David Panton, Partner and Co-Founder, Navigation Capital Partners
In late 2006, David Panton co-founded Navigation Partners (formerly Mellon Ventures) when the firm spun out of Mellon Financial.
, who had been with Mellon Ventures since 2004, led the first two deals closed by Atlanta-based Navigation Partners
The first came in February 2008, when Panton
sourced, negotiated and structured the acquisition of Exeter Finance Corp.
At a time when many auto finance companies were going out of business, revenue at Exeter Finance
grew 5x in 2008 alone.
To ensure it continues, the former Rhodes Scholar and president of the Harvard
Law Review designed a deal to merge Exeter Finance
with an undisclosed bank.
This will provide the company with improved leverage and a lower cost of funds while also creating what he
said will be the only "pure play" bank-owned subprime auto finance company.
Next came the acquisition of Brown Trucking
for less than 4x EBITDA in May 2008.
With Panton serving as chairman of the company's board, the logistics and fleet services business has since reduced its debt by 20 percent, increase its sales pipeline and maintained revenue.
Panton, a former senator in the Upper House of Parliament in his native Jamaica, also sits on the board of Exeter Finance.