NSK Capital is backed by a group of investors with deep financial and operating experience. They will guide Anand Krishna during the process of acquiring a business. Some of them will contribute their expertise in operating and growing companies, by taking a board seat.
The Operand Group
The Operand Group and its Partners have partnered with many entrepreneurs to find and acquire profitable lower middle-market businesses. Their portfolio is diverse, spanning healthcare, IT, manufacturing, specialty biotech services, logistics, and software.
Michael Miles is a veteran of search fund investing, since 2009. He has served as a board member and trusted advisor for many search fund-backed investments. Examples include Innflux and Workplace Answers – which had very successful outcomes. In 2014, Michael co-founded The Operand Group, a fund that invests exclusively in search funds.
Michael also has 25+ years of experience building, growing and operating recruiting businesses. In 1988, Michael founded SeatonCorp. In 2014, Michael and his investor group sold SeatonCorp to True Blue (NYSE: TBI). Under Michael’s leadership, SeatonCorp grew from a staff of two, to one of Crain’s Largest Privately Held Companies in Chicago, with more than 2,500 employees and over $700 million in revenue.
In 2012, Michael founded INCubatoredu (non-profit), a national program teaching high school students how to start a business. Michael is a Board member at Caravel, RIVS, EmployBridge, Insertech and Penn Foster. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. Michael earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Arizona State University.
Carlos is responsible for overall management and administration of the firm’s investing activities in Search Funds. In his role, Carlos is also a Board Member at L.A.W. Publications and E-Card Systems.
Carlos had 16 years of proprietary investment and operations experience in the equity derivatives industry. Carlos was Chief Investment Officer for Spot Trading in Chicago from 2009-2015, managing all Trading, Equity Research, Financial Engineering and front-office software development activities. Prior to this experience, Carlos executed various trading roles successfully, and in so doing gained valuable process, technology, and management skills that he shares with young entrepreneurs.
Carlos is actively involved as a Director for the Barrington Area Community Foundation and a Founding Board Member of INCubatorEdu. Carlos received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology, and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Search Fund Partners
The Search Fund Partners team includes Dave Carver, Rich Kelley, Jim Edmunds, and Todd Tracey. They have over 40 years of management and investment experience in a wide spectrum of industries — in start-up management and venture capital fund-raising, corporate M&A, executive management, real estate syndication, and small business management.
Dave co-founded Search Fund Partners along with Rich Kelley. He is on the boards of Datum Technologies, FastSpring, Great Bay Software, Grey Heller, PlanetDDS Software, Raptor Technologies, Remarkable Health and StaffOne.
Dave has spent thirty years as an executive in software, technology and related services, and has extensive experience including M&A, fund-raising, strategy, and operations. He was CEO of HiFive Networks, CEO of Hipbone Networks, EVP and GM at Network Associates; COO of Network General, an EIR at Institutional Venture Partners; and an executive overseeing software and services at the Hewlett-Packard Company.
Dave has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Arkansas.
Rich co-founded Search Fund Partners in 2004. He currently serves on the boards of Pet Loss Center, DCI Caravel Autism Services, RIA in a Box, ISC Water, FMT, Attainia, and MST.
Rich has been involved in numerous small businesses and start-up companies as an operator, owner, and investor. His varied experience includes: CFO of Score Learning Centers, CEO of San Jose Giants, General Partner of the Stanford Terrace Inn, developer of houses and subdivisions, owner of office buildings and hotels, investor in successful tech start-ups – Coinstar, PLX Technology, Corcept Therapeutics. He has also invested in many limited partnerships, including venture funds, and has been a search fund investor since 1994.
Rich has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from Stanford. He has served as an elected school board trustee and is active with the Positive Coaching Alliance and Sustainable Conservation as an advisor.
Jim Edmunds joined Search Fund Partners in 2008 after running a company sourced through the search fund model. Jim and his partner acquired Celebrity Kids Portrait Studios, a leading provider of upscale children’s photography in 2005. Jim served as President and CFO of the company. He currently participates on the boards of Microdea, Neuro International, Consumeraffairs.com, Gogotech, and UCIT Online.
