million. Rockbridge currently has investments in Purchasing Power, Connect America, Account Now, Protect America, and Northcentral University, and is affiliated with other businesses in the Rock Ventures family of companies in its target sectors, including Quicken Loans, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Title Source, and Fathead. Under Prokop's leadership, Rockbridge has put about $300 million of equity capital among its portfolio companies and recently acquired Triad Retail Media, which creates digital retail media programs for companies such as eBay and Walmart. A frequent speaker and panelist on private equity, he recently spoke at MIT and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. He has written numerous articles on business strategy, private equity, and public policy issues that have been published in the Journal of Private Equity and in a book edited by Harvard Business School's Robert Kaplan, among other publications. Previously, Prokop was a managing director at Questor Partners $1.1 billion private equity fund. He has also served as an engagement manager with McKinsey & Co., an international strategy consulting firm. Prokop's recognitions include Buyouts magazine's "Turnaround of the Year" award, which is presented to the private equity sponsor that engineered the year's most dramatic turnaround. He has also been named one of Michigan's 40 under 40 by Crain's Detroit Business. Prokop serves on several boards of private and publicly-traded companies, including Pulte Capital, One Reverse Mortgage, Northcentral University, Protect America, and others. He has been a leader in initiatives aimed at fostering competitiveness and a new economy in Michigan, including the board of the Citizens Research Council, a public policy think tank. He was involved in Michigan's Road to Renaissance effort, a private-public sector economic development initiative, and is vice chairman and on the executive committee of New Detroit, recently leading the board's strategic planning. In 2008 and again in 2010, Prokop was appointed co-chair of Michigan's legislative commission on governmental efficiency, a private-sector commission established to recommend structural changes to the state's budget. He was appointed by the former governor to serve on a commission to evaluate regional economic development strategies. Prokop received his bachelor's degree in business administration with distinction from Georgetown University, where he was the first student appointed to the university's Board of Governors. He earned his MBA from the University of Chicago, graduating summa cum laude and top of his class.

WHERE BORN: “Southfield.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “A number of people I worked with at McKinsey & Co., which was an absolutely formative experience for me. To this day, it affects how I think about investing and business.”

LAST BOOK READ: “I just re-read Good to Great by Jim Collins. It's still one of my favorite books because it talks about the focus, discipline, and rigor needed for good companies to become great businesses, a journey all of our portfolio companies and management teams are making.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “I work hard but play hard.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “The private equity industry is in the midst of great change. I think that it is becoming too much of an asset class and lost what made it special: finding and building great businesses. It needs to get back to its roots by finding good businesses, investing in them, and compounding capital, not managing for internal rate of return and short-term returns.”


FAVORITE PLACE: “Harbor Springs in the summer.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Running and anything to do with my kids. I have three young children, so I don't have time for much else.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Steak. I'm incredibly boring when it comes to food. I'm very much a meat and potatoes guy.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “Hmmm. I'm not sure. It must still be hidden.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “First and foremost, as a great dad and great husband. Second, as someone who had an impact on his friends and community. Third, as someone who built a great firm and helped great management teams build a billion-dollar business.”