Philip J. Purcell, President


Phil's goal is to leverage his experience and knowledge, capital and personal relationships with industry leaders   to grow Continental’s business and support our portfolio companies.  Phil is committed to long-term relationships with patience for growth.  Continental is investing with aggressive, highly-talented, passionate entrepreneurs and assisting them with their dreams to grow small businesses into big ones.

Prior to forming Continental, Phil was chairman and chief executive officer of Dean Witter, Discover & Co. from 1986 until they acquired Morgan Stanley Group Inc. in 1997. He served as chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley until his retirement in 2005.

Phil has had a long career with many accomplishments, including the creation and successful launch of the Discover Card in the mid 1980s.   He joined Sears in 1978, coming from the Chicago office of McKinsey and Co. where he was the managing director.  While at Sears he was the driving force in their decision to acquire Dean Witter and Coldwell Banker.

Phil served on the board of AMR Corp. and American Airlines until their merer with US Airways.  He is a trustee at the University of Notre Dame where he chairs the Athletic Affairs committee.   He was the founder and chairman of the Financial Services Forum, an organization comprising the CEOs of 20 major financial services firms.  He served on the Board of the New York Stock Exchange and was elected Vice-Chairman in 1995 and 1996 and later served on the Executive Board of the Exchange.

Phil is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago and a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics.


Ellie M. Currie, Office Manager and Corporate Secretary


Ellie has a career of over 40 years in business at Sears, Dean Witter Discover, Morgan Stanley and Continental Investors. She has been with Continental since its inception. At Sears, Ellie served as the assistant to two Chairmen of the Merchandise Group. She has worked with Phil Purcell since 1978 at Sears, Dean Witter Discover and Morgan Stanley, and was part of the team involved in the Dean Witter IPO in 1993 and Dean Witter’s acquisition of Morgan Stanley in 1997.

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