Headshot of Nikhil Bhat.

Vestar’s Nikhil Bhat: Information services are ‘in the middle innings of a shift’

Vestar’s Nikhil Bhat: Information services are ‘in the middle innings of a shift’
PE Hub
By Mary Kathleen Flynn
Published May 25, 2022

"Vestar seeks companies that 'use technology to aggregate, integrate, and analyze mission-critical data sources to drive high-impact insights for their customers."

Vestar Capital was early to recognize the value of companies that leverage data in sectors including healthcare. The New York private equity firm is still investing heavily in data-driven companies. In April, Hellman & Friedman agreed to acquire a majority stake in IRI and merge it with H&F portfolio company NPD. Vestar and New Mountain Capital will retain significant investments in the combined company. The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year. For insights on how the use of data has changed over the years and how PE is investing in data targets today, PE Hub reached out to Nikhil Bhat, Vestar partner and co-head, business and technology services.

How has the role of data evolved in businesses, and what are private equity firms investing in today?

Data has always been a key input in helping companies make critical business decisions. Over the last 10-15 years, the quantity of available data – about customers, products, markets, supply chains and internal operations – has grown exponentially, while the difficulty of acquiring this data and the cost of computing power to analyze it have shrunk dramatically. Companies who can make sense of this data are able to make better business decisions to drive growth and profitability; but given the sheer volume and complexity of the information, this is not easy.

We are looking to invest in vertical information services companies that use technology to aggregate, integrate and analyze mission-critical data sources to drive high-impact insights for their customers.

What is driving dealmaking in the sector?

We are in the middle innings of a shift in what drives value and differentiation for information services businesses. Previously, it might have been enough to provide a proprietary data source, and deliver a raw data product to customers in a database or spreadsheet. Today, value is driven by providing customers with self-service tools to quickly extract actionable insights from the data, and seamlessly integrating these tools into client workflows to support augmented decision-making. The most advanced companies, agnostic of size or industry, are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to further enhance speed and quality of analytics.

Every company is at a different stage of this transition. We get most excited by opportunities to help management teams invest behind technology and innovation to accelerate their evolution along this curve. Industry consolidation is another major opportunity; acquiring adjacent data sources or analytics technologies and combining them into a single solution that integrates into multiple client workflows can drive significant value for the customer, which in turn drives growth and value creation in the investment itself.

What are some of the data analytics companies Vestar has invested in recently and why?

Previous Vestar investments in the data analytics space include Press Ganey, Institutional Shareholder Services, MediMedia and StayWell. Current investments in the space include IRI, a provider of big data and predictive analytics to the CPG industry; Quest Analytics, a healthcare provider network management software and data company; LERETA, a data- and tech-enabled services provider to the mortgage industry; and Mercury Healthcare, which provides predictive analytics around healthcare provider and consumer engagement.

In each of these investments, we’ve been excited to partner with best-in-class management teams to invest behind innovation and technology, bolstered by strategic M&A, to fuel growth by creating value for the customer. For example, when we carved ISS out of MSCI, management had a vision to stand up a best-in-class technology architecture and use this to accelerate innovation. This technology investment, in addition to five strategic acquisitions, helped management transform the growth profile of the business in a relatively short timeframe.

Quest Analytics is another great example, where we’ve invested heavily in talent, product, and technology, and made two important acquisitions. As a result of these efforts, the company has nearly quadrupled in size since we made our original investment in 2017.

Tell us about exits. What are the opportunities?

There is an active buyer universe for best-in-class data analytics companies. We spoke earlier about industry consolidation – there are a number of larger, vertically-focused information services companies that have active M&A efforts and can be great homes for our investments. Larger-cap private equity can also be great partners for our investments and management teams, since many of the value drivers we’ve been discussing today are still highly relevant at larger scale. The public markets have historically been an attractive option as well, ascribing significant value to data analytics companies’ recurring revenue, robust growth profiles and attractive economic models.

Let’s talk about IRI. Walk us through how you grew the firm, how the merger with Hellman & Friedman’s NPD came about, and why you held onto a minority stake in the combined company?

