Star Mountain Capital Appoints Scott Couto as Senior Advisor

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Star Mountain Capital, LLC, a specialized investment manager with over $4.0 billion in assets under management focused on generating defensive and premium yield and total returns from the less efficient and resources-intensive market of U.S. private small and medium-sized businesses, is pleased to announce that Scott Couto has joined as Senior Advisor. 

Scott Couto has over 30 years of experience in the asset management business including executive leadership, risk management, investor reporting, investment strategy, distribution, marketing and investment product development experience.

Mr. Couto was most recently Executive Vice President & Head of North America at Columbia Threadneedle Investments ($650+ billion), where he was responsible for all aspects of the North America asset management business including product development, marketing, intermediary markets, global consultant relations, institutional sales and relationship management. Mr. Couto served as Chair of the North America Risk and Controls Committee and Chair of the North America Business Management Committee, the Columbia Threadneedle Global Executive Group, and was also a member of Columbia Threadneedle parent, Ameriprise’s ($40+ bn market cap NASDAQ: AMP) Executive Leadership Team.

Prior to Columbia Threadneedle investments, Mr. Couto served as President of Fidelity Institutional Asset Management at Fidelity Investments (~$4.9 trillion AUM), where he was responsibility for Fidelity Investments’ U.S. Intermediary and U.S. Institutional businesses and was responsible for $580 billion in client AUM.

“We are honored to have Scott join Star Mountain as an aligned Senior Advisor bringing extensive strategic leadership, business management, governance, risk management and client relations experience,” said Brett Hickey, Star Mountain Capital Founder & CEO. “Scott has tremendous complementary and differentiated skills and experience that I am confident will benefit all Star Mountain stakeholders including our team and investors.”

“I look forward to sharing my experiences and believe this is a compelling time to look at investing in the U.S. lower middle-market which represents nearly 50% of U.S. GDP and is now more open to outside investors given the aging demographic business owners willing to sell and take on outside capital,” said Scott Couto. “I also think it is a prudent time for investors to look for less market correlated returns as a further potential benefit to Star Mountain’s differentiated investment platform which is purpose-built to work with these smaller, but established private businesses.”

Prior to Fidelity, Mr. Couto served as Chief Operating Officer at Evergreen Investments, now part of Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), which had ~$250 bn of AUM and where he was responsible for Evergreen’s U.S. Intermediary Business including mutual funds, separately managed accounts, sub-advisory and retirement markets. At Evergreen, Mr. Couto also served as Global Head of Product Management & Development and was a Member of the Operating Committee, Investment Product Committee, Investment Strategy Committee, Risk Management Committee, Global Distribution Operating Committee and Hedge Fund Operating Committee.

Prior to Evergreen Investments, Mr. Couto served as Senior Vice President & Director of Investment Strategy at Liberty Funds (now Columbia Threadneedle Investments). He began his career in 1991 as a Senior Investment Executive at Liberty Financial Companies.

Mr. Couto has served on multiple boards including the Insured Retirement Institute (executive committee), Posse Foundation and Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (finance committee).

Mr. Couto received his B.S. in Finance and Investments at Babson College and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He holds FINRA series 7, 63, 51, 3, and 24 licenses. Mr. Couto is a Member of Boston Security Analysts Society and the CFA Institute.

About Star Mountain

With over $4 billion in assets under management (committed capital including debt facilities as of 6/30/2024), Star Mountain takes a data-driven approach to investing into the North American lower middle-market through two complementary investment strategies: (i) direct debt and equity investing and (ii) secondaries (acquiring LP interests and direct assets and making primary LP commitments). Star Mountain believes these complementary strategies provide data-enhanced, scalable, diversified, and customizable access for its institutional and qualifying high-net-worth investors to established businesses that generally have at least $15 million in annual revenues and under $50 million in EBITDA. Its investors include public pensions, private pensions, insurance companies, commercial banks, endowments, foundations, family offices and high-net-worth individuals. Star Mountain is employee-owned and shares its profits with 100% of its U.S. full-time employees as part of its focus on maximizing value for its stakeholders and investors through alignment of interests.

Since 2010, Star Mountain has made over 250 direct investments in businesses and over 45 secondary / fund investments within its Collaborative Ecosystem®, focused on the North American lower middle-market. One of Star Mountain’s specialties is seeking current cash income for investors that is materially above the typical yields found in the public markets, often accompanied with potential long-term capital gains equity returns and low correlation to public markets through its distinctive origination, underwriting and value-added investment capabilities.

Star Mountain was recently named one of the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private companies in America.