Blue Sky Management & Research

Navigating the Future

Jim McGowan

Jim McGowan is a management partner on the Blue Sky team. Jim has over 40 years of experience as a senior executive, consultant and venture investor. He also has served on the Board of Directors of several public and private companies.

Jim is the founder of McGowan Associates, a boutique investment and management consulting firm which provides services to private equity funds, private and public retail companies and national consulting firms. Jim’s experience ranges from interim executive positions at Filenes Basement (Interim COO of a new division) and The TJX Companies (Director of European Operations), to engagement on strategic consulting projects for Arthur Andersen, Gordon Brothers Ltd., and the Trump Group. Leveraged buyout investments at McGowan Associates included a very successful investment relationship with Madison Dearborn Partners and the Thomas H. Lee Company, financial investors which, on an investment of $22 million, realized a return of $114 million within three years. Other experience includes early stage healthcare and technology companies, where Jim played interim management roles.

Before founding McGowan Associates, Jim was the COO/CFO and selling stockholder of three retail chains, each of which was acquired by a NYSE/NASDAQ listed company.

Jim qualified as a Certified Public Accountant, has a B.S. degree from Boston University and an MBA degree from Suffolk University.

Operating, investment and consulting experince:

  • The TJX Companies - Director of European Operations - developed a chain of off-price stores, TK Maxx, in the United Kingdom
  • McGowan Leckinger - Founder and Managing General Partner - a venture capital fund financed by Madison Dearborn Partners focused on the retail industry. Within a three year time frame the fund invested $22 million and returned $64 million to Madison Dearborn and $50 million to The Thomas Lee Company
  • The Trump Group - Senior Vice President – a private investment fund focused on the retail industry and real estate
  • Raxton Corp. – Co Founder and Chief Financial Officer- retail joint venture with the Stop & Shop Companies
  • The TJX Companies – Consultant – developed the initial real estate strategy and assisted the CEO launching TJ Maxx
  • You & You – Selling stockholder and Chief Financial Officer- a chain of family apparel stores sold to The Gap Stores
  • Hit or Miss – Selling stockholder and Chief Financial Officer- a chain of off-price specialty stores sold to Zayre (the predecessor Corporation of The TJX Companies)

Interim management assignments include the following projects:

  • Pacer Partners and Blue Sky Investors LLC (2009-Present)-Partner – pledge fund investing in high tech companies seeking international expansion and strategic investment partners
  • Epicenter (2007-2008) Venture Investor and Interim COO/CFO – software and hardware for data center rack management
  • Zweave (2006) Venture Investor and Interim CFO – on-demand (SaaS) software for the retail and apparel industry
  • Autolines (2004 - 2005) – Venture Investor and Interim CFO – developed the IT infrastructure and financial organization to transition the company, a Used Car Superstore, to a new management team
  • Pharmanetics (2000 –2003) –Venture Investor and  Interim CFO developed the IT infrastructure and assisted the CEO raise $45 million to transition the NASDAQ listed company, in the Healthcare Industry, from the development stage to commercialization
  • Aisle 3 (1998-2000) – Founder and Interim COO - developed a chain of weekend only stores for Filenes Basement
  • Frugal Fannies (1996-1998) – Interim COO/ CFO – created an IT and operating platform to grow the chain beyond Massachusetts

Previous Board of Director Experience:

  • PETCO - a national chain of pet superstores based in California (Thomas Lee portfolio company)
  • Northern Automotive - a 600+ chain of auto-part stores based in Arizona (Trump Group portfolio company)
  • Sterling Merchandise - a publicly held chain of 120 fine jewelry stores based in Ohio (Madison Dearborn, Thomas Lee portfolio company)
  • Bond Industries - a publicly held chain of men’s clothing stores based in New York (Trump Group portfolio company)