We’re very proud of what IRI’s management team has accomplished over the course of our partnership. When we made our investment, we were impressed with IRI’s Liquid Data technology platform, which provides cutting-edge predictive analytics, visualization and decision support tools that help customers make sense of the vast and growing ocean of first- and third-party consumer data. Since then, the company has invested heavily behind innovation – with Liquid Data as its backbone – to create and grow new products that enable mission-critical decision-making across almost every aspect of our customers’ businesses. In addition, IRI has made three strategic acquisitions over the last three years to accelerate its product development roadmap in high-growth areas. These investments, paired with great execution and continued share gain in the core, have led to significant growth and value creation at IRI.

We’re incredibly excited about the merger of IRI and NPD, which will create the premier global information services provider to the consumer goods industry. Bringing together the companies’ complementary data sources – IRI’s CPG data and NPD’s general merchandise and foodservice data – on a single, leading-edge technology platform will allow the combined company to create new, superior products that help brands and retailers collaborate, better serve their customers, and navigate an increasingly complex and dynamic consumer behavior landscape.

It’s probably clear why we wanted to maintain a significant minority stake in the company. The potential for innovation, and resulting enhancement to the customer value proposition, should be a catalyst for growth, and we have tremendous confidence that the combined company’s management team will bring IRI and NPD together in a way that creates meaningful value for clients, employees and investors alike.

How are macroeconomic forces, including inflation, rising interest rates, supply chain problems and labor shortages, affecting deals in the sector?

On balance, these forces are a net positive for data analytics businesses. Factors like input cost inflation, wage increases, shifting customer behavior, and supply chain frictions are complex and opaque; good information services companies bring transparency to these issues, and help customers both mitigate risks and identify opportunities stemming from these market dislocations. As a result, our data analytics investments are becoming more important partners to their customers than ever before.

What’s the future for PE-backed deals in data analytics?

The industry dynamics we’ve been discussing today are long-term, secular growth drivers that are likely to support significant continued private equity activity in the information services space. The amount of data available to companies around their operations, customers and markets will continue to grow; the analytics technologies will continue to become more powerful; and as a result, the need for data analytics businesses’ solutions should continue to accelerate. We’re certainly excited to continue investing in the space, and see a lot of opportunity going forward.

Logo for Friday Health Plans.

Top Workplaces 2022: The Best Midsize Companies to Work for in Colorado

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Headshot of Mike Vaupen

As Consumers Play Larger Role in Healthcare Choices, Deal Opportunities Abound for Vestar

As Consumers Play Larger Role in Healthcare Choices, Deal Opportunities Abound for Vestar
PE Hub
By Aaron Weitzman
Published March 7, 2022

"Telehealth will increasingly become an integrated component of how care is delivered," Vestar's Mike Vaupen said.

PE Hub’s ongoing series on private equity firms investing in healthcare continues with insights from Mike Vaupen, who joined Vestar Capital Partners as managing director and co-head of healthcare in September. Previously, Vaupen was an investment professional at Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. Prior to that, he worked at Pamplona Capital Management, where he helped to establish the firm’s healthcare vertical, and also previously worked in the healthcare group at Oak Hill Capital Partners. Vaupen began his career in the healthcare investment banking division at Morgan Stanley. He outlined Vestar’s approach to healthcare investing.

Investment Strategy

“We identify the long-term mega trends that we believe will continue to shape and drive the healthcare sector over the next five, 10-plus years. We then work to target specific themes, sub-sectors, and business models that are aligned with these trends and are a good fit with our investment criteria,” Vaupen told PE Hub. “As one example, we identified consumerization as a key theme, as patients continue to act more like consumers of healthcare and play an increasingly active and informed decision-making role in their healthcare choices. That led to our investment in Friday Health Plans last year.”

Two main areas of focus for the firm are life sciences and virtual care. “We think both virtual care and life sciences have staying power and lasting implications for how these sectors will evolve, which creates investment opportunities,” he said.

“In the life sciences market, we are focused on technology that streamlines research and development of new drugs and enables digital engagement with patients and providers,” Vaupen explained.

“Virtual care has shown enormous promise and has become more widely accepted. Going forward, telehealth will increasingly become an integrated component of how care is delivered,” Vaupen said. “There will be less of a distinction between virtual care and in-person care. Patients will look to find convenient and tech-enabled ways to receive care. Providers will look for ways to reach more patients and solve their staffing challenges – virtual care addresses both of those issues.”