Before launching a search fund, Jim was an Associate at McKinsey & Company in Palo Alto. Prior to attending business school, Jim conducted business development for PetSmart.com, managed a successful political campaign in Texas, and worked in Investment Banking and Equity Capital Markets at Bear Stearns.
Jim holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was named a Siebel Scholar, and an A.B. in History from Harvard University. He is the treasurer of Building Futures Now, a non-profit dedicated to helping high potential students in East Palo Alto.
Todd Tracey joined Search Fund Partners in 2016 after acquiring, running, and successfully exiting HemaSource, a company he sourced through the search fund model. HemaSource is a distributor of medical disposable products to the blood therapies markets and at the time of the sale it was one of the most successful ‘single searcher’ exits. Todd served as President and CEO of the company. He currently participates on the boards of ComplianceLine, TDR, Detroit Dental, and Elevated Billing Solutions.
Prior to launching his search fund, Todd filled leadership roles in operations, sales, and finance for a variety of lower middle market companies. His broad industry background includes agriculture, telecommunications, web advertising and healthcare. He also worked as a Senior Associate for Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman).
Todd holds an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University where he was a Lerner Scholar and the Harry W. Gillies Management & Strategy Student of the Year. He graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with an A.B. in Economics.
The Cambria Group
The Cambria Group is a private equity firm which acquires and invests in small and mid-sized businesses across a wide range of industries and geographies. Cambria’s principals established the firm in 1996. Cambria has invested in over 180 operating businesses, and over 120 search funds.
Cambria focuses on quality businesses with revenues of under $50 million and valuations of under $25 million.
Lew Davies founded The Cambria Group in 1996. He is an experienced private equity investor, having previously been a Principal in the leveraged buyout groups of both Brentwood Associates and The Fremont Group. He brings experience in all stages of the private equity process — identifying and sourcing opportunities, arranging financing for transactions, building management teams at both the functional and executive levels, assisting with portfolio company acquisition and divestiture programs, and exiting investments.
Lew currently serves on seven corporate boards, as well as serving on the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution and the Advisory Council of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Formerly, he was a National Trustee of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a Trustee of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Vice Chairman of the Board for Menlo School.
Previously, Lew worked for Bechtel Group, Inc., a leading international engineering-construction firm, in both operating and financial roles. He had leadership roles in Bechtel Enterprises, the company’s project financing and investment arm. He opened its office in Saudi Arabia, with responsibility for all Middle Eastern activity, and worked in various capacities in its merchant banking activities. He also served on the team established to secure the release of company personnel trapped during Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Earlier, Lew worked in Chevron Corporation’s foreign operation staff and was the primary real estate analyst for the company’s U.S. and Canadian pension plans.
Lew holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, with distinction, from Stanford University. He also received an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.
René Lajous participates in all aspects of Cambria’s activities, focusing equally on originating and evaluating investment opportunities, negotiating and arranging financing for transactions, as well as providing oversight for the firm’s portfolio companies. He has experience both as a member of and observer to the boards of directors of several private companies.
Prior to joining Cambria, René was a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, a boutique management consulting firm, working in Dallas, Texas and Buenos Aires, Argentina. At BCG, he advised clients in the transportation, energy and telecommunications industries on a variety of issues ranging from strategy and operations to merger and acquisition activity and due diligence.
Earlier, René focused on logistics and operations in the consumer packaged goods industry, working for Procter & Gamble in Canada and Mexico, as well as Pillsbury in Canada.
René earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto, earning the W.S. Wilson Medal for academic excellence. He subsequently received an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Natalie Cryer works on all aspects of the firm’s activities, focusing on search funds and the firm’s work with independent sponsors.
Prior to joining Cambria, Natalie worked for Accenture as a Senior Analyst involved with Business & Systems Integration. At Accenture, she managed the finances for a $24 million software-as-a- service project, developed sales forecasts and managed a $50 million sales pipeline for the firm. She advised clients on Big Data product growth opportunities. While getting her MBA, Ms. Cryer also worked for Salt Creek Capital, a private equity firm focused on acquiring smaller operating businesses.
