Aspect Investors is a private investment firm that invests in lower middle-market private companies. Aspect seeks investments in US companies with revenues of $5 - 50 million and a history of profitability. Aspect makes majority investments/acquisitions, as well as significant minority investments. It invests both directly and alongside entrepreneur/investor partners and search funds. 

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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.  Since its founding, Cambria has invested in over 100 operating businesses. Cambria focuses on quality businesses with revenues of under $50 million and valuations of under $25 million, investing across a wide range of industries, including the low-tech manufacturing, distribution and service sectors. Cambria considers a variety of transaction types as well, from outright acquisitions to growth equity financings.


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Futaleufu Partners invests in search funds to find and acquire great businesses. Founded by search fund veteran David Dodson, Futaleufu works closely with the entrepreneurs we back in both the search phase and in operations post-acquisition.

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Founded in 2003, Kinderhook Partners, LLC, makes long-term investments in public and private companies. Kinderhook Partners manages a concentrated portfolio of long-term investments that it believes have both the potential to grow substantially in value and management teams whose interests are closely aligned with shareholders. The fund considers investment opportunities in a variety of industries, focusing on companies that have the potential for attractive margins and a high and sustainable return on equity. The principals of the fund cumulatively own a substantial portion of the capital in the fund. Coupled with structural safeguards built into the fund’s partnership agreements, this provides a stable capital base, which gives the confidence and flexibility to invest for the long-term based on fundamentals. 

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The Operand Group and its partners are successful managers with deep operational experience. It has successfully partnered with many of the best and brightest entrepreneurs to find and acquire profitable lower middle-market businesses. In so doing, The Operand Group seeks to create value for sellers in transition, aspiring managers, and its partners and co-investors. 

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Relay Investments is a private equity fund focused on backing talented, young and aspiring entrepreneurs, who plan to acquire a small or medium sized business (SME). The firm is based in Boston. 

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Search Fund Partners is a private equity firm dedicated to sourcing opportunities through the search fund model. The firm works closely with entrepreneurs to help them find and build great businesses. 

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WSC & Company

WSC & Company is a private investment firm focused on acquiring businesses through the traditional search fund model.

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Bradford Brown

Brad Brown is a retiring Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, based in New York City.  He is also the Managing Director of Bradford Brown Capital Partners, a private investment partnership that focuses on search funds and profitable small-cap companies.  He has over a dozen years experience in small cap growth investing and has acquired over 30 operating companies across many different industries.  While at McKinsey, Brad is a senior member of the Digital Technology practice and the global leader of the Big Data 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 a graduate of Dartmouth College, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in 1982. He received an M.S.E.E. in Computer Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, and an MBA, with distinction, from The Wharton School in 1986. 

Thomas Cassutt

Mr. Cassutt has made more than 130 investments in search funds. He is also the CFO of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. From 1984 to 2011, Mr. Cassutt was Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of membrane switches and product identification based in Los Angeles, California. From 1978 to 1984, he was the Controller of Bristol Corporation, the parent company of 10 manufacturing entities.


Mr. Cassutt currently sits on the boards of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, Dynamic Growth Dental, and Positive Coaching Alliance. He received a Bachelor of Physics Degree in 1982 from the University of California, Irvine, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate. In 1986, he received an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar and the recipient of the Alexander A. Robichek Award, given each year to the top student in finance.

David Dodson

David Dodson is a Managing Partner of Futaleufu Partners and also a member of the faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he teaches courses on entrepreneurship.  Futaleufu Partners is an investment fund formed to invest in search funds and search fund-acquired businesses.   Mr. Dodson formally served as the CEO or Chairman of six for-profit companies.  As well, Mr. Dodson has served on the boards of 18 companies in which he was also a private investor.


He is the founder and President of Project Healthy Children, a nongovernmental organization that works with governments and private industry to establish food fortification and supplementation programs to improve the health of women and children around the world.  Project Healthy Children currently works in Burundi, Malawi, Rwanda, Nepal, and Liberia .He is currently on the New England board for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Project Healthy Children.


Mr. Dodson holds a B.A. from Stanford University (Economics), and an M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

J.T. Fitzgerald

J.T. Fitzgerald is founder and Managing Partner of Argo Management Group and in that capacity, J.T. has had extensive transactional and operating experience in Argo’s portfolio companies.  J.T. is also Chairman of Hunter MFG, LLP, and serves on the board of directors of Oak Patch Gifts , Progressive Bronze Products, Atlas Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: AFH), 1347 Capital Corp (NASDAQ: TFSC) and Kingsway Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: KFS).  

Prior to Argo Management Partners, Mr. Fitzgerald was co-founder and managing director of Adirondack Capital, LLC, a financial futures and derivatives trading firm. He was formerly a member and Full seat owner on the Chicago Board of Trade. 


Mr. Fitzgerald is an MBA graduate of the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University with concentrations in Finance, Accounting, and Management Strategy. He holds a BS, finance, from DePaul University with highest honor, Beta Gamma Sigma.

Ivy Grant

Ivy Grant currently serves as Vice President of Customer Success at Eversight, Inc., which provides cloud-based solutions for retail and consumer goods markets.  Ivy has over 15 years of experience helping world-class CPG and retail companies develop new capabilities in Marketing, Sales, and Consumer Analytics. Prior to Eversight, Ivy launched and led the consulting division at Edelman, the world’s largest communications marketing firm, where she counseled senior executives in brand development, consumer research, and performance analytics. She also held senior leadership roles at Polo Ralph Lauren, McKinsey & Company, and PwC Consulting. Ivy has a B.S. from Cornell University and an MBA from the Stern School of Business at NYU.

