Bison Capital Asset Management, a California-based firm, is expanding to the east.

The company has opened an office in Charlotte, and it is led by a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Louis Bissette, a partner in Bison, will run the Charlotte office. A native of Asheville, he received a degree in economics from UNC where he was a Morehead Scholar. He also serves on UNC’s Board of Visitors.

Bison Capital provides equity to mid-market entrepreneurial companies, either public or private. It is based in Santa Monica, CA.

“I am pleased to be a part of such a highly-regarded and successful team,” said Bissette, who joined Bison last summer. “It is a fun and exciting challenge to build upon Bison’s strong foundation and existing market position in the western U.S. We have determined that an equally rewarding investment opportunity exists for us in the eastern U.S.”

Bissett was a general partner at Brentwood Associates, a private equity fund, from 1993-2005. He also has worked for Morgan Stanley.

“Louis is a highly accretive addition to our partnership,” said Jim Hunt, managing partner of Bison Capital. “We are confident that he will find attractive investment opportunities for Bison’s unique private equity product on the east coast.”

Bison Capital, which touts itself as a non-control private equity firm, focuses exclusively on investing in companies where the founding entrepreneurs or existing management retain control of ownership. The firm was launched in 2001.

Bison Capital: