KARMA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS PODCAST
The Business Builders’ Podcast
Private Equity Innovator of the Year: Kevin McAllister, Access Holdings
Dive into the transformative world of private equity in this insightful episode of the Karma School of Business Podcast, featuring Kevin McAllister, the visionary Founder and Managing Partner at Access Holdings. Honored as BluWave's 2024 Private Equity Innovator of the Year, Kevin discusses the innovative strategies that propel Access Holdings to industry leadership.
01:22 - Exploring the Access Acceleration Center - Kevin provides a glimpse into their high-tech private equity office, where technology and data analytics drive value creation.
10:28 - Evolution from Fundless Sponsor to Market Leader - Learn about the growth trajectory of Access Holdings and the strategic vision that guided their rise to prominence.
20:38 - Commitment to Corporate Citizenship - Kevin delves into how Access Holdings embeds social responsibility into their ethos, aligning business success with community impact.
30:01 - Fueling Growth and Employment - A conversation on the targeted growth strategies Access Holdings employs to support their portfolio companies and stimulate job creation.
37:53 - The Culture of Learning and Innovation - Kevin speaks on the importance of nurturing a learning environment that encourages innovation and keeps the firm agile in a competitive landscape.
To learn more about Access Holdings, go to www.accessholdings.com
To learn more about BluWave's 2024 Top Private Equity Innovator Awards, and Access Holdings as our Innovator of the Year, go to www.bluwave.net/awards
To learn more about Kevin McAllister, go to https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-mcallister-5979347
To learn more about BluWave and this podcast, go to www.bluwave.net/podcast
Key Insights & Takeaways:
In this episode, Kevin McAllister shares a wealth of knowledge on how Access Holdings' commitment to research, technology, and data analytics has redefined their approach to private equity. Listeners will learn about the importance of selecting markets with persistent tailwinds and the strategic deployment of resources to build competitive advantages within portfolio companies. Kevin also emphasizes the significance of corporate social responsibility, not just as a mandate, but as a core component of building a sustainable and successful business. By focusing on job creation and supporting Main Street America, Access Holdings exemplifies how private equity can be a force for positive economic change. Furthermore, Kevin's insights into fostering a culture of continuous learning underscore the firm's ability to remain at the cutting edge of private equity innovation.
Private Equity Spotlight: Building Success with Tim Schulte of Council Capital
Join the Karma School of Business Podcast, as host Sean Mooney sits down with Tim Schulte, Partner at Council Capital, to explore the nuanced world of private equity and the art of business growth. Tim's diverse background, from consulting to startups, has shaped his approach to value creation and investment in the healthcare sector.
1:37 - From History Major to PE Partner: Tim Schulte's Unique Journey
8:41 - Key Traits for Investment: Council Capital's Market-Team-Company Framework
12:46 - Value Creation: Council Capital's Collaborative and Respectful Approach
19:41 - Innovating PE Deal Sourcing: Executive in Residence and AI Tools
23:58 - Life Lessons from Literature: Tim's Influential Book Recommendations
For more information on Council Capital, go to www.councilcapital.com.
For more information on Tim Schulte, go to www.linkedin.com/in/timothyrobertschulte.
For more information on BluWave and this podcast, go to www.bluwave.net/podcast.
In this enriching episode, Tim delves into the significance of market selection, the power of teamwork, and the strategic role of company potential in achieving long-term success. He also sheds light on Council Capital's CEO Council, Executive in Residence program, and their forward-thinking use of AI to streamline the investment process.
Beyond business acumen, Tim shares personal insights, including his commitment to community through Nashville Classical and his affectionately earned nickname. He also offers book recommendations that provide profound reflections on life's finite resources and the importance of balancing wealth, health, and time.
Join us for a conversation that not only charts Tim Schulte's path through the financial sector but also imparts actionable wisdom for business builders and investors alike. Whether you're a seasoned PE professional or an entrepreneur seeking growth, this episode is filled with valuable takeaways and inspiring ideas for the future.
Private Equity Spotlight: The Growth Stage Playbook with Erica Blob of Brighton Park Capital
In this must-listen episode of the Karma School of Business Podcast, host Sean Mooney is joined by Erica Blob, Partner at Brighton Park Capital, for an insightful discussion that delves into the intricate world of growth-stage investing. Erica brings a wealth of experience from her dynamic journey through the finance sector, from investment banking to her pivotal role at Brighton Park Capital, where she focuses on nurturing high-potential growth-stage companies.
