US 1, a relatively small newspaper and website covering the Princeton area, produces some very good business coverage. One article from October by Barbara Figge Fox is on Rosetta founder Chris Kuenne and the new private equity firm he founded located on Nassau Street in Princeton, Rosemark Capital Group. Kuenne built Rosetta, an interactive marketing and strategy firm, into the largest independent agency in the US before selling it to Publicis for $575 million in 2011.
Among other things, the article gives a lot more detail than I’ve seen before about Kuenne’s business and personal history, and the story behind building Rosetta. Kuenne, who is still supporting the management transition at Rosetta and teaching high tech entrepreneurship at Princeton (his alma mater, where his father also taught), Fox reports, started Rosemark with general partners Paul Gilbert (CEO of MedAvante) and Seamus McMahon. Kenneth Traub, co-founder of Hamilton-based Voxware and former CEO of American Bank Note Holographics, is also on board. Kuenne will cover sales and marketing, Gilbert healthcare, Traub verticals, technology and business services, and McMahon financial services.
Rosemark will focus on investing in companies with intellectual property (IP) that is enabled by technology, and hands-on support and expertise is very much part of the package. Rosemark had nine people on board as of October and expects to be adding more. It will target companies worth $10 million to $30 million, with the potential to grow by 15 to 20 percent or more per year. It is not clear whether Rosemark is raising a specific fund yet or not, but it appears to have some deep-pocketed potential partners from previous business relationships.
One of Rosemark’s clients is Kuenne’s childhood friend James Burke, son of the late J&J CEO James E. Burke and a cousin of NBCU CEO Steve Burke. He founded Disruptive LA to change the way indie films are marketed.
For more on this, see Fox’ excellent, in-depth reporting on Rosemark’s launch.