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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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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

Brendan Anderson – Building a Compounding Advantage – Ep.124

My guest on this episode is Brendan Anderson. Brendan started his post-banking entrepreneurial career by acquiring Stam, Inc., which manufactures custom bent tubing before founding a private equity firm called ScaleCo where he has raised three funds and acquired 21 companies to date. He built his career by being an operator first and learned to become an investor, a path that’s given them a big leg up when talking to

Trilogy Search Series Ep.4: Kristen Glenn, Jennie Ellis, and Cyrus Symoom – Ep. 123

The 4th episode in our Trilogy Search Series features Kristen Glenn from Reverb People. Kristen is an HR professional with over 15 years of experience in HR Leadership and Business Partner roles. We also have Cyrus Symoom, the Co-CEO of Clariti Software, Clariti helps governments across North America with permitting and licensing solutions. Finally, we are joined by Jennie Ellis, who is an Operating Executive specializing in Talent Acquisition with Trilogy Search


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