Erica shares her transition from the fast-paced environment of capital markets to the operational side of e-commerce at Walmart.com, and how this experience shaped her nuanced understanding of what it takes to drive a company forward. Her return to investment banking during the tumultuous period of 2007 set the stage for a decade working with two of the investment world's most influential Steves - Steve Cohen and Steve Klinsky - where she honed her investment philosophy and developed a deep appreciation for building transformative businesses.
The conversation takes a turn to explore the creation of Brighton Park Capital, where Erica and her team are redefining the private equity landscape by combining operational expertise with an entrepreneurial spirit to support growth-stage companies. They discuss the firm's commitment to transparency and partnership with their LPs, offering them real-time insights into the performance and potential of their investments.
Erica also provides a glimpse into the current strategic initiatives at Brighton Park Capital, highlighting the importance of M&A opportunities, offshoring for talent acquisition, and the transformative impact of AI on software development productivity. She emphasizes the significance of experienced, low-ego entrepreneurs and the value of operational executives in scaling businesses from tens to hundreds of millions in revenue.
Listeners will walk away with a mini-MBA's worth of knowledge as Erica distills her approach to identifying operationally excellent companies, the intricacies of value creation, and the critical role of customer-centricity. Her personal anecdotes, including a unique travel life hack involving a sleep-inducing pillow, add a relatable touch to the discussion.
Tune in for an engaging and educational conversation that not only charts Erica Blob's path through the financial sector but also offers actionable insights into the strategies that are propelling Brighton Park Capital and their portfolio companies to new heights.
1:38 - Erica's path to private equity including learning from some industry legends
14:14 - The challenges and triumphs of establishing Brighton Park Capital during the pandemic
20:01 - Key traits Brighton Park Capital looks for in growth-stage companies and their strategic approach to fostering operational excellence
30:54 - An innovative approach to engaging with Limited Partners, emphasizing transparency and real-time information sharing
34:24 - The current thematic focuses for value creation within the portfolio, including M&A, offshoring for talent, and leveraging AI for software development productivity
42:16 - A life-hack for frequent travelers
Private Equity Spotlight: Overcoming Adversity with Andrew Joy of Hidden Harbor
The private equity landscape is teeming with stories of transformation and success, but few are as gripping and inspiring as that of Andrew Joy, Partner at Hidden Harbor Capital Partners. In this episode of the Karma School of Business Podcast, host Sean Mooney engages in an in-depth conversation with Andrew, whose life story is a profound testament to resilience, tenacity, and the indomitable human spirit.
Andrew shares his remarkable journey from a tumultuous childhood marked by family criminality and personal tragedy, including a life-threatening injury, to his academic triumphs and eventual ascent in the world of private equity. His narrative is not just a personal chronicle but an illustration of the power of perseverance and the importance of focusing on controllable factors in life.
Throughout the episode, Sean and Andrew explore the philosophies that have shaped Hidden Harbor Capital Partners' approach to investment. They delve into the firm's emphasis on operational excellence and the critical role of employee satisfaction and engagement in driving a company's success. Andrew's insights into the value of incremental progress, the significance of aligning with the right team, and the essence of strategic execution provide invaluable lessons for business leaders and private equity professionals alike.
Listeners will also gain perspective on how Hidden Harbor Capital Partners navigates the current economic climate, emphasizing cash discipline and the challenges of the evolving labor market. Andrew's candid reflections on the fallacies of "get rich quick" narratives and the irreplaceable value of hard work are a refreshing counterpoint to the often glamorized world of business and investing.
Join us for this compelling episode that not only charts Andrew Joy's unique path to private equity but also offers practical wisdom on building and nurturing successful businesses in a complex and ever-changing market.
