Robert Kaplan

Bob is a Partner at Kaplan, Voekler, Cunningham and Frank and has extensive experience in buying, selling and recapitalizing operating companies as a lawyer, investment banker and principal.

In 1972, Bob began his legal career with the Richmond, Virginia, headquartered law firm, Hirschler, Fleischer, Weinberg, Cox & Allen. After becoming a partner in 1978, he headed the firm╒s municipal finance, mergers & acquisitions and securities law practice and served two terms on the firm╒s Executive Committee.

In 1988 Bob left the practice of law to co-found Carter Kaplan & Co., a Richmond, Virginia headquartered investment and merchant bank. At Carter Kaplan & Co. Bob headed the firm’s corporate investment banking practice, while pursuing a municipal underwriting practice as well. Carter Kaplan & Co. was sold in 1996 to Ferris, Baker Watts, a Mid-Atlantic investment banking firm.

In 1996 Bob co-founded the leveraged buy-out sponsor firm, Columbia Naples Capital, where he served as a Managing Director. During the ensuing six years Columbia Naples Capital deployed in excess of $25 million in equity in companies in the outdoor recreation, industrial distribution, natural foods and maintenance outsourcing business, many of which investments were led by Bob.

In 2001, Bob left Columbia Naples Capital to co-found North American Propane, Inc., which today is the holding company for an approximately $80 million run-rate energy and industrial gas distribution business, operating in New England and the Mid-Atlantic markets. Bob continues as a Stockholder, Director and general counsel for North American Propane, Inc. and its affiliated companies, which are engaged in an aggressive “buy and build” strategy in their markets.

In 2001 Bob also resumed his legal career, joining LeClairRyan in Richmond, Virginia as a specialist in mergers & acquisitions and sophisticated corporate transactions.

Additional Information

Bob is a former member of the Boards of Directors of The William and Mary Law School Association and Commonwealth Catholic Charities and the Advisory Council to the Fraternity of St. Peter. He is active in St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church where he teaches Apologetics to young adults. Bob is an avid water-fowler and fly fisherman.

Bob's Blog

  • 02/20/2020 Things I Miss (And Things I Don't Miss): I toyed with the idea of skipping the blog this week, for a couple of reasons. The first was the fact I was really on a roll with the new book over th...
  • 02/13/2020 Adversity, And Then Time For Some More Travel: Welcome back, frozen faithful and all you others who are someplace where it's nice and warm. This might be a bit of a short one today (you'll understa...
  • 02/06/2020 It Was The Stars: It's cold here this time of year. You know that going in. And it was a bit on the seriously chilly side a few nights ago when I went outside for some ...

In His Words

"There is no substitute for Excellence – not even success. Success is tricky, perishable and often outside our control; the pursuit of success makes a poor cornerstone, especially for a whole personality. Excellence is dependable, lasting and largely an issue within our own control; pursuit of excellence, in and for itself, is the best of foundations,” The Heart of the Order, by Thomas Boswell (Doubleday, 1989).