Our Company

Thurston Group is a Chicago-based private equity firm with an industry-focused approach. Thurston Group has maximized investor returns by building premier businesses through a flexible investment model and by partnering with strong management teams.

By consistently adhering to our strategy for nearly three decades, Thurston Group has developed specific area expertise through skilled investing in Healthcare and IT companies and through proactive industry research. This approach has enabled Thurston Group to originate deals and become value-added partners to our portfolio companies.


In 1986, Thurston Group was founded in Chicago by Patrick J. Haynes, III. as an advisory firm to institutional investors with a specialty in integration of various entities and restructuring of distressed debt. As the years progressed, Patrick’s business strategy evolved to an investment approach centered on growth, with a philosophy of buying and building businesses that make a difference to customers and communities. Today, Thurston Group leverages Patrick’s successful strategy and experience to continue to partner with proven management teams to build premier businesses.

Outside the office, the Thurston Group team works with the not-for-profit organization The Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation (MC-LEF). MC-LEF provides financial support for the children of those who sacrificed their lives for our country.  This organization is near and dear to Thurston Group because of their strong veteran ties to the United States Marine Corps.


Thurston Group has extensive investment and operating experience, and developed a consistent, disciplined and repeatable methodology enabling businesses to reach their full potential at an accelerated pace. The Thurston Group has invested in a range of industries over the last three decades, but the common thread is a commitment to growing businesses the right way — by building strong management teams that consistently deliver both the highest quality outcomes for customers and long-term value for investors.

As a focused investor, we are able to leverage a deep understanding of the unique competitive, business and financial issues facing service companies and provide valuable assistance to our management partners. We enjoy helping companies significantly grow EBITDA, improve long term sustainability, and build company value through various strategies, such as:

  • Improve Strategic Positioning
  • Complete Important Acquisitions
  • Identify & Implement Growth Strategy
  • Enter in New Markets
  • Achieve Operating Efficiencies
  • Develop New Products and Services
We work closely with management in order to enhance workflow and build scale, both organically and through acquisition.
We develop a shared vision that allows for a clear objective and sustainable financial growth.
We identify and implement critical strategies to achieve realistic and attainable growth.
Through continued adherence to our action plan we move toward a successful outcome.

We maximize value for businesses

in industries undergoing fundamental change.

Our unique and flexible investment model enhances our ability to create value quickly and efficiently.


Thurston Group has generated strong returns for its investors through varying economic, industry, and financing cycles. Over this period, we have completed numerous investments, that represent over $3 billion of invested capital. Our realized returns have been generated from earnings growth rather than financial engineering. This approach has enabled Thurston to be growth focused and to deliver more consistent returns over time.






“Pat Haynes became Chairman of Avery Communications. Through his experience, Avery became BSG, a market leader in wireless billing. In the process the valuation increased from $10.0 million to over $500.0 million and a very lucrative IPO.”

Roland Bopp • CEO
Billing Services Group

“Thurston’s belief in our company and management along with their experience led us to a great business combination and an IPO which resulted in superior results”

Todd J Mitty • CEO

“Thurston and their investment partner purchased Companion Technologies, a legacy healthcare information company. Haynes transformed it to become the leading provider of medical records taking the company from $38.0 million in revenue to $365.0 million in 5 years.”

Mike Labedz • CEO

“Thurston’s team of experienced professionals took us from a small start up to a nationally recognized leader in our industry within 12 months. Their innovative strategic planning processes and tactical approach helped our management team zero in on the opportunities that represented the greatest incremental value to the business.”

Tyler Shoemaker DMD • CDO
Smiles Dental

Meet Our Executive Team

Read Patrick’s Bio
Read Willard’s Bio
Read John’s Bio
Read Thomas’ Bio
Thurston Group
225 West Washington Street, Suite 1575
Chicago, IL 60606
Office: 312.255.0077


Patrick J. Haynes, III
Chairman and CEO

Willard C. McNitt, III

John E. McGovern, III

Thomas J. Friedman
Senior Advisor

Mercedes Fehsel
Office Manager