2:27 - Andrew's background including a pivotal, life-altering incident
7:30 - Education as a turning point
17:15 - Focusing on what one can control in life and business
24:09 - Hidden Harbor's strategy for identifying and creating value in portfolio companies
34:28 - The discussion on how employee satisfaction metrics inform investment decisions
42:42 - The ultimate life hack
For more info on Hidden Harbor Capital Partners, go to www.hh-cp.com
For more info on BluWave and this podcast, go to www.bluwave.net/podcast
Private Equity Predictions: Tackling 2024’s Opportunities and Challenges
Dive into the future of private equity with host Sean Mooney on the Karma School of Business Podcast, as he analyzes the industry's trajectory, reflecting on 2023 and forecasting the trends of 2024. This episode is a must-listen for professionals eager to grasp the transformative events of the past year and the strategic moves shaping the next growth cycle. Sean combines BluWave's proprietary data with macroeconomic indicators to suggest we are on the cusp of a new era of expansion, potentially lasting six to eight years.
The discussion revisits the accuracy of previous predictions, including the resilience of the economy, the VC bubble's burst, and the shift back to in-person work. Sean then lays out his predictions for 2024, forecasting an uptick in M&A activity and strategic selling by private equity firms. He also identifies the rise of data scientists as key players in the industry, essential for harnessing large data sets and driving informed investment decisions.
To cap off the episode, Sean examines potential wildcards that could sway the economic landscape, from geopolitical tensions to oil price volatility and shifts in consumer behavior. These insights are invaluable for private equity professionals looking to chart a successful course through the market's complexities and capitalize on emerging opportunities.
1:42 - Identifying the bottom of the cycle and predicting growth
3:10 - 2023 in review: Value creation and tech advancements
8:00 - Reviewing our 2023 predictions and their outcomes
15:17 - Strategic moves in private equity for 2024
21:28 - Potential disruptors to the 2024 economic outlook
To request your copy of the Q4 2023 Private Equity Insights Report, go to www.bluwave.net/insights-report
Suzanne Yoon, Kinzie Capital | Charting the Course of Value Creation in Private Equity
The private equity landscape is replete with opportunities for those who dare to take the leap, and this episode of the Karma School of Business Podcast is a testament to that very notion. Join host Sean Mooney as he engages in a captivating dialogue with Suzanne Yoon, the Founder and Managing Partner of Kinzie Capital. Suzanne's journey from the daughter of Korean immigrants to a trailblazing leader in private equity is not just inspiring—it's a masterclass in resilience and strategic innovation.
In this conversation, Suzanne divulges the formative experiences that shaped her entrepreneurial spirit, from her childhood in a family-owned deli to her transformative career moves that led to the inception of Kinzie Capital. She and Sean explore the nuances of value creation in the lower middle market, the impact of technology on traditional businesses, and the importance of fostering a growth mindset within management teams.
Listeners will gain invaluable insights into Kinzie Capital's unique approach to driving growth, underscored by their trademarked formula that synergizes capital, operational excellence, and technology. Additionally, the discussion delves into the imperative of cash management and the transformative potential of an effective operating system, as exemplified by Gino Wickman's "Traction."
Suzanne's reflections on leadership, her commitment to diversity in the private equity space, and her candid advice to her younger self round out a conversation that is as enlightening as it is motivating. Whether you're a private equity veteran or an aspiring entrepreneur, this episode offers profound lessons on navigating the complexities of business growth and personal development.
1:39 - Suzanne's background and path to private equity
8:47 - The decision to start Kinzie Capital
21:54 - Identifying key traits of successful companies
31:29 - Kinzie Capital's formula for value creation
41:23 - Suzanne's advice to her younger self
47:02 - Implementing "Traction" within Kinzie Capital
Don't miss this deep dive into the heart of private equity innovation with Suzanne Yoon. Tune in to discover how embracing change and harnessing the right resources can lead to unparalleled success in the dynamic world of private equity.
Emily Holdman, Permanent Equity | The Art of Lasting Partnerships in Private Equity
The private equity industry won't want to miss this insightful episode of the Karma School of Business Podcast, as host Sean Mooney welcomes Emily Holdman, Managing Director at Permanent Equity. Emily shares her unconventional route into the private equity world, highlighting the importance of diverse on-ramps into the industry. With a background in journalism and economics, Emily's story is a testament to the evolving landscape of private equity, where varied experiences and perspectives are shaping the future of the field.
Emily and Sean delve into the philosophy behind Permanent Equity, a firm that prides itself on long-term investments and partnering with successful companies that can thrive independently. They discuss the significance of team dynamics, operational excellence, and the strategic stewardship that nurtures systemic health and compounding growth in portfolio companies.