Merger of Tech and Healthcare

Vestar spends a lot of time at the intersection of technology and data in healthcare, as a number of the firm’s investments have been aligned to those themes, like Quest Analytics and Press Ganey.

Healthcare still has a long ways to ago when it comes to technology adoption, Vaupen explained.

“Electronic medical records, for example, were primarily designed to be digital versions of paper charts, so that was version 1.0 of moving healthcare from a paper-based industry to one that is digital,” he said. “As a result, the systems that were designed and implemented don’t interact well with each other, and that creates complications when trying to standardize data sets. There are structural challenges that prevent healthcare from moving faster in adopting technology and being able to harness the full value. We will get there, but it will take time.”

Standing Out From Competition

Longevity is a differentiating feature, Vaupen said.

"We have invested in the healthcare space for 20+ years, over multiple business and economic cycles and periods of technology innovation," he said. “More specifically, we aim to seek out opportunities where we are uniquely qualified to add value through a combination of our prior investment experience, domain expertise, industry relationships and creative approaches to growth. We also focus on being good partners to management teams and working alongside them to scale and build lasting and sustainable growth strategies.”

Regulatory Roadblocks

One of the reasons healthcare is different from other sectors is that it is highly regulated. Recently, the Department of Justice blocked the mega deal merger between United Health and Change Healthcare – which serves as a reminder that there can be regulatory roadblocks when investing in this space.

DOJ's blocking the deal serves as "a good reminder that the other aspect of healthcare that makes it challenging and complex, but also full of opportunity and potential, is the regulatory overlay,” Vaupen said. “As investors, we are always thinking about the regulatory environment, and we monitor it closely. Sometimes our investment themes are specifically designed to capitalize on regulatory trends and tailwinds. Where there are challenges, there is also opportunity.”

Firm Facts

Founded in 1988 and based in New York City, Vestar is a US mid-market private equity firm specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments. Vestar invests in and collaborates with incumbent management teams and private owners to build long-term enterprise value, with a focus on consumer; business and technology services; and healthcare. The firm has invested over $8 billion in 84 companies – as well as more than 200 add-on acquisitions – with a total value of approximately $50 billion.

Recent Investments

Vestar invested in Friday Health Plans in 2021.

Recent Exits

Vestar partially exited Healthgrades in 2021 after investing in 2010. Vestar exited Civitas Solutions in 2019. Vestar exited Press Ganey in 2016. Vestar exited StayWell in 2016.


Vestar’s Healthcare Portfolio Highlights:

(Dates refer to initial investments.)

Accanto Health: A national healthcare company specializing in eating disorders and related disorders, with two nationally known brands, The Emily Program and Veritas Collaborative. (2015)
Friday Health Plans: A disruptive health insurer servicing the individual and small group markets. (August 2021)
Mercury Healthcare: A technology platform used by healthcare organizations to enable a frictionless healthcare journey through data-driven consumer and provider engagement. (2010)
Quest Analytics: Provides commercial software development and consulting services for hundreds of health plans, consultants and government agencies in the healthcare industry. (2017)

Headshot Norm Alpert

Private Equity Managers Expect Another Boom Year in 2022

S&P Global Market Intelligence, 13 January 2022 - Private equity deal-making and fundraising is expected to continue apace in 2022, although midmarket managers in both the U.S. and Europe are mindful of high valuations and inflationary pressures as they deploy record amounts of cash.

In total, 24,722 deals were announced in 2021 worth a disclosed aggregate $1.2 trillion, up from 17,618 deals worth just under half that amount the year before, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

A record $1.32 trillion in dry powder sat in the asset class's coffers as of September 2021, according to Preqin's Alternatives in 2022 report. Fundraising is expected to remain strong, and limited partners are likely to maintain their focus on re-ups as established managers quickly return to market with larger vehicles, managers said.

Given the combination of available dry powder, the number of funds in market and the huge amount of interest in the asset class and its performance, it will be "a really strong year" for investments and exits, Pete Wilson, head of U.K. midmarket at pan-European manager IK Partners, said.

"Most private equity firms invest through the cycle — so while deploying, they are also exiting. And there's very little, in my view, that I can see that is going to change fundamentally this year to what we've seen over the last 12 months."

Deal-making comes with a price tag

While bullish on the deal-making outlook, managers are wary that the market is not free from risk. For both general partners and their investors, high valuations will be top of mind in 2022.

