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Robert W. Ackerman

Senior Partner

Bob Ackerman ( is a Partner at Watermill Group. Mr. Ackerman has held senior management positions at industrial manufacturing and value-added distribution companies for more than 30 years. He has been creating value for portfolio investments as part of the Watermill team for the last 20 of these years as an Advisor, portfolio company CEO and Partner to The Watermill Group and HMK Enterprises Inc. (an affiliated holding company of The Watermill Group). His management experience includes profit improvement through operational and cost improvement as well as the implementation of clearly defined business strategies to drive top line growth through product and process innovation and capital improvement planning.

Mr. Ackerman’s experience includes his management roles at Sheffield Steel Corporation, a mini-mill producer of SBQ and MBQ bars and concrete reinforcing bar. While at Sheffield, Mr. Ackerman served as Chairman and CEO from 1999 to 2000, and President and CEO from 1992 to 1999. Earlier, Mr. Ackerman was President and CEO of Lincoln Pulp & Paper Company from 1988 to 1992 and President of Premoid Corporation, a specialty paper manufacturer, from 1978 to 1986. He was CFO of Preco Inc., the parent to Lincoln and Premoid, from 1974 to 1978. From 1962 to 1966, he served as an auditor and consultant with the Management Services division of Arthur Young & Company.

Mr. Ackerman served as Chairman of the Steel Manufacturers Association, representing the North American mini-mill producers, from 1998 to 2000, as a Trustee of the Baupost Fund, a mutual fund, from 1992 to 2002 and as Chairman of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Nature Conservancy from 2002 to 2008. He is currently a director of the New England Forestry Foundation and several other public and private corporations.

Mr. Ackerman served as a member of the faculty of Harvard Business School from 1968 to 1974, teaching Business Policy and Management of Small Enterprises and again from 1986 to 1988 in the Advanced Management Program. His published works include The Social Challenge to Business, Harvard University Press, 1975 and Strategy and Organization, Richard D. Irwin Inc, 1976.

Mr. Ackerman graduated from the engineering school at Yale University, received his M.B.A. and D.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and is also a CPA.