Smart Humans: The Riverside Company's Stewart Kohl

"I believe that the private capital markets have blossomed because we provide this form of capital. And the best players in this market have realized that the optimizing solution is to provide not just financial capital, but intellectual capital." - Stewart Kohl


  • Stewart Kohl is the CEO of a $10 billion private equity firm.
  • Private equity exists because the public equity markets work well for only a small percentage of companies.
  • Ideally, private equity provides not just financial capital, but intellectual capital to its portfolio companies.
  • Staying informed is vital for any investor.
  • Diversification is important, but it's crucial to thoroughly research and choose the right investments.


Stewart A. Kohl is Co-Chief Executive Officer of The Riverside Company, a $10 billion global private equity firm founded to invest in premier companies at the smaller end of the middle market. Since 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 700 companies globally. The firm’s investors include leading pension funds, endowments, funds-of-funds, insurance companies and banks. The firm employs more than 300 people in offices across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr. Kohl joined Riverside in 1993. Prior to that, he was a vice president of Citicorp Venture Capital, Ltd., the private equity arm of Citibank.

In addition to his work with Riverside, Mr. Kohl serves as an Honorary Trustee of Oberlin College and of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. He is also on the Board of Directors of Cleveland Clinic and Co-Chairs its $2 billion Power of Every One Capital Centennial Campaign. He was inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence in 2009. He previously served as Co-Chair of the Building for Hope Capital Campaign of the Center for Families and Children.

Mr. Kohl earned the George S. Dively Entrepreneurship Award in 2018. He was inducted into the Northeast Ohio Business Hall of Fame in 2014. After spending 16 years as a “Heavy Hitter” participant in the Pan-Mass Challenge bicycle fundraiser, Mr. Kohl founded VeloSano, a similar event that has raised more than $20 million to fund cancer research since 2014.

Mr. Kohl holds a BA from Oberlin College.


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