KARMA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS PODCAST
The Business Builders’ Podcast
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 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
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.
Decoding Q3 Insights: Harnessing People Power and Growth Opportunities in an Improving Market
In this insightful podcast episode, we delve into the key revelations from the Q3, 2023 Insights Report, showcasing the state of the private equity industry amidst fluctuating market fundamentals. We discuss intriguing observations in the industry's investment patterns; drawing attention to a significant rise in confidence, a notable shift towards growth, and an emphasis on human capital. Tune in to discover the significance of these trends, the raw data supporting these findings, and what this could mean for the future of private equity.
1:26 - Private Equity is not scared
4:45 - Fundamentals are improving
9:25 - PE is investing in growth in their companies
10:51 - Human capital activity is surging in PE
14:28 - It's time to hit the gas, with caution - what to keep an eye on
18:03 - A bold prediction
For more information on BluWave and this podcast, go to www.bluwave.net/podcast
Gabe Mesanza, Huron Capital | An Expert Perspective on Culture, Growth and Cash Flow in Private Equity
A Partner and Resource Group Lead from Huron Capital, Gabe Mesanza, joins the Karma School of Business to discuss a wide variety of tactics for business leaders and private equity professionals. In this episode, we discuss:
1:20 - Gabe's path to private equity and engineering mindset
9:58 - The traits of a great business: people and culture
17:27 - Perspective into the evolution of value creation in the PE industry
25:42 - Growing through uncertain economies
33:10 - Gabe's advice to his younger self
38:58 - A life hack for handwritten note takers
For more information on Huron Capital, go to https://www.huroncapital.com/
For more information on BluWave and this podcast, go to https://www.bluwave.net/podcast
The BluWave Story
Host Sean Mooney tells the origin story of BluWave.
Growing up in a large, entrepreneurial family in Texas, Sean followed an unquestioned path that led him to study in D.C, to then investment banking in New York, to a nearly 20-year career in private equity. Learn why Sean decided to move to Nashville, Tennessee, to start building BluWave in 2016, how he managed the highest highs and lowest lows in the early days, and why it wasn’t a straight path to Rome.
What Is The Karma School of Business?
Host Sean Mooney shares what the Karma School of Business means and how he developed this philosophy over the years. He learned that if you make life simple, it becomes simpler.
Sean explains why and how this approach yields the highest percentage chance of long-term success in his experience.