"What’s pushing valuations up? It's more demand. So, there's more volume pushing valuations up," Jason Barg, partner at U.S.-headquartered finance-focused buyout house Lovell Minnick Partners LLC, said. "I don’t foresee that there's going to be a lot of bargain shopping in 2022."

Clear business growth and value creation plans, sector expertise and sourcing bilateral deals are key in this environment, managers said.

If private equity firms have not got a value creation "playbook" at this point in time, it is going to feel quite hard to provide compelling answers to investors who are mindful of high valuations, Richard Swann, partner and member of U.K.-headquartered Inflexion Pvt. Equity Partners LLP's executive and investment committees, said.

Still, some managers expect growing valuations to moderate as central banks throttle back their pandemic stimulus measures. Norm Alpert, founding partner and co-president of U.S. midmarket investor Vestar Capital Partners LLC, said government stimulus "has been a mighty powerful source of driving valuations up, because there's just more liquidity globally searching for returns."

Now the U.S. Federal Reserve has signaled its intention to taper the bond purchases that infused cash into the economy during the pandemic and to tighten monetary policy by raising interest rates. "If global liquidity starts to stabilize and maybe even pull back, those are de-stimulative policies," Alpert added.

The costs of doing business

Macro factors including rising inflation, supply chain issues and talent are also being assessed. Managers are testing their assumptions, mitigating risks before buying into companies and evaluating existing business plans.

Following years of low interest rates, inflationary pressure is something "everybody is keeping their eye on," Lovell Minnick's Barg said.

Wage inflation, a knock-on effect of supply chain issues post-pandemic, has been the biggest surprise, Inflexion's Swann said. "We probably didn't collectively think there'd be a problem with haulage in the U.K. market or what the effects of working from home had on talent pools outside of London."

Many of Inflexion's portfolio companies are "not really constrained by the market," Swann said; rather, "they're constrained by the capacity of people and people driving technology. If you can't get the people, you can't grow."

Competition for talent is a cross-sector issue, IK's Wilson said. Losing a key team member can set business plans back considerably. "The cost is clear and easy and you can wrap your arms around that. But the time to re-recruit or find a new team — this is months or potentially a year that you lose, which is significant."

Tech-focused U.K. growth investor FPE Capital LLP has found rising demand for software services coupled with poaching in the industry has created a "tightness in the tech labor market," Managing Partner David Barbour said. Retaining and recruiting talent is something both it and all its companies "work very hard at," he added. "It's going to just become a bigger issue."

Morale is also a concern, Vestar's Alpert said, with workers just plain worn out.

"The impact on people's behavioral health and ability to maintain the pace is something that has been rearing its head and is only going to continue," Alpert said. Demographic trends around the number of people entering the workforce plus retirements are probably going to exacerbate it, and some companies will respond by shifting to more automation, he predicted.

Cautious optimism

Most managers Market Intelligence spoke with believe the momentum behind the asset class will continue to drive high levels of M&A activity.

Beyond significant volatility in interest rates, IK's Wilson said there were no obvious signs in the near term of a slowdown in activity because the supply/demand drivers will "continue to dictate that activity." Although inflation and labor pressures are "nontrivial challenges … they're not enough on their own to have such a big impact."

"There is a lot of momentum, and you've got a big population of private equity-owned deals. You've got a willingness of sellers to sell to private equity, you've got the capital there, you've got increased allocation," Mads Ryum Larsen, a managing partner and head of investor relations at IK Partners, said. There will be "hiccups" in valuations, and the stock market may see falling multiples, "but I think it's going to be shorter-term volatility rather than sort of a big trend change right now. I don't see that coming at least in near to midterm," Larsen said.

Vestar's Alpert is more cautious in his outlook. Years of "extraordinarily low" interest rates for an "extraordinarily long time" have spurred on a generally stable and consistently growing economic environment, which "tends to instill a lot of confidence in people's ability to forecast the future," he said.

"It's been this very sort of benign, self-supporting virtuous circle between exits, fundraising, more purchases, more exits, more fundraising, more purchases," he added. Alpert said he would not be surprised if 2022 is "more of the same" of what was seen last year, or if it is a more challenging year.