Earlier Ms. Cryer worked for three years as a Research Assistant for former Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
Natalie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University as well as an MBA with a Certificate in Public Management and Social Innovation from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
Bietou Capital (Pty) Limited is a private investment company based in South Africa. The company invests in a wide array of alternative investments throughout Southern Africa and typically provides capital and support to small and medium-sized companies as well as Search Funds.
Bietou Capital is capitalized with permanent capital which enables the firm to take a long-term investment view. Bietou Capital enjoys flexibility on their investment mandate and evaluates each opportunity on a deal by deal basis. The firm partners closely with portfolio companies and/or fund managers.
Thys has been involved in the PE/VC industry, investing primarily in companies in China, South Africa and Brazil through various entities, for over a decade. He has been based in China since 2013, investing primarily in high-growth consumer/technology companies.
Craig A T Jones - TPE Boulder
TPE Boulder is a private equity investor in small buyouts in profitable software companies.
Craig Jones is a veteran venture capitalist and private equity investor who specializes in technology investing. He currently runs TPE Boulder which focuses on software investing. He is Chairman of several companies.
Craig received his law degree from Harvard Law School and worked for Bain & Co in London before entering the venture capital business in 1984. He worked for Centennial Funds, Advent International and Dillon Read & Co. before founding Ticonderoga Capital in 1997. In 2010 he shifted from start-ups to small buy-out investing. He has invested extensively in search funds and search acquisitions.
Bradford Brown – Bradford Brown Capital Partners
Bradford Brown Capital Partners (BBCP), a private investment partnership that invests in search funds and profitable small-cap companies.
Brad Brown is the managing director of BBCP. He has over fifteen years of experience in small-cap growth investing and has acquired over 50 operating companies across different industries.
Brad has professional expertise in SaaS, cloud, big data, and digital marketing and sales. He focuses his board work on tech-enabled companies and is on the boards of Blue Sky Network, ISI Telemanagement, Attainia, CloudX, and D2C Brands. In addition, BBCP invests in a limited number of earlier-stage tech companies. Presently the fund is invested in five companies where Brad is an advisor: Unqork, BlueVoyant, Afiniti, OneVision, and Skydeo.
Brad is also a Senior Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company. He was a senior member of the Digital Technology practice, and the global leader of the Big Data practice. He worked with clients to implement strategies around digital, automation, analytics, cloud, and agile. He was central to the build-out of the McKinsey Analytics Nerve platform, Data Cloud, and analytics tools. He also worked in Fintech and InsurTech. For seven years, he led the Global Insurance Technology practice.
Prior to joining McKinsey, Brad was a partner in the Stenbeck Group of companies, where he was a member of the board of several companies and a working member of the Top-30 executives worldwide. Prior to that, he was the Managing Director of Arthur D. Little’s North American Information Technology practice, with management and P&L responsibility for the United States. Brad is also a Trustee of Connecticut College, and chairs the Committee on Trustees, and the Committee on Advancement.
Brad is a graduate of Dartmouth College, receiving his bachelor of arts degree, cum laude. He received an M.S.E.E. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.B.A. with Distinction, from the Wharton School.
Dustin Sellers – Koa Capital Partners
Koa Capital Partners was formed to invest in or acquire companies in the state of Hawai‘i with $0.5 million to $5 million in EBITDA. The firm’s capital is used to provide full or partial liquidity to entrepreneurs, family members, estates, passive investors, or corporate owners. Koa Capital Partners is managed by Dustin Sellers and Chris Eldridge.
A passionate entrepreneur, Dustin Sellers most recently served as owner and president for ProService Hawaii. Under his management, ProService grew from a fledgling company of $13 million in annual revenue, to $120 million, with close to 20,000 client employees supported. Prior to purchasing ProService Hawaii, Sellers served as general manager for Ingenio/Keen, Inc. a start-up e-commerce company in San Francisco. He oversaw all aspects of key revenue producing categories for the $90 million company, growing the business three-fold during his tenure as general manager and overseeing the sale to AT&T Solutions. Before that, he worked as a senior manager for the boutique growth strategy consulting group Potomac Partners in Los Angeles and manager for the corporate strategy arm of Braxton Associates/Deloitte Consulting in Los Angeles and Chicago. In addition, Dustin previously worked for a family business, Sellers Advertising, in Honolulu.
