Courtland co-founder dies at 56

Cleveland, Ohio-based Courtland Partners had worked on succession planning since the beginning of the year.

Michael Humphrey Courtland 180
Michael Humphrey


Courtland Partners co-founder Michael Humphrey has died, the firm said on Friday.

The 56-year-old passed away from unknown causes on Tuesday while on a business trip to New York, according to the firm. Humphrey founded the Cleveland-Ohio based real assets advisory firm in 1995. Prior to co-founding Courtland with two other partners, Humphrey was a senior consultant for four years at advisory firm Townsend Group.

Earlier this year, Courtland implemented a succession plan through which Humphrey would sell part of his interest in the firm to three younger executives, PERE previously reported.

“Michael crafted a plan for this company to thrive well into the future in an effort to best support its clients and deliver outstanding service,” Steve Novick, the firm’s chief operating officer, said in a statement on Friday. “We know of no better way to honor his legacy than to continue his vision with the exceptional team and plan he put in place. Michael hired the best and the brightest.”

The succession plan, which was in development for nine months, was to take effect on January 1. In light of Humphrey’s death, Novick told PERE that Courtland “will be releasing formal information in the near future.”

Prior to the plan’s implementation, Humphrey and Novick were the sole equity owners in Courtland. Under the succession plan, Humphrey was to sell part of his interest to three new principals: managing director Michael Murphy, managing director Gianluca Romano and vice president Andrew Mitro. Murphy and Mitro have been with the firm for 12 years and seven years, respectively, while Romano, who also heads up Courtland’s London office, joined three years ago.

Humphrey began his career at advisory firm Ernst & Whinney, now known as EY, according to Friday’s statement. After law school, he worked at Baker & Hostetler, the law firm, and an unnamed real estate firm specializing in the liquidation of distressed real estate assets.