"Did going through the pandemic set up another long-term upcycle? Or are we going to be in for a challenging period sort of just dealing with the aftermath because it wasn’t a finite event?" Alpert said. "That's probably the thing I worry about first."

A tonal version of the Vestar Logo on a seafoam colored ground.

ILPA Releases Second Report in Diversity in Action Series

August 31, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) The Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) today released the second report in its Diversity in Action – Sharing Our Progress series. The report series is an extension of ILPA’s Diversity in Action initiative and aims to provide actionable recommendations on steps that can be taken to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in private markets.

“The industry continues to respond positively to the Diversity in Action Initiative with new signatories joining every week,” said Steve Nelson, CEO of ILPA. “The Initiative now claims 180 signatories who have all been incredibly active in conversations with one another and have acted as tremendous partners to ILPA on our related work, having meaningfully contributed to our updated ILPA Diversity Metrics Template.”

The Diversity in Action – Sharing Our Progress report series tracks the evolution of Initiative signatories by geography, strategy and fund size as well as progress on adoption of all the actions within the Framework. As of August 2021, the Initiative’s geographic reach is increasing, now with 38 signatories outside North America, a 52% increase in this cohort since April.

The latest report focuses on how signatories are integrating diversity, equity and inclusion into investment strategies including in manager selection, due diligence and ongoing evaluation and monitoring. Of note:

  • DEI is clearly a focus beyond initial investment making decisions, with many signatories monitoring DEI on a recurring, annual basis – 58% of allocators and 45% of GPs are doing this. Signatories indicate that this information is being put to good use, both informing GPs’ value creation plans or shaping LPs’ future investment decisions
  • GPs have prioritized board diversity: 83% of GP signatories currently track gender diversity on portfolio company boards, 26% of GPs engage on diversity even where they do not have the ability to influence board appointments, and 24% of GP signatories have set board diversity targets
  • LPs remain focused on information gathering and qualitative assessments, still 21% of LP signatories indicate that progress on DEI will be considered as a factor in the decision to invest in a successor fund

“We’re pleased to bring awareness to how some of the industry’s leaders are approaching DEI through this ongoing report series,” added ILPA’s Managing Director of Industry Affairs and Diversity in Action initiative lead Jen Choi. “We’re hopeful that those who are just beginning their journey on DEI can take some actionable advice from the signatory insights in this report.”

The report also highlights proposed revisions to the ILPA Diversity Metrics Template. First released in 2018 as the industry’s first standard for capturing team-level diversity, the signatory group has provided input to help modernize the Template to reflect the current state of reporting in the market, as well as long-term goals for enhanced reporting. The Template is now out for public comment through September 24, 2021.

Media Contact:

Kari Grant
Director of Strategic Communications, ILPA
[email protected]

+1 416-941-9393

Team member Winston Song, with a collaged artistic background.

Behind the Buyouts: Song Serves Up Vestar’s Better-For-You Menu

May 5, 2021/The Deal / -- Welcome to Behind the Buyouts, The Deal’s podcast where we sit down with venture capitalists, private equity pros and company executives to drill down into their capital raising transactions and acquisitions.

This episode features Winston Song, managing director and co-head of the consumer group at New York-based private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners Inc., who talks about his role in the better-for-you foods business.

When Vestar Capital completed its investment in Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods Inc. in January, the maker of vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, soy free, Kosher and non-GMO foods was relatively well-known on the East Coast and West Coast.

Song said he sees potential for a much wider presence for Dr. Praeger’s as the idea of more well-balanced diet grows more mainstream.

“It’s a great brand but relatively low awareness outside the coasts and outside the vegan community,” Song said. “We plan to invest in new products and marketing and bring more consumers. … They’ve got great instincts.”

Song met the management of Dr. Praeger’s at a trade show several years ago and developed a relationship. His interest was also stoked after sampling its products with his young kids.

The firm’s track record reviving Birds Eye Foods Inc. resonated with the company and helped Vestar Capital prevail in a competitive sales process for Dr. Praeger’s.

“Our bread and butter has always been to find these underinvested brands that we think have a lot of potential and have really good leaders that just need more resources,” Song said.

The firm’s experience with natural foods also helped. One early example is its 1989 investment in tea maker Celestial Seasonings Inc., which it sold to Hain Food Group for $390 million in stock in 2000.

