Gryphon and Portfolio Company News

Gryphon Investors, Through Gryphon Colleges Corporation, Acquires National Career Education

San Francisco, CA -

Gryphon Colleges Corporation (GCC), an affiliate of Gryphon Investors, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of National Career Education (NCE).

NCE is a holding company with post secondary schools located in the Western U.S. operating under the NCE College, Lamson College, Institute for Business and Technology, and Tucson College brands. Each school is accredited by either the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT) or the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), the two most widely recognized national accrediting agencies. The schools offer curricula in allied health, electronics and mechanical trades, legal, and business.

Gryphon Colleges Corporation was formed in 2004 by Gryphon Investors in partnership with management with the mission to become one of the premier for-profit post secondary education providers in America. Gryphon Colleges Corporation is led by James Berk, Chairman and CEO, and Joseph Fox, President and COO.

“As well-established, high quality, accredited institutions located in California and Arizona, offering students focused training in high demand career specialties, the National Career Education schools make welcome additions to GCC,” said James Berk. “Attractive opportunities exist to increase NCE’s enrollment over time through adding curricula, expanding hours of operation, and selectively opening new branch locations,” added Joseph Fox.

“We are extremely confident that our partnership with James Berk and Joseph Fox, both of whom have extensive educational as well as operational experience, will enable us to expand GCC with quality acquisitions such as National Career Education,” said David Andrews, founder and Managing Partner of Gryphon Investors. Noted Nick Orum, Gryphon Partner and head of its business services group, “Based on our executive partners’ excellent credentials, plus discussions with numerous private companies, Gryphon is optimistic about GCC’s prospects for building a true leadership position in post secondary education.”

James Berk, 44, began his career in secondary education as a teacher, and subsequently became the youngest principal in the history of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Since then, he has served as President and CEO of Hard Rock Cafe International, Inc., and CEO of publicly-traded Fairfield Communities, Inc., a leading resort and vacation products company. Joseph Fox, 45, has 17 years of senior operations management experience in postsecondary education, the last seven years with Corinthian Colleges Corporation, one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing publicly-traded post secondary companies. As the Vice President of New School Operations, Fox was most recently responsible for the integration and oversight of a group of 46 acquired campuses. He has also served as a School Commissioner for ACCSCT.

About Gryphon Investors

Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors focuses on leveraged acquisitions of, and growth investments in, middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. Having managed more than $1 billion of discretionary equity capital, Gryphon has an extensive track record of investing $25 to $75 million of its own capital in companies with sales ranging from $25 to $250 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form proactive partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, professional resources and significant financial and operational expertise. Visit for more information.


Owen Blicksilver

Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc.