Helping people find the courage to try, the clarity to start and the commitment to keep going!
Search Fund Accelerators thru the eyes of the Searcher
Rob Gaunt is the Chief Executive Officer of Ace Training who recently took on that role after successfully completing an acquisition of it as a searcher (potentially Australia’s first traditionally funded successful search!).
Through his time searching, Rob had the opportunity to look at a whole range of businesses across Australia before pinning one down to acquire, so he has plenty of great insights to share.
In this episode of The Next Step Podcast, I speak to Rob about how he came to search in the first place, what his reflections on the search phase were, and what it looked like to actually work through a deal and get it to completion.
For anyone out there that is thinking about taking on a search, Rob delivers some raw, recent first-hand experience that I'm sure you'll find very valuable.
•01:30 - Rob shares his journey about the last two weeks of being in a training company as the CEO.
•02:45 – Rob talks about his career before search and what it was about search that made him interested.
•07:11- Rob and Pete talk about search, how to build, own and operate a business.
•09:37– Rob shares about his experience in SME ventures and how that helped him search his journey.
•13:48 – Rob and Pete discuss what a partnership can do to a search and how it can help you become successful in a business.
•16:36– Rob shares tips on how to determine what type of search to do.
Connect with Rob: LinkedIn
Connect with Pete: LinkedIn
The Reality of Being an Operator
In this episode of the Next Step Podcast, I speak to Jack Lancaster. Jack's currently the director and CEO of Evolution Surgical, a business he acquired as part of a self-funded search.
Jack's got a broad and diverse background, including spending time studying in the UK and even attempting to start up his own business from scratch.
Jack went into search in early 2020 (an interesting time to start a search with COVID 19 hitting!) and successfully acquired Evolution Surgical in October 2020.
I spend some time with Jack talking around the different aspects of search, with most of the discussion revolving around his first nine months in the hot seat of operation.
Jack shares some amazing insights straight from the front line around what it looks like in those first three months after buying the business, what people should be aware of when they first get their feet under the desk, and the kinds of things they should look out for in that those first 12 months of operation.
Connect with Jack: LinkedIn
Connect with Pete: LinkedIn
Investing in Australian Search
Tim Moore and Jake Maisey run Dorado Capital, one of the few Australian family offices actively investing in search funds. Dorado has invested in traditional and self-funded searches both in Australia and overseas.
Tim has an MBA and is a chartered accountant who started his career in investment banking and led a self-funded search that resulted in the acquisition of Surpac, a software business servicing the mining industry.
Before joining Dorado capital, Jake was at KPMG in corporate finance for five years and spent several years in the UK with Stenprop (a Real Estate Investment Trust).
In this episode of The Next Step Podcast we cover a range of topics, but particularly on the themes that bring a good perspective on what investors are looking for when they consider searches and backing searches. We also touch on what investors should be thinking about when considering search as an asset class. I hope you enjoyed the episode.
· 01:35 –Tim and Jake talked about how they come across search and asset class and what are the things that they have been doing to really get themselves up the curve of what search is as an opportunity.
· 6:17– Pete and our guests discussed investments offshore, particularly in the UK market, comparing the Australian and UK market's maturity and the opportunities that are coming for the Australian market.
· 09:07 – Pete and our guests talked about the range of structural options when it comes to establishing a search in the Australian market.
· 13:28- Pete and our guests discussed the increase in the volume of searchers, executives, and operators that are thinking about coming to market, whether it is a self-funded or a funded vehicle model of search.
· 18:39- Pete and our guests talked about the kind of characteristics of a searcher that is defined to be backable by investors and the necessary steps to continue in order to keep lighting a fire under the Australian search market.
Learn more about Search Fund and entrepreneurship through acquisition and connect with Pete, Tim, and Jake:
Connect with Pete: LinkedIn
Connect with Tim: LinkedIn
Connect with Jake: LinkedIn
The Four Seasons of Search
In this episode, I talk about the four seasons of search. I think the seasons of the year are a great metaphor to help searchers understand their own journey and the different 'seasons' they will find themselves in along the way.
This episode is for all those people out there that are thinking about taking the search journey. If you are someone that's is just about to start a search or have already begun, but you want to get a better context of what's that journey look like holistically, then this would be a really valuable ten minutes of your time.
It will give you a helpful overview of the search experience, from start to finish, and a few pointers along the way as you find yourself in each of these very distinct phases of the search.
I also highlight some of the questions you should be asking your investors at each of those stages too. I've been through this process many times both as a search and an investor, so I have shared some insights on how you can leverage your relationship with your investors in such a way they can help you through each stage of the journey.
I hope you enjoy the four seasons of search and find it useful when framing your own journey and what to expect along the way.
All things Search in Australia, including our first institutional fund
Lui Pangiarella – founder of WayFinder Capital and Second Squared. Both of these companies are active contributors and participants in the search fund ecosystem here in Australia.
Lui co-founded Second Squared a couple of years ago to help build the community of searchers here in Australia. They've just recently founded WayFinder, Australia's first institutional fund focusing on the search fund model.
In this episode of The Next Step Podcast Pete and Lui have covered a whole range of things and discuss a lot of exciting themes that relevant to investors and searchers alike. Lui has a depth and breadth of understanding of search and search fund asset class and as an opportunity for searchers and operators. We delve into a bit more the concept of the fund that he's raising and how that will contribute to the growth of the model here in Australia.
· 01:32 –Lui talks about what brought him to search and his journey on search.
· 03:08–Pete and Lui talk about what are the attributes of a market that is appropriate to search and what are the fundamentals of the Australian market that lean towards the model of search.
· 07:00 – Pete and Lui talk about how he founded Second Squared and made it a vehicle to run searches in Australia, and talk about the characteristics of searchers in Australia.
· 11:40-Pete and Lui talk about searchers' development and pattern recognition and what are the attributes that makes them a good searcher.
· 16:13-Pete and Lui talk about the Wayfinder and what it means for the market and how it helps the search community.
· 21:55-Pete and Lui talk about the view and reputation of the Australian search to the international community of search fund.
Learn more about Search Fund and entrepreneurship through acquisition and connect with Pete and Lui:
Connect with Pete: LinkedIn
Connect with Lui: LinkedIn
Lending to Searchers - the US experience
· 01:40 –Heather talks about her how she came across and embraced the search model and its community
· 04:19 –Heather talks about how the SBA (Small Business Administration) helps the search community in the U.S.
· 07:42 – Pete and Heather talk about the capabilities and coachability of the searcher have an impact on his/her success
· 12:05- Pete and Heather talk about the structure for bigger banks to lend to smaller businesses and its ability to invest on the search model
· 17:10-Pete and Heather talk about the process of communication after having debt on a bank, what is in the U.S. market and how it is different from the Australian market and the future of Banks involvement search fund businesses?
Learn more about Search Fund and entrepreneurship through acquisition and connect with Pete and Heather:
Pete Seligman: LinkedIn
Heather Endresen: LinkedIn