PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- David C. Branch has been making waves his entire life. Today, he's making a big splash in the private equity world with Viper Equity Partners, a leading consultation firm for the medical industry. The company has closed more than $2 billion in deals and built up a 97-percent closing rate, scooping up accolades in the process. He has achieved it through the relentless drive he has brought to all his endeavors, whether dressed in cuff links or swim trunks.
It started when he was a child, splitting his formative years between Delray Beach and the Bahamas, where his father was a builder. He took up surfing, and by 13 he was riding waves professionally. Branch once drove a pickup truck, with a surfboard, a Rottweiler in the backseat, and a mattress on the truck bed, from Maine to Key West, sleeping in his car and hitting every major surf spot along the way. "I'd pick up extra money by cleaning restaurants or bars at night for a case of beer and 50 bucks," he recalls. "I'd get to the next town, and if they had good surf I'd stay for a month."
Following his tenure as a surfer, Branch attended Loyola University in New Orleans, where he took a shine to Cajun cuisine—bartending on Bourbon Street and cooking crawfish for wealthy patrons to help pay for college. One client, Popeye's Fried Chicken owner Al Copeland, invited Branch to join him on a powerboat race in which Copeland was competing. As Branch remembers it, "these 50 powerboats came into the first turn at 100-plus miles per hour, and I said, 'that's me.' I'm going to do that, whatever it takes. So once I got the means to do that, in 1994, I started my own team, and the rest is history." History, indeed: Branch and his Love Muscle Racing team have been enshrined in the American Powerboat Association Hall of Fame, on the strength of 11 national championships, three world titles and 73 checkered flags. "We went on to be the winningest team in the history of the sport," he says.
And yet Branch can also claim the mantle of family man. He's been married for 33 years to his college sweetheart, has raised two adult children, and owns four dogs. His lucrative business career has long run parallel to his sporting life. Prior to starting Viper, he founded Horizon Sarasota LLC, a pioneering chain of MRI centers, and expanded it from one location to 75 in the Southeast U.S., before selling the company.
He retired from powerboat racing in 2015, which coincided with a move back to Palm Beach to focus on Viper's exploding growth. The firm connects financial partners with medical providers in the fields of dentistry, dermatology and plastic surgery. Now 58, Branch is a particularly outspoken advocate for the latter. "I've had plastic surgery, so I could really understand it." he says. One thing connects his dual careers of businessman and sportsman. He named his firm "Viper" after the fastest striking snake in the world, a reflection of his longtime motto, "one life, one speed." "It's all over everything I have," Branch says. "Except if I'm making a pot of gumbo. … It's the only thing I don't really attack."
Over the past year, Branch was recognized by these organizations for his work with Viper Equity Partners: Best of 2020 in Investment Banking by the Miami Beach Award Program, Top 100 in Finance by Top 100 Magazine, one of 2020's Top 100 Global Leaders in Finance at the Global Conference on Insurance & Finance and Best in Biz Silver Awards 2020.
About Viper Equity Partners Viper Equity Partners is America's leading M&A advisory and investment bank in dentistry, dermatology, and plastic surgery, with over $2 billion closed since 2009. Viper's relationships with family offices and private equity-funded organizations are unique. The Viper Team consults with practice-owning doctors and roll up groups from potential integration and marketing to offer negotiations and diligence to the closing table with high velocity. For more information, visit www.viperequitypartners.com.