We started Pacific Lake in 2009 to focus exclusively on supporting search fund entrepreneurs. We believed that with the right tactical advice during the search, analytical rigor during the acquisition, and board guidance during the operating phase, we could improve both the odds and magnitude of success for an entrepreneur. Eight years later, after partnering with dozens of entrepreneurs who successfully acquired and grew their businesses, we have even more conviction around our original thesis.
In May, we closed our third fund with $155 million of committed capital. The mandate is to continue investing exclusively in attractive opportunities with great search fund entrepreneurs. We can now invest between $0.5 million and $10 million per new search fund acquisition. We have also allocated capital to participate in follow-on investment rounds and to lead equity recapitalizations. At the same time, we do not seek control, have never been a control investor, and have no desire to become a control investor – relationships and trust matter more than percentages. We believe in the power of the entrepreneur-led, diversified shareholder model that has created so many successful outcomes across multiple decades.
Supporting CEOs: Our Special Adviser Program
We continue to seek creative ways to support entrepreneurs. Three years ago, we launched our Special Adviser program to make additional director talent available to new CEOs. Competent and engaged operating directors can accelerate a new CEO’s ascension up the management learning curve. As one CEO recently said, “We all want to go faster, but sometimes we need some help to show us how.”
Today, at the entrepreneurs’ invitation, Pacific Lake team members and Special advisers fill over 25 director seats throughout the search fund ecosystem. We will continue to add talent to both the Pacific Lake team and the Special Adviser bench to support entrepreneurs post-acquisition. It is a privilege to work closely with young CEOs as they learn to manage and build their businesses. To that end, we plan to launch new initiatives in the coming months to provide additional resources to CEOs, searchers, and the search fund community at large.
Opening Our Doors in the Bay Area
Last year, we opened our doors in the San Francisco Bay Area. Keith Gross heads up that office and works closely with Jonathan Schatz, who recently joined us with a JD/MBA from Stanford. Keith quickly became a trusted and key resource for searchers and CEOs, and we are delighted to announce his promotion to Director. Keith and Jonathan welcome your visit in San Mateo, as do Coley and Jim in Boston.
The search fund world has grown exponentially over the past few years, and it has been a pleasure to be a part of that growth. The future is bright for entrepreneurs and investors all rowing in the same direction to build great companies. We are grateful to work beside all of you, and look forward to supporting the next generation of search fund entrepreneurs.
Coley and Jim