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Pitching in

Private equity pros use fundraising skills to help Puerto Rico

A Foundation for Puerto Rico volunteer hands out food after Hurricane Maria hit the island.

Nearly six weeks after Hurricane Maria's 150 mph winds slammed Puerto Rico, two groups of private equity professionals have raised more than $26 million to help.

The family foundation of Orlando Bravo, a managing partner at San Francisco-based private equity firm Thoma Bravo, has raised $25 million for its Podemos Puerto Rico fund to provide direct aid.

Mr. Bravo seeded the fund with a $10 million donation that Podemos Puerto Rico used to airlift supplies to the island. Others who have donated include Joesph Baratta, Blackstone Group LP's global head of private equity; Jean-Pierre Conte, chairman and managing director of Genstar Capital LLC; Ian Loring, managing director, Bain Capital LP; Hollie Moore Haynes, managing partner of Luminate Capital Partners; and Dave Roux, former chairman of Sliver Lake Partners.

Private Equity for Puerto Rico has raised more than $1.25 million of its $10 million fundraising goal. Among those providing support are Milton Berlinski, co-founder and managing partner of New York-based Reverence Capital Partners; ICV Partners; Mercury Capital Advisors; Brightwood Capital Advisors LLC as well as founding firms Clearlake Capital Group LP, Valor Equity Partners, StepStone Group LP, Palladium Equity Partners LLC and MoonSail Capital.

The group is giving the donations to Foundation for Puerto Rico, an existing charity now focused on the island's recovery.

"Being in the private equity world ... we are good at fundraising, improving operations and growing businesses," said Jose E. Feliciano, Clearlake's co-founder and managing partner. "We are using the same skills ... to attack the humanitarian crisis."

Mr. Feliciano and his wife's charity pledged $500,000 for a matching program.

Those wishing to donate can do so via PE for PR's Classy page or the Bravo foundation's website.