James O’Neill


Founding Partner

James has a 25-year track record of success investing in and building businesses in the United States and Europe, ranging from large multi-national corporations to innovative start-ups.


Most recently, James was a Senior Analyst at Oliver Wyman, serving as the firm’s primary subject matter expert in core banking systems and the growing impact of cloud services on the financial services industry.  At Oliver Wyman, James wrote 20 published research papers, and led technology diligence projects on behalf of private equity investors and corporate buyers as well as technology strategy assignments for incumbent financial services technology firms.
Prior to Oliver Wyman, James served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Metavante Technologies, Inc., where he was the lead transaction executive for $1.1 billion of the firm’s aggregate $1.7 billion in acquisitions and investments from 2000 through 2009. James was instrumental in growing Metavante from a community bank processing company into a global company, helping to complete the company’s 2007 IPO and ultimately $4.4 billion merger with industry leader FIS.
Previously, James ran two private equity management firms in Europe, the US-government funded Czech American Enterprise Fund, and later founded and ran DBG Development Capital Eastern Europe Ltd. (DBG), the private equity affiliate of Deutsche Bank AG in Central Europe. As CEO of DBG, James raised a $55 million first fund sponsored by Deutsche Bank AG, opened and staffed investment offices in Hungary, Poland, and Czech Republic, and served on the Fund’s three-member Investment Committee. DBG’s first fund generated TVPI of 4.5x to its investors. The firm was later acquired and renamed Arx Equity, and has made 20+ platform investments in five countries, currently managing its fourth fund. 
Additionally, James has served as CFO of The Coca-Cola Company’s start-up business in Poland, in investment banking at Merrill Lynch International Ltd., and in commercial banking at National Westminster Bank PLC.
James holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an M. Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.

Motive Partners