Having an authentic product story also really matters to consumers.  In the case of Simple Mills Inc., a Vestar portfolio company since 2019, Simple Mills founder Katlin Smith launched the company after she decided to improve her diet by renting out a commercial kitchen and creating her own baked mixes.

Vestar Capital continues to work to identify sustainable food trends instead of short-lived food fads, with the firm looking at low-sugar foods as a common thread for consumers interested in cutting out carbohydrates and sugar.

Here’s the podcast:


A tonal version of the Vestar logo on a dark blue ground.

Winston Song Featured on The Food Institute Podcast

Vestar Capital Partner’s Managing Director and Co-head of the Consumer Group, Winston Song, recently sat down with Brain Choi, CEO of The Food Institute Podcast, to share his insights on the “better-for-you” category and the top investment trends shaping the food industry.

Topics discussed include plant-based products, clean ingredients, baking trends, changing consumer behavior post-pandemic, and Vestar's new investment in Dr. Praeger's.

Please tune in to the podcast here.

Logo for Quest Analytics.

Quest Analytics Expands Board of Directors

OVERLAND PARK, KS, November 17, 2020 – Quest Analytics today announced that it has expanded its Board of Directors with the addition of three senior executives, including Elizabeth Bierbower, Dr. Bill Lewis and Rita Johnson-Mills.

“We are delighted to welcome Beth, Bill and Rita to the Quest Analytics Board. With deep experience in the payer, provider and regulatory sectors, each brings a valuable perspective to the business of provider network intelligence,” said Roger Holstein, Chairman, Quest Analytics. “These additions to the Board of Directors are consistent with our commitment to ensure that consumers have access to both an adequate network of providers and an accurate provider directory.”

Elizabeth Bierbower is a strategic leader with more than thirty years of executive-level experience in the health insurance industry. With a deep understanding of both traditional managed care and value-based care, Beth spent more than 18 years at Humana in several leadership roles including Segment President and a member of Humana’s Executive Management Team, President of the Group and Specialty Segment, Chief Operating Officer of Humana’s Specialty Benefits division and Enterprise Vice President leading Humana’s Product Development and Innovation teams. She currently serves on the Boards of BlueSprig, a provider of ABA therapy to individuals with Autism, and the American Telemedicine Association, a member of the Education and Finance Committees.

“I have long admired the role that Quest Analytics has played in helping to improve the overall member experience for health plans,” said Beth Bierbower. “I look forward to leveraging my experience innovating with national payer organizations to help guide the team as Quest Analytics scales and grows its business in the future.”

Dr. Bill Lewis is an emergency medicine-trained physician. He serves as a senior Telemedicine advisor for numerous Fortune 500 companies and care delivery organizations and serves on multiple board advisory committees and industry boards. He served as Chair of the American Telemedicine Association/CHQI Accreditation Committee for Telemedicine, which sold to URAC, and as a telemedicine consultant for Humana. Previously, Dr. Lewis served as Chief Medical Officer of GlobalMed, a national telemedicine equipment and infrastructure company, and as the Senior Vice President of Medical Operations for Concentra Health Services.

“The pandemic has forever changed the role of telemedicine in health plan networks, enabling providers and payers to deliver virtual access in multiple patient-centric venues,” said Bill Lewis, MD. “Quest Analytics is well-positioned to help both payers and regulators  incorporate telemedicine into their network standards, and measure, manage and monitor network performance for tomorrow’s physical and virtual networks.”

Rita Johnson-Mills is a health care executive with over 25 years of combined federal, state and private industry experience. Formerly, she was a business segment CEO at UnitedHealthcare and Centene Corporation, and spent 15 years in various leadership roles with the Department of Health and Human Services, including four years as Director in the Office of Managed Care for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Currently, she serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Brookdale Senior Living Inc. She is also a Governance Fellow with the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and a founding member of UnitedHealthGroup’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. She is a certified corporate culture facilitator and Hogan’s certified Executive Coach.  Rita is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Nashville Business Journal’s 2017 Most Admired CEO award.

“The regulatory environment governing health plans has never been more complex. Quest Analytics enables both health plans and federal and state insurance regulators to ensure access to both an adequate health care network and accurate provider directory,” said Rita Johnson-Mills. “As a member of the Quest Analytics Board of Directors, I look forward to supporting the company’s mission and enabling the company’s customers to  provide superior access to care for millions of our oldest and  most vulnerable consumers.”

