Photo of Douglas Brown

Douglas Brown

Operating Partner and Senior Advisor

Doug has been an Advisor, Operating Partner and significant member of the GP since the inception of Element in 2005. Doug has more than 20 years of private equity experience and over 20 years of investment and operating experience in the water sector. In April 2003, Doug became President and Chief Executive Officer of Ionics, Incorporated, a leading provider of membrane technology-based water purification equipment and services. During his tenure at Ionics, Doug revamped the company's strategy, restructured the business to streamline operations and reduce costs, and completed the largest acquisition in Ionics' history. In February 2004, while Doug was President and CEO, Ionics was acquired by General Electric for $1.3 billion, representing an increase in shareholder value of more than $750 million during his tenure. Prior to Ionics, Doug was at Advent International, where he was President and Chief Executive Officer from 1995 through the end of 2002. From 1990 to 1994, Doug served as Advent's European Managing Director and built the firm's European investment organization. While at Advent, Doug personally led 17 investments.

Doug received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Masters degree in Business Administration from Harvard University where he was a Baker Scholar and Loeb Rhodes Fellow in Finance. Due to his extensive experience in the water sector, Doug has been largely responsible for Element's water investment strategy and for pursuing specific investments in the water sector. Through his vision and connections, Doug acquired, built and led Seven Seas Water as one of Element’s earliest investments. He also conceived and led Element’s strategy to roll-up companies in the point-of-use water distribution market which resulted in the acquisition and growth of Quench USA where Doug served as Chairman. Seven Seas and Quench were merged in 2014 and subsequently went public on the NYSE in October 2016 as AquaVenture Holdings (NYSE: WAAS) where Doug currently serves as CEO and Chairman.