Listeners will gain an understanding of how Permanent Equity's approach to value creation is actively reshaping the private equity narrative, prioritizing long-term sustainability over short-term sprints. The conversation also touches on the importance of agility and seizing opportunities, even amid challenging economic climates.
Emily's personal anecdotes reveal her as a voracious reader and a proponent of community building within the private equity space. She extends an invitation to listeners to connect and engage with her and the Permanent Equity team, emphasizing the power of less formal, more relational interactions in the industry.
Join us for a compelling discussion that not only provides a glimpse into Emily Holdman's unique journey to private equity but also offers valuable insights into the strategic and relational shifts occurring within the industry.
2:01 - Diverse paths into private equity
6:38 - The long-term approach to private equity
11:40 - Identifying successful companies
17:13 - Investing in and growing leadership teams
23:50 - Active investment and operational partnership
30:57 - Leveraging flexibility and opportunity during change
37:08 - Emily's book recommendation
For more information about Emily and Permanent Equity, go to www.permanentequity.com.
For more information about BluWave and this podcast, go to www.bluwave.net/podcast.
What I Wish I Knew: Private Equity Leaders’ Advice to Their Younger Selves
In this reflective episode of the Karma School of Business Podcast, we gather pearls of wisdom from seasoned private equity veterans and business builders as they share the advice they would give their 22-year-old selves. With insights that span from embracing resilience to the power of authenticity, this episode is a guidebook for both personal and professional growth.
Join host Sean Mooney and the BluWave team as they delve into these transformative lessons that transcend time, providing guidance for the next generation of business leaders and anyone eager to refine their path to success.
1:49 - Andy Greenberg, GVC: "Just Say Yes"
4:43 - Ed Hine, Line 5 Capital: Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
7:45 - Matt Cole, SBJ Capital: Embrace the Journey
10:07 - Scott Phillips, Orix Capital Partners: Resilience in Tough Times
13:01 - Cici Zheng: Everything Will Be Okay
16:33 - John Huhn, Compass Group Equity Partners: Persistence Pays Off
19:20 - Brian Adams, Excelsior Capital: Own Assets Early
22:19 - Mohit Kansal, Clairvest: Skill Development Focus
23:35 - Marshall Phelps, MidOcean Partners: Invest in Relationships
26:09 - Devin Mathews, ParkerGale Capital: Be Authentically You
For more information on BluWave and each of these episodes, go to www.bluwave.net/podcast.
Business Builders’ Bookshelf: Essential Reads for Strategic Success
In this special episode of the Karma School of Business Podcast, we bring you a curated list of impactful book recommendations from our esteemed private equity industry guests, offering a wealth of knowledge to enhance your strategic thinking and personal growth.
1:34 – Author Nick Shaw's poignant and insightful "My Teacher, My Son," is a book that promises to transform your perspective on life and leadership
My Teacher, My Son: https://www.amazon.com/My-Teacher-Son-Lessons-Life/dp/B0CH7F5MGW
5:06 - Dive into the intricacies of technological advancements with Managing Partner Scott Estill's picks, "Chip Wars" by Chris Miller and "AI 2041" by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan
Chip Wars: https://www.amazon.com/Chip-War-Dominate-Critical-Technology/dp/B09TX24J5Y/
AI 2041: https://www.amazon.com/AI-2041-Ten-Visions-Future/dp/B08SFL53HL/
9:50 - Gain historical business insights from private equity operating partner Joe DeLuca’s favorite, “The Making of the Atomic Bomb” by Richard Rhodes.
The Making of the Atomic Bomb: https://www.amazon.com/Making-Atomic-Bomb-Richard-Rhodes/dp/1451677618
13:00 – Entrepreneur and attorney Scott Becker emphasizes the significance of team building with “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and the importance of health and longevity with “Outlive” by Peter Attia.
Good to Great: https://www.amazon.com/Good-to-Great-Jim-Collins-audiobook/dp/B003VXI5MS/
16:25 – Private equity partner John Kirk reminds us of the power of collective success over individual correctness through “Us” by
19:48 – PE operating partner Brit Yonge explores the sovereignty of choice in Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.”