The three appointments are effective immediately.

About Quest Analytics

Quest Analytics is the software platform trusted by the nation’s health plans and regulators to manage, measure and monitor health plan network performance. Our software is used by more than 425 payers, including all eight of the nation’s largest health plans, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and multiple state regulatory agencies. Quest Analytics solutions include Quest Analytics Services, the most widely utilized software to measure network access, and Quest Enterprise Services, the only software that enables health plans to measure, manage and monitor both network adequacy and directory accuracy from a common platform. Quest Analytics helps health plans ensure a better member experience, improve Americans’ access to quality healthcare and enable more efficient and compliant network management for payers across all plan types. For more information, please visit questanalytics.com.

The Vestar logo on a gold colored back ground.

Vestar Announces Two Promotions

NEW YORK, NY – July 22, 2020 – Vestar Capital Partners, a leading U.S. private equity firm, today announced it has promoted R. Wilson Orr to Vice President, effective July 1. The firm also announced the promotion of Ian Singleton to Senior Associate.

“Even in the midst of the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot lose sight of the importance of building and nurturing our employees, and we remain committed to recognizing our talented investment professionals for their dedication and hard work,” said Dan O’Connell, CEO and Founder of Vestar. “We are pleased to promote Wilson and Ian, and we look forward to their continuing contributions to our team.”

A member of the Firm’s Business & Technology Services Group with experience in Healthcare Information Technology, Mr. Orr joined Vestar in 2017 after working as an analyst in the Diversified Industries Investment Banking group at J.P. Morgan. Mr. Orr holds a B.S. in Business Administration, summa cum laude, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Robertson Scholar.

Mr. Singleton joined Vestar in 2019, having previously been an associate at Ares Management in their U.S. Direct Lending group. He began his career as an analyst in the Financial Sponsors Group at Citigroup. Mr. Singleton graduated with a B.A. in Psychology, with honors, and a minor in Economics from Duke University.

Logo for Quest Analytics.

Quest Analytics Names Steve Levin as Chief Executive Officer

Overland Park, Kan. [May 20, 2020] – Quest Analytics, the leader in measuring, managing and monitoring health plan network performance, announced today that it has named Steve Levin as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Steve brings more than two decades of experience working with providers, health plans and health systems in the use of data and advanced analytics to improve healthcare, initially as a management consultant, then as founder and CEO of a pioneering predictive analytics company, and most recently as head of strategy and mergers & acquisitions (M&A) for a leading revenue cycle technology platform.

“As the nation looks to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, Quest Analytics is uniquely positioned to help health plans, health systems as well as state and federal regulators build a more responsive system of care, ensuring Americans have access to an adequate provider network with sufficient capacity to meet their needs for health care services,” said Roger Holstein, Quest Analytics Executive Chairman. “We are delighted that Steve has joined the Quest Analytics team and believe that his leadership and expertise will be a complement to the deep experience of Quest’s committed team members.”

As CEO and co-founder of Connance, Steve led the development of one of the first cloud solutions to deploy purpose-built predictive analytics to optimize healthcare revenue cycle processes at more than six hundred hospitals for over three million patient encounters each month. When Connance was acquired by Waystar in 2018 to expand their platform solution, Steve became Chief Strategy Officer with responsibility for M&A and partnerships. Prior to Connance, Steve was a partner with the Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte), a leading management consulting group. Steve currently sits on the board of LifePoint Health, a network of community hospitals and healthcare providers serving more than 80 markets in the United States.

“Quest Analytics has a proven track record of delivering solutions that support our health plan community with the intelligence they need to ensure consumers have access to an adequate network of providers,” said Steven Levin, CEO, Quest Analytics. “I am excited to join the team at a point in time when access to providers has never been more important. I look forward to leading the company through this next critical period of growth as we build solutions to help both payers and providers navigate the complex nature of healthcare networks.”

About Quest Analytics

Quest Analytics is the leading provider of health plan network performance measurement. The company provides health plans, health systems, regulatory agencies and benefit consultants with software and solutions that enable plans to build better networks and improve the member experience. Quest Enterprise services provides the ability to measure, manage and monitor network performance to ensure compliance with regulations for network access, adequacy and provider directory accuracy. For more information, please visit questanalytics.com.