Dustin earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California and a Master’s in business administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Dustin serves as a trustee and board member of several philanthropic organizations in Hawaii.
Mike Smerklo - Next Coast Ventures
Next Coast Ventures is an Austin, TX-based private equity firm founded in 2015. Next Coast invests in entrepreneurs who are building disruptive companies in big markets. Mike co-founded Next Coast Ventures with long-time associate and investor / entrepreneur Tom Ball.
Entrepreneur and investor, Mike Smerklo is a former public company CEO and Board Chair with a keen understanding of the entrepreneur’s journey. Mike was CEO and Chairman of ServiceSource. He grew it from a 35-person business, into a publicly-traded company that is a global leader in recurring revenue management solutions. Prior to that, Mike was hired by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz to be Director of Business Development for Opsware. Before Opsware, Mike was in Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers.
Mike has a BS in Business from Miami University and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School.
John Bingaman – Iron Creek Partners
Iron Creek Partners is a private investment partnership with substantial committed capital. Most of the firm’s activities focus on corporate acquisitions, search funds, and investments in public markets.
John Bingaman leads Iron Creek’s investment and portfolio management activities. John served as Executive Chairman of SambaSafety, leading the Company’s strategic growth efforts, from 2011 through mid-2016. John currently serves as Chairman of the Board of CAI Software. Prior to founding Iron Creek’s predecessor entity, John was with Quadrangle Group LLC, a private investment firm based in New York City. While at Quadrangle Group, John was involved in numerous transactions in various sectors of media, communications, and business services. Prior to joining Quadrangle, John was with Salomon Smith Barney.
John earned a B.A. magna cum laude in economics from Harvard College. John is actively involved in the community, serving as a Director for Santa Fe-based non-profit organizations NDI New Mexico and El Rancho de las Golondrinas.
Cetina Capital is a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm seeking to acquire, operate and grow technology enabled businesses.
Sarath Boyapati is a serial entrepreneur with a successful track record of growing businesses from start-up. He is President and CEO of Cyrun, a leading provider of software solutions used by public safety agencies to control, analyze, and report on data flowing into their organizations. Prior to Cyrun, he was Founder and CEO of AlphaSoft Services, an IT consulting firm.
Sarath is a Civil Engineer, with Master’s in both Transportation Engineering and Computer Science. He has an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Jay Davis and Jason Pananos – The Nashton Company
The Nashton Company is a holding company investing in recurring revenue services businesses. Nashton builds leading companies in niche markets over a long period of time.
Jay Davis is a co-founder of The Nashton Company. Prior to cofounding the firm, Jay served as the CEO of Vector Disease Acquisition, a holding company that provides vector-borne disease prevention programs and lake management services. Under Jay’s leadership, the company made 14 acquisitions. Vector Disease Acquisition was acquired by Rentokil Initial (FTSE: RTO) in November of 2017. Jay is an active investor in the lower-middle market and is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence at The Harvard Business School.
Jay obtained a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Economics.
Jason Pananos is a co-founder of The Nashton Company. Prior to co-founding the firm, Jason served at President of Vector Disease Acquisition. Jason co-led the company as it made 14 acquisitions, grew at a CAGR of 43%, and was sold to Rentokil Initial.
Jason obtained a Master in Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School, and an BBA in Finance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
W. Robert Dahl – WRD Capital
Bob Dahl is currently a private investor, focusing on the healthcare industry.
Previously, Mr. Dahl was the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Arrowhawk Capital Partners, an investment company, and the Vice-President of Strategic Business Development and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Golden Pond Healthcare, Inc. From 1999 until 2006, Mr. Dahl served as the head of Global Healthcare for the Carlyle Group, a leading private equity firm, where he was responsible for the firm’s investments in the healthcare field. Prior to Carlyle, he served as co-head of healthcare investment banking in North America at Credit Suisse First Boston.
Mr. Dahl is a director of several private companies. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cancer Research Institute and YMCA Camp Belknap.
Bob received a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA with high distinction from the Harvard Business School.