Lenore M. “Lennie” Sullivan is co-chairwoman of Texas Women Ventures, a Dallas, Texas based family of investment funds dedicated to investing in women led and managed businesses in Texas and across the Greater Southwestern United States. Lennie joined TWV on a part time basis in late 2010 to focus on Texas Women Ventures Fund II after five years as a Charter Investor and member of the Investment Advisory and Investment Committees of TWV’s previous funds.
Lennie brings over 30 years of investment banking and private equity experience to TWV. Her career experience includes institutional capital management as well as capital formation for small, entrepreneurial businesses and real estate operating and investment companies. She currently serves on the Investment Advisory Board of the Employee Retirement System of the State of Texas and the Investment Advisory Board of the Austin Community Foundation. She is a partner in Republic Holdings Texas I and II, certified capital companies chartered by the state of Texas, and serves on the investment committees for both funds. She also serves on the boards of directors for HFF, Inc. and Parkway Properties, Inc., publicly traded, NYSE listed companies.
Lennie began her career as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc. in New York City in the late 1970s. She moved to Texas in 1983 to join the Trammell Crow Company, becoming a partner in the Dallas commercial office division in 1986 and subsequently moving into the Crow Family’s private office to work in their hotel, public warehousing and agribusiness operations. Her responsibilities included raising capital, sales and acquisitions for these family businesses and their operating and equity partners.
In 1992, Lennie resigned from the Crow organization to begin working as a business consultant and independent investment banker for small businesses across a variety of industries, including light manufacturing and assembly, technology and telecom services, and oil and gas exploration and extraction, while continuing her work with real estate owners and operators, although on a smaller, more entrepreneurial scale than the Trammell Crow Company. She also assisted several fund management general partners in their institutional and family office capital raising efforts; one of these funds was an SBIC focused on investing in manufacturing and service business in the Southwest, the other a high profile institutional fund which was the first of its kind, creating a vehicle for U.S. institutional investors to directly participate in the ownership of exploratory and producing oil and gas assets in the U.K. sector of the North Sea.
Lennie joined the Hunt Private Equity Group in 2000 as a partner in the Lafayette Fund, a middle market leveraged buyout fund focused on acquiring majority interests in middle market manufacturing, service and distribution companies. Her responsibilities including investor relations, deal sourcing, due diligence, and the financing and closing of transactions, as well as post-closing asset management. While at Hunt she arranged the majority acquisition of, and served as chairman of the board of, Wyndham Jade, a woman owned and managed travel services businesses engaged in corporate travel and trade show and convention management.
Lennie joined the finance department faculty of the McCombs Business School at the University of Texas at Austin in 2002 as a lecturer in real estate finance and investment management. During her five year tenure at U.T., she also served as Associate Director of the school’s Real Estate Investment and Advisory Center, with responsibilities for industry membership and relations. Lennie was instrumental in the growth of the Center’s membership from its initial 35 founding members to well over 100 members today, including the development of an associate council membership level which boasts many of her former MBA and undergraduate students at U.T. Lennie continues to serve the program as an Advisory Director and member of the Center’s Leadership Council, and she also serves on the Advisory Council of U.T.’s School of Architecture.
In 2007, Lennie joined Perella Weinberg Partners in their Austin office as a partner and portfolio manager for the Agility Real Assets Fund. PWP is a global private investment banking and investment management firm based in NY with offices in London, Austin, and San Francisco. The Agility Real Assets Fund was one of five funds executing endowment-styled investment management vehicles for small to medium sized endowments, foundations and family offices seeking an outsourced investment management solution. Lennie was responsible for managing investments in publicly traded securities, private equity funds and direct positions in inflation correlated asset classes, including energy, timber and agriculture, real estate, infrastructure, commodities and TIPS. Following a management reorganization at the senior levels of Agility and a change in investment focus, Lennie retired from PWP in late 2009 to concentrate on board service and to take a more active role in TWV.
Lennie received her undergraduate bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Smith College in economics and government, with a designed minor in urban studies, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received an MBA from Harvard Business School, earning First Year Honors. She has held both Series 63 and Series 7 securities brokerage licenses at various times during her career. She resides in Dallas with her husband Barry N. Henry, although she continues to spend a lot of time in Austin in conjunction with her various U.T. and investment advisory board activities. She has three married stepsons and five grandchildren.