Definition - What does Operating Partner mean?
Operating partners are typically former CEOs or COOs with a proven track record of business leadership. They will provide their expertise for portfolio companies with regards to operational knowledge, as well as access to a deep network of of industry contacts.
Divestopedia explains Operating Partner
Operating partners can be involved in a multitude of different business activities, from day-to-day operations, bolt-on acquisitions, or post-sale liquidity analysis. Their overall purpose is to increase the portfolio firm's entreprise value through operational improvement and exploiting industry opportunities.
Mid-market business owners considering taking on a private equity partner should inquire if the PE employs an operating partner. If so, be sure to build a relationship with this individual as it is likely that the management team will spend a significant amount of time with them.