Ben Lehrer

Ben Lehrer is the Founder & CEO of First Water. With nearly two decades of experience spanning private equity, financial planning and analysis (FP&A), investment banking, consulting, and small business leadership, Ben launched First Water and the Relational Finance model to create more flexible and efficient access to FP&A and Corporate Development capabilities and expertise. Trusted by small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and portfolio companies of prominent private equity firms, Ben has proven to be a valued resource to leadership teams and capital partners across a variety of finance disciplines.

Prior to founding First Water, Ben served in multiple institutional investment roles in New York City. He was a member of the Private Equity team at Fortress Investment Group, part of the Global Structured Solutions Group within Fixed Income Capital Markets at Citigroup, and an Investment Officer for credit opportunities and internal M&A at CapitalSource Finance. Over the course of his career, Ben has personally supported almost 100 different management teams, sponsors, advisors, and partners, while also leading and facilitating a wide variety of debt and equity transactions ranging from $1MM to $1BN+.

Ben graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), a holder of multiple FINRA securities licenses, an Eagle Scout, and the author of the book Relational Finance: The New Model to Accelerate Growth, Attract Capital, and Maximize the Value of Your Business. He resides in Houston with his wife and their two children.