Parthenon Makes Additional Investment in CardWorks


AUSTIN, Texas — Parthenon Capital is pleased to announce that it has made an additional investment in CardWorks, Inc., the parent company of CardWorks Servicing, Merrick Bank and Carson Smithfield. In connection with the transaction, Parthenon’s co-CEO and managing partner, Brian Golson, will join CardWorks’ Board of Directors.

Don Berman, CardWorks founder, executive chairman and majority shareholder, commented, “Everyone at CardWorks has benefited from having Parthenon Capital involved in our company as shareholders and partners over the last four years. I am pleased that Parthenon’s confidence in CardWorks has merited an additional investment.”

“Furthermore, I am excited to welcome Brian Golson to CardWorks’ Board,” Berman added. “I am confident that Brian’s perspectives and experience will be valuable as we work together to grow our business as a people-centric, compliance-focused organization enabled by data and technology.”

“Having known Don Berman and the unique franchise he has nurtured at CardWorks for nearly 30 years, I am thrilled to expand our investment in the company,” said Golson. “We value our partnership with Don, Dan Pillemer, and the entire CardWorks team. I am humbled by the opportunity to join the Board of this iconic financial technology franchise that excels in consumer lending, payments and servicing and contribute to its continued success on behalf of its employees, clients and customers for many years to come.”

The terms of the transaction are confidential.

Parthenon was advised on the transaction by Kirkland & Ellis LLP and CardWorks was advised by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.


Founded in 1987, CardWorks is a diversified consumer finance and payments company, operating three principal lines of business: Servicing, Lending, and Merchant Acquiring. CardWorks provides servicing operations and portfolio management to bank and non-bank consumer and small business lenders through CardWorks Servicing, LLC and Carson Smithfield, LLC. Servicing more than 6 million accounts, CardWorks Servicing, LLC is the premier independent servicer of nationally-branded Visa®/Mastercard® cards, secured cards, and unsecured installment loans. Carson Smithfield, LLC provides post-charge-off debt recovery services. CardWorks provides lending and merchant acquiring services through Merrick Bank. Founded in 1997 as a wholly owned subsidiary of CardWorks, Merrick Bank is an FDIC insured top-15 Mastercard/Visa issuer of credit cards. Merrick Bank also provides installment finance options to consumers through marine and recreational vehicle dealers throughout the country, as well as personal installment loans through digital channels. Merrick Bank is also a top-15 credit card merchant acquirer, clearing over $40 billion in transaction volume per year for more than 80,000 merchants and 40 independent sales organizations.


Parthenon Capital is a leading mid-market private equity firm with offices in Boston, San Francisco and Austin. Parthenon utilizes niche industry expertise and a deep execution team to invest in growth companies in service and technology industries. Parthenon seeks to be an active and aligned partner to management, either through recapitalization transactions or by backing new executives. Parthenon has particular expertise in financial and insurance services, healthcare and business services, but seeks any service, technology or delivery business with a strong value proposition and proprietary know-how.