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Southern Ute tribe Growth Fund announces Kava Equity Partners and new hires

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe Growth Fund, the business arm of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, announced its newest business subsidiary, Kava Equity Partners LLC.

Kava Equity Partners will grow and diversify the tribe’s investments by seeking majority and minority, private equity investments in lower middle market companies aligned with the tribe’s cultural, environmental and economic values, a news release said.

The Growth Fund also announced the recent hiring of Peter Shepard as assistant operating director of the fund and James Dudley as managing director of Kava Equity Partners. Shepard oversees the GF Properties Group LLC, which owns and manages a diverse commercial and multifamily real estate portfolio, as well as Kava Equity Partners. Dudley, as Managing Director of Kava Equity Partners, is responsible for sourcing, underwriting, structuring and closing private equity investments and actively participates in Kava Equity Partners’ strategy development and portfolio management.

The Ute people are the oldest continuous residents of what is today the state of Colorado. Historically a loose confederation of 10 bands, the Mouache and Caputa bands make up the present-day Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Today, the tribe is the largest employer in La Plata County, maintains a Triple A credit rating, and oversees a thriving investment portfolio with assets in 14 states and the Gulf of Mexico.