Mack McLarty is Chairman of McLarty Capital Partners. He is also Chairman of McLarty Associates, an international strategic advisory firm based in Washington D.C., and Chairman of the McLarty Companies, a fourth-generation, family-owned transportation business. The McLarty Companies’ activities include RML Automotive, which is the largest minority-owned automotive dealer group in the country, as well as significant investments and operations in Brazil, Mexico, and China.
Previously, he spent a decade as Chairman and CEO of Arkla, a Fortune 500 natural gas company. Under his leadership, Arkla grew to be the largest natural gas distributor in the United States, with more than two million customers in 11 states, and won recognition for management excellence, environmental initiatives and minority enterprise development.
Mr. McLarty served in the White House under President Clinton in several key positions: Chief of Staff, Counselor to the President and Special Envoy for the Americas, with over five years of service in the President’s Cabinet and on the National Economic Council. In recognition of his work, Mr. McLarty was awarded the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal.
Mr. McLarty also worked with President Carter as a member of the Democratic National Committee, was appointed to the National Petroleum Council and the National Council on Environmental Quality by President George H.W. Bush, and served on the St. Louis Federal Reserve Board from 1989 until joining the Clinton Administration in 1992.
Mr. McLarty is active on a variety of corporate and nonprofit boards, including Union Pacific and the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund. In addition, he serves as a Senior Advisor to the law firm Covington & Burling, as well as a Senior International Fellow at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is also an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Arkansas, Mr. McLarty was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater in 2000.
Franklin H. McLarty is the Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of MCP, and the Chairman of the Advisory Board of MCP's Small Business Fund. Mr. McLarty has substantial experience as an operator of and an investor in U.S. small businesses. Mr. McLarty is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Board member of RML Automotive, the McLarty Companies' U.S. partnership with Robert L. Johnson and The RLJ Companies. Franklin McLarty has been directly involved in all aspects of the company’s growth into one of the nation’s largest automotive retailers, with particular focus on the screening, negotiation, structuring, and financing of numerous small business acquisitions over the past decade.
Mr. McLarty was appointed by Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (“AEDC”) in 2007 and served on the AEDC until his appointment expired in 2011, including serving his final year as its chairman. The AEDC provides loan guarantees to small Arkansas businesses to enhance their ability to grow and create jobs. Prior to his roles at RML Automotive and AEDC, Mr. McLarty spent five years in real estate private equity, working for both the McKibbon Hotel Group and the Seaway Group. Mr. McLarty holds an MBA, with a concentration in international business, from the University of Miami.
Christopher D. Smith is the Co-Founder and President of MCP and leads MCP’s investment efforts. Since 1999, Mr. Smith has focused exclusively on the lower middle market, and has participated in the growth and maturation of the asset class.
From 1999 to 2012, Mr. Smith was an investment professional at GarMark Partners, one of the longest tenured managers of private junior capital in North America. As a principal and member of the investment committee at GarMark, Mr. Smith participated in an investment strategy focused on generating both current income and capital appreciation. Prior to joining GarMark in 1999, Mr. Smith worked at PaineWebber Inc. in the Investment Banking Division. Mr. Smith focused on the transportation and defense industries in the industrial group, and began his career in the equity capital markets group focusing on initial public offerings and follow-on equity offerings.
Mr. Smith received his B.S. from Georgetown University, where he completed a double major in finance and international business, and played varsity football. Mr. Smith also studied comparative business policy and international finance at Oxford University’s Trinity College. Mr. Smith has served on creditor committees and numerous boards of directors, including Satellite Tracking of People, Smart Tuition, RPET Holdings, Tire Group International and Joan Fabrics.