The Watermill Group, a strategy-driven private investment firm, set the stage for the next phase of the company’s growth by promoting three team members to executive leadership roles. Effective immediately, Watermill Principal Julia Karol has been appointed Watermill President and COO and Principal Michael Fuller is now CFO. In addition, after two years serving as the firm’s Director of Transactions, Matthias (Matt) Bergin assumes the role of Watermill Principal.
“We are thrilled to announce the promotion of three highly talented and respected members of the Watermill team. Together with the firm’s existing partners and leaders, Julia, Mike and Matt will ensure Watermill's hallmark integrity, work ethic and strategic insight are protected and enriched for years to come,” stated Steven E. Karol, Managing Partner and Founder, Watermill. “Over our nearly 40 years of acquiring and operating businesses, we have always worked together as a team to create sustainable and long lasting value on behalf of our companies. Today’s promotions help ensure Watermill’s vision and culture continues to drive our business forward.”
As Watermill President and COO, Julia Karol will be responsible for overall firm operations and will help Watermill portfolio companies develop and implement their strategies. Previously, as a Watermill Principal, Ms. Karol helped guide the day-to-day operations of the firm, directed the firm’s investor relations and managed fundraising initiatives for acquisitions. Prior to joining Watermill, Ms. Karol worked at Jumpstart, a national education nonprofit. She received her M.A. in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership from Stanford University, completed the Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and earned a B.A. from Tufts University. Ms. Karol is a member of Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and is part of the 2017 class of Harvard Business School’s Owners, Presidents and Managers Program.
In addition to his role as Principal, Michael Fuller assumes the role of Watermill CFO, responsible for the financial quality and strength of the firm and its portfolio companies. Mr. Fuller has over 20 years of experience in operations, financial and turnaround management. Mr. Fuller brings a diverse background spanning an array of responsibilities and industries including manufacturing, financial services, commercial and residential construction, metal products, consumer products, distribution, printing, media and technology. Prior to joining Watermill, Mr. Fuller served as Director at Phoenix Management Services, Inc., a turnaround and capital advisory firm and as President and CEO of York Manufacturing, Inc., a manufacturer of building products in the commercial and residential construction market. Mr. Fuller is an active member of ACG and the Turnaround Management Association (TMA). Mr. Fuller is a graduate of Bentley College with a B.S. in Finance.
As a Watermill Principal, Matt Bergin will expand his transaction oversight responsibilities, which include the evaluation, due diligence and execution of potential transactions as well as providing project-specific assistance to portfolio companies. He embodies Watermill’s culture and the firm’s dedication to working every deal with the utmost integrity. Prior to joining Watermill, Mr. Bergin worked as an Associate in the Private Fund Advisory Group at Lazard Frères and Co. LLC in New York. Prior to Lazard, Mr. Bergin was a Senior Associate at Newbury Partners, a private equity firm specializing in the secondary market. Mr. Bergin is an active member of ACG. He received his B.S. in Finance and International Business from Georgetown University and is fluent in French and Spanish.
About the Watermill Group
The Watermill Group is a strategy-driven private investment firm that helps companies achieve their full potential through strategic transformation. For more than three decades, Watermill has been acquiring, operating and improving companies. Watermill looks for businesses in which it can apply a unique combination of strategic insight and management expertise to re-imagine their future and drive growth.