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Regal is a control growth equity and buyout firm focused exclusively on partnering with lower middle market healthcare services companies. Founded in 2017 by Dr. David Kim and Jon Santemma, “Regal” is an acronym of their children’s initials. We partner with leading-edge healthcare entrepreneurs in need of financial investment and strategic, operational, and managerial expertise. Regal and its co-founders bring a unique combination of operational and transactional experience to healthcare services companies to help realize their growth potential.
Regal brings a breadth of experience through its Senior Management – from entrepreneurs who have been in your shoes and have navigated the process of choosing an operating and financial partner, to financiers who have helped leading companies sufficiently capitalize to propel expansion, to operators who have executed on people, strategy, and direction, to lay the course for the next stage of growth. Our team includes:
Healthcare Services Experts
Entrepreneurs and Operators
Letter From Dr. Kim
“As a physician-entrepreneur having gone through a private equity sale process three times, I’ve found that picking the right partner can be a daunting task, especially given the abundance of quality private equity funds in the market. Initially, I was scared and nervous about upsetting the status quo and giving up control of my company – private equity was an enigma to me and I was hesitant to jump headfirst into something I didn’t understand. Fortunately, I found that my relationship with the private equity firms I partnered with was incredibly positive, and that was one of the driving forces behind me co-founding Regal Healthcare Capital Partners with my colleague Jon Santemma.
The timeline for partnering with private equity is different for all healthcare entrepreneurs. For me, it was when my first business, Premier Care Urgent Care, started to experience accelerated growth and I realized that I needed a capital partner to help me grow at the speed and scale required to become the market leader.
As I learned more about private equity, it became clear that not all private equity firms were created equal. I met with dozens of firms during my sale processes and a recurring frustration was the lack of specialization. I was determined to only partner with a fund that lived and breathed healthcare and that would value clinical quality at the same level as financial performance, but most of the funds that I encountered did not have a healthcare focus and did not understand the nuances of a medical practice. Ultimately, I found the right partner for my business, but I realized how lucky I was to find a partner who had the same values as me and wasn’t only focused on the bottom line. When I… started Regal, I set out to be the antithesis of all the funds who saw my business as an investment that happened to be in the healthcare space. Together with my partner, Jon Santemma (who has over 25 years of healthcare experience), we built a team of professionals who have spent their careers in healthcare and who share our passion of lending our clinical, operational, and financial expertise to leading healthcare entrepreneurs who are hoping to scale their business.
As a physician, clinical quality was my first priority and I was adamant about partnering with a firm that wanted to help me grow and expand my business without sacrificing patient care. A patient-first attitude is critical in healthcare and if we lose sight of that we are doing a disservice to our patients and to ourselves.
In my experience, I’ve found that most private equity firms will rush to consummate a transaction, inadvertently shocking a seller who has never been through a process before. At Regal, we try to consider the experience of being the selling physician-entrepreneur while going through any process. We make a point of spending as much time as needed to walk the selling physician through all the key terms of our deal prior to starting the onerous diligence process, rather than dropping a stack of legal documents on the physician-entrepreneur at the eleventh hour. Similarly, I’ve found that many private equity firms exaggerate their operational experience and capabilities, but in reality, have never operated a company. I am ultimately a doctor and operator before an investor and we’ve built a team with experiences across the spectrum so that we can not only “talk the talk” but can also “walk the walk”. We understand how an efficient business ought to run and we roll up our sleeves to help our partners get to where they need to be. Simply put, we know that the companies we work with are looking for a partner, and we feel that a true partner needs to do more than just show up at a quarterly board meeting.
When looking to partner with a private equity firm, an entrepreneur should look for a differentiated capital provider, one who’s values and vision align with that of the entrepreneur, the company, its employees, customers and all other stakeholders. Aside from capital, the entrepreneur should look for a true partner – a sponsor who will build out a team around the entrepreneur, guide with strategy and direction, invest in new tools, technology, and infrastructure in order to propel the company into the next stage of growth. The key to success in a healthcare business is simple: drive greater value to patients. We spend every waking moment at Regal working towards this goal and we aim to help as many healthcare businesses as we can.”
David Kim, MD, MBA
Co-Founder and General Partner of Regal Healthcare Capital Partners
Letter From Jon Santemma
“During my 20+ year career as an advisor and banker to healthcare companies, I had the pleasure of working with many of the country’s best healthcare entrepreneurs. Over my career, I was fortunate to advise them as they expanded and brought in private equity partners, raised debt, completed mergers and acquisitions and eventually sold to a new private equity or strategic partner. These companies were generally provider-centric, multi-site healthcare services businesses, in sectors like dental services, dermatology, vet services, physical therapy, etc., as well as companies across the post-acute spectrum. Many of these businesses were quite small when I first began working with them, but over time grew their businesses into industry leaders at the forefront of innovation in their respective fields. I always found advising and helping these companies achieve their goals exciting and rewarding. The common factor that made these companies successful were founders and employees that remained committed to creating value and providing excellent care to growing numbers of patients, even as their companies grew and transformed. They were truly able to “do well by doing good”.
My banking and advisory career culminated with my role as Global Head of Healthcare Investment Banking at Jefferies, where I oversaw all verticals of healthcare across the world, from biotech and pharma to services and med-tech. It was a terrific job, working with great people, but I always felt that one day it would be rewarding to work more closely with the smaller, faster growing businesses I… enjoyed so much. That opportunity arose when I met Dr. Dave Kim.
After meeting thousands of healthcare services executives during my career, Dave was an immediate standout. He brings the trifecta of relevant experience to the table: operational efficiency expertise through his engineering degree and Fortune 500 consulting experience, a medical degree and more than a decade as a practicing ER physician, and a successful entrepreneurial track record demonstrated by the three healthcare services companies that he founded. Dave and I perfectly complement each other. His entrepreneurial instinct, operational skills, and medical expertise, coupled with my healthcare focused transactional and financial experience, enable us to provide best-in-class advice and support to the entrepreneurs we invest in and partner with.
Dave and I co-founded Regal in 2017 with our name deriving from the initials of our children. We wanted to create a different type of private equity firm. A firm backed by doctors and healthcare providers, where unsurpassed clinical care and patient experience was at the heart of every business decision. A firm that understands the needs of healthcare providers and can deliver to them a value-added partnership. We pride ourselves on being forthright and transparent partners, with a no surprises approach to our relationships, investments, and investors.
Jon Santemma, JD, MBA
Co-Founder and General Partner of Regal Healthcare Capital Partners