When Search Funds Don’t Go As Planned (Part 1): 3 Searcher Case Studies

My Guests

If one were to attend a randomly selected group of Search Fund conferences, they’d be forgiven for thinking that every search fund is a smashing success. When I was both a searcher and a CEO, I often left these types of events with a certain sense of insecurity and self-doubt, as everybody seemed to be more successful, more confident in their abilities, and more decisive in their actions.

Yet, the data does not at all support the idea that everybody seems to be doing better than you are: One-third of search funds reliably fail to acquire a business, and of those that do, roughly one-third of them fail to return more than 1.0x the original capital.

Though there is obviously a time and a place to talk about and celebrate all of the wonderful success stories within the Search Fund community, there is also a tremendous amount of value in hearing from those whose paths did not go according to their original plans.

In today’s episode, we speak with four such entrepreneurs to not only learn from their hard-earned wisdom, but also to celebrate their courage and the wonderful professional successes that they’ve gone on to achieve since.

Parker Carney
President, H.E. Rieckelman Inc.

Jonathan Ferrari
Chairman & CEO, Goodfood

Neil Cuggy
President & COO, Goodfood

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Thanks to our Sponsors

This episode is brought to you by ⁠⁠⁠⁠Oberle Risk Strategies⁠⁠⁠⁠, the leading insurance brokerage and insurance diligence provider for the search fund community. The company is led by ⁠⁠August Felker⁠⁠ (himself a 2-time successful searcher), and has been trusted by search investors, lenders, searchers and CEOs for over a decade now. Their due diligence offering (which is 100% free of charge) will assess the pros and cons of your target company’s insurance program, including any potential coverage gaps, the pro-forma insurance pricing, and the program structure changes needed for closing. At or shortly after closing, they then execute on all of those findings on your behalf. Oberle has serviced over 900 customers across a decade of operation, including countless searchers and CEOs within the ETA community.

This episode is brought to you by Symphony, a company that partners with software businesses across the entire software development life cycle, including technical due diligence, team augmentation, outsourced development, technical consulting, and more. Symphony not only performs technical due diligence engagements for search funds, Private Equity firms, and strategic acquirers, but they also partner with those buyers on an ongoing basis on all things product (outsourced development, team augmentation, new product prototyping, UI refreshes, QA professionalization, and so on). Symphony is offering a full 15% off of any of their services for readers & listeners of In the Trenches. Just go to the Contact form on their website and tell them that you’re a listener of the podcast.

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