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Think Like An Owner

The Think Like an Owner podcast seeks out conversations with small company owners and investors to learn how to acquire and run small companies, with a focus on search funds, micro private equity, and permanent capital.


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Kurt Leedy and Kyle Coots – The Three Methods to Grow Capital – Ep.134

My guests on this episode are Kurt Leedy and Kyle Coots, co-founders and managing directors at Miramar Equity Partners. Kurt and Kyle have an interesting vantage point in the search world being backed by a family office with an agnostic time horizon, allowing them to invest in the widest set of opportunities in search and parallel spaces. Our episode focuses on a concept they developed they call the three ways to make money, those being classic LBO, M&A-driven strategies,

Adriana Garcia Ceja – The Power of Role Models – Ep. 133

My guest on this episode is Adriana Garcia Ceja who recently launched a traditional search fund backed by Footbridge Partners, Pacific Lake, and others with a primary focus on the healthcare industry. Adriana brings a ton of experience to her search, including corporate development at Home Depot and a head of special products role at Applied Concepts, a search fund backed company, during her gap year in her MBA at

Mark Brooks – Building Transformative Teams – Ep. 132

My guest on this episode is Mark Brooks, Managing Director of Permanent Equity. Mark leads Permanent Equity’s post-close operations team, partnering with company leaders to overcome challenges and unlock growth. Mark is a really reflective person, which you can tell from his writing on Twitter. He’s thought very deeply about management and creating transformative teams, and this conversation is dense with value and insights. This episode is a fantastic dive

Sara Heston & Peter Kelly – Stanford Search Fund Study – Ep.131

I’m joined by Sara Heston and Peter Kelly. Together at Stanford, Sara and Peter, among other projects and teaching, assemble the Stanford Search Study that has been released every year on even years. The study is widely considered the go-to resource for learning about search funds and is often the first resource shared with folks considering the path. The first study in 1996 was only two pages long, and the

Jay Davis and Jason Pananos – Serial Acquisition Strategies and Holding Companies – Ep.130

My guests on this episode are Jay Davis and Jason Pananos. Jay and Jason acquired Vector Disease Control, which provides vector borne disease prevention and lake management services, in 2011. About 4 years after acquisition, they realized serial acquisitions complementary companies could be a powerful growth lever. And 14 acquisitions later, they sold the company in 2017 for a very successful outcome. Following the sale, they founded the Nashton Company

Nick Haschka – Reversing Course on a Holding Company – Ep.129

My guest on this episode is Nick Haschka, back for a third episode to provide an update on his early ambitions of a holding company, which have taken a slight turn. Two years ago, Nick and his partner Anupam Sharma acquired a commercial landscaping company Vargas Gardening. They added a manager and grew the business, but realized the road ahead was going to be substantially more difficult and so made

Andy Cagnetta – How Business Brokers See the M&A World – Ep.128

My guest on this episode is Andy Cagnetta. Andy is the CEO of Transworld Business Advisors, one of the largest business brokers in the country. The typical guest on Think Like an Owner is an owner operator often running a business they acquired, although not always. And therefore, the buyer’s side of a transaction is where we have spent the most time as a podcast. I wanted to hear the

Trilogy Search Series Ep.5: Kevin Knoepp and Zach Seely – Ep.127

Today I’m joined by Kevin Knoepp and Zack Seely. Zach acquired a healthcare software company called FSI in late 2020 with technical diligence help from Kevin, a software due diligence advisor and Trilogy operating executive. Our conversation doesn’t discuss the attractiveness of software as an investment, which it very much is, but rather on how to properly diligence software and operate and improve the business once acquired. We review common

Freddie Bellhouse – Building a Holding Company in the U.K. – Ep.126

My guest on this episode is Freddie Bellhouse. Freddie and his partner Nick Ashford are co-founders of Fordhouse, a UK-based acquirer of small companies. In the eight years since they’re founding in 2014, they’ve done 25 deals and are beginning to consider more fund-like permanent capital structures for future acquisitions. I was fortunate enough to meet Freddie’s partner Nick in New York City, and we hit it off immediately. He’ll

Rob LeBlanc – Designing an International Search Investment Firm – Ep.125

My guest on this episode is Rob LeBlanc. Rob is a co-founding partner of Ambit Partners, a search investment fund founded in 2020 that invests in searchers worldwide in countries like Paraguay, Spain, Germany, and South Africa, where Rob is based. Together with his two co-founding partners, they have raised a $25 million fund with plans to back 50 to 60 searchers in this first fund. Today, they have funded

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Letters

Each year I write an annual letter to readers and listeners to reflect on the evolution of the podcast and my personal growth.

2020 Annual Letter: It’s Business Time

While 2020 was turbulent to say the least, it was the best year of my life. I married my lovely wife in late August, adopted a corgi, and began working on the Think Like an Owner podcast full-time.

2019 Annual Letter: Gaining Traction

Before getting to the podcast, 2019 was a tremendous year personally. I flew to DC for a FinTwit gathering hosted by Jamie Catherwood, graduated college with a new job, and got engaged.

2018 Annual Letter to Readers and Listeners

As a fun goal for myself, I’ve decided to start writing annual (and possibly quarterly) letters for the Think Like an Owner project to reflect on the growth of the podcast, discussion around the micro private equity market, and my personal learning.