Man’s Search for Meaning: https://www.amazon.com/Mans-Search-for-Meaning-audiobook/dp/B0006IU470/
23:35 – Private equity managing director Doug Horn provides a glimpse into the future of industry and geopolitics with “The End of the World is Just the Beginning” by Peter Zeihan and celebrates American entrepreneurial spirit in “Americana” by Bhu Srinivasan
The End of the World is Just the Beginning: https://www.amazon.com/End-World-Just-Beginning-Globalization/dp/B09CS8FRRD/
26:41 – PE managing director Mohit Kansal underscores the value of data over narrative with “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis.
28:23 – Private equity managing director Marshall Phelps draws leadership lessons from "Washington" by Ron Chernow and delves into the intrigue of "Conspiracy" by Ryan Holiday
32:35 – Private equity managing partner Doug McCormick offers a refreshing perspective on global progress with "Factfulness" by Hans Rosling.
Join us as we explore these diverse and thought-provoking works that have shaped the minds of business leaders and will undoubtedly influence your approach to business and life.
Nick Shaw, Mirrorbox Leadership Lab | ‘My Teacher, My Son: Lessons on Life, Loss, and Love’
In this deeply moving episode of the Karma School of Business podcast, hosted by BluWave's Founder and CEO, Sean Mooney, we sit down with Nick Shaw, co-founder of Mirrorbox Leadership Lab and author of My Teacher, My Son. Nick shares his personal journey through an unimaginable tragedy that led him to profound revelations about life, empathy, and the power of choice. This episode offers a unique perspective on how to navigate life's toughest challenges and transform them into opportunities for growth and enlightenment.
2:31 - Nick's background and path to becoming an executive coach
6:24 - Introducing Nick's book: 'My Teacher, My Son' and the story of William
13:44 - Stepping off of the hamster wheel of life
21:01 - The power of empathy & keeping it simple
31:48 - Taking steps forward: what Nick's doing now
-To purchase Nick's book, 'My Teacher, My Son," go to https://bit.ly/4aiggoo
-For more information about Nick as an author, go to www.meetnickshaw.com
-For more information about Nick and Mirrorbox Leadership Lab, go to www.mirrorboxleadershiplab.com
-For more information about William's Be Yourself Challenge, go to www.williamsbeyourselfchallenge.org
-For more information on BluWave and this podcast, go to www.bluwave.net/podcast
Dave Feierstein, Ronin Equity Partners | Transforming Business with a Hybrid Investor-Operator Approach
In this riveting episode of the Karma School of Business podcast, we delve into the private equity world with Dave Feierstein, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Ronin Equity Partners. Join our host, Sean Mooney, BluWave's Founder and CEO, as he engages Dave in a conversation that traverses his entrepreneurial beginnings to his current innovative strategies at Ronin Equity Partners. This episode offers a wealth of insights for private equity professionals and business owners, shedding light on the significance of developing efficient back-office structures, the pivotal role of change management in large corporations, and how Ronin Equity Partners is reshaping the traditional private equity paradigm. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from one of the industry's thought leaders.
1:30 - Dave's background and path to private equity
9:53 - Adding value with Zero-based Budgeting
16:15 - Deploying the business transformation playbook
25:16 - A unique approach to value creation
37:02 - An everyday life hack
For more information about Dave and Ronin Equity Partners, go to roninequitypartners.com.
For more information about BluWave and this podcast, go to bluwave.net/podcast.
Eric Jensen, Nordic Capital | Achieving Operational Excellence: A Look into M&A and Talent Strategy in Private Equity
In this episode, BluWave Founder and CEO, Sean Mooney, catches up with Eric Jensen, Operations Director at Nordic Capital. They explore the current dynamics of the M&A market, the significance of preparing businesses for the M&A process, and the growing importance of aligning the right roles with the right people. Also, Sean and Eric delve into the impact of technology in the corporate world, focusing on Eric's unique journey from consulting to operating and then transitioning into private equity. The pair discuss operational excellence, value creation, and how Essential Skills and strategies are combined with a strong leadership team to drive performance. Dive into this thoughtful conversation for intriguing insights into the ever-evolving private equity industry.
1:05 - Eric's path to private equity
6:54 - Introducing Thor
10:09 - Traits that display operational excellence
15:41 - The importance of expertise in value creation
20:38 - Managing stakeholder communication
27:13 - The difference in private equity investing in the US versus Europe
31:30 - Eric's advice to his younger self
For more information on Nordic Capital, go to www.nordiccapital.com.
For more information on BluWave and this podcast, go to www.bluwave.net/podcast.