Mark G. Hilderbrand

Mr. Hilderbrand has been a Managing Director at Housatonic Partners since 2006 and has more than 20 years of experience in private equity. Prior to Housatonic, he was a General Partner at Onset Ventures and a Vice President at Summit Partners, where he focused on recapitalizations and buyouts of high-growth technology and services businesses. Earlier in his career, he worked as a Management Consultant at Bain & Company.

Mr. Hilderbrand holds a BS from Boston University, a MS from Stanford University, and a MBA from the Harvard Business School. He is a Director of 365 Datacenters, LLC; Circle Graphics, Inc; LQ Digital, LLC; HFRI, LLC; Onrad, Inc; QMC International, LLC; Registria Customer Experience, LLC; WCCT Global, LLC; and has served multiple terms as a Board Member for the Harvard Business School Alumni Association.

David Lazier

Mr. Lazier is a private investor who has made more than 130 investments in search funds. He is also the president of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. From 1984 to 2011, Mr. Lazier served as Controller, Vice President of Sales and then Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of membrane switches and product identification based in Los Angeles, California. From 1982 to 1984, he worked as an engineer for IBM Corporation.


Mr. Lazier currently sits on the boards of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, Datum Technologies, and Gogotech. He has previously served on the boards of Glendale Memorial Hospital Foundation, the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University.

Joseph M. Niehaus

Mr. Niehaus was a Managing Director at Hellman & Friedman before joining Housatonic Partners in 2001. During his twelve-year career at Hellman & Friedman, he was involved in several of the firm's recurring services, media and communications investments including Eller Media, Falcon Cable, and Mitchell International. Earlier in his career, Mr. Niehaus was employed in the Merchant Banking and Mergers and Acquisitions departments at Morgan Stanley & Co.


Mr. Niehaus is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Harvard Business School. He is a Director of Accurate Monitoring; Fastener Distribution Holdings, LLC (formerly Aircraft Fasteners International, LLC); ResponseLink; Circle Graphics; 365 Data Centers; HealthWyse; Calo Programs; and ZircoDATA.

Susan Pohlmeyer

Susan is a Managing Partner at Futaleufu Partners, an investment fund formed by David Dodson to invest in search funds and search fund-acquired businesses. She works closely with search fund entrepreneurs during the diligence and acquisition phases of the search, and currently serves as a board observer for Datum Technologies. Prior to joining Futaleufu, she was a member of the investment team at Stanford Management Company, where she covered portfolio strategy as well as private equity investments. She started her career at JP Morgan in equity derivatives.


Susan holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from Dartmouth College.

Barry D. Reynolds

Mr. Reynolds founded the San Francisco office of Housatonic Partners in 1998. Previously, he worked with private equity firms including Bain Capital, Texas Pacific Group and Trident Capital, focusing on information and business services companies. Prior to becoming a principal in the private equity industry, he was a Manager with Bain & Company. At Bain, he co-founded the Principal Investor Services practice, consulting to medium and large buyout funds and strategic buyers. Earlier in his career, Mr. Reynolds worked as an engineer for the General Electric Company.


Mr. Reynolds is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was a Ford Scholar. He is a Director of Aegis Treatment Centers, LLC; LeadQual, LLC; Onsite Heath, Inc.; ProService Hawaii; Registria Customer Experience, LLC; ServiceSource International, Inc.; and Sprout Health, LLC.

Andrew Saltoun

Mr. Saltoun is President, CEO and board member of Integra Partners, a leading network manager connecting Orthotics & Prosthetics (O&P), Durable Medical Equipment (DME) providers, health plans & patients. Prior to joining Integra, Andrew was the managing partner of Duane Street Capital, a private investment firm. He has also held roles at Vestar Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs, & Co. Andrew has been successfully involved with numerous entrepreneurial growth companies, including Bonobos, New Media Learning, Second Time Around and Axial Markets. Andrew holds a Bachelor’s degree from Emory University and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Mike Smerklo

Mike Smerklo is co-founder and managing director of Next Coast Ventures, a venture capital firm founded in 2015.   Mike has been active in the technology industry for over 20 years.  Prior to Next Coast, Mike was Chairman and CEO of ServiceSource (SREV).  He also worked as an early employee at Loudcloud (Opsware) and worked at (but hated) jobs in investment banking and public accounting. Mike was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist in Northern California in 2010.

Mike is active in YPO and various community endeavors. ​Mr. Smerklo holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where he graduated with distinction. He holds a BS in Business Administration from Miami University and is an accredited Certified Public Accountant.

William N. Thorndike

Mr. Thorndike founded Housatonic Partners in Boston in 1994 and has been Managing Director since that time.  Prior to that, Mr. Thorndike worked with T. Rowe Price Associates and Walker & Company where he was named to the Board of Directors.

Mr. Thorndike is a graduate of Harvard College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a Director of Carillon Assisted Living, LLC; Lincoln Peak Holdings, LLC; OASIS Group Ltd.; QMC International, LLC; ZircoDATA; a Trustee of The Stanford Business School Trust; WGBH; the College of the Atlantic (Chair); and a founding partner at FARM, a social impact investing collaborative. He is the author of The Outsiders.

Jim Vesterman

Jim Vesterman is the CEO of Raptor Technologies, the nation’s leading provider of integrated K-12 school security technologies. Prior to joining Raptor Technologies, Jim was the founder and Managing Director at Liberty Place Capital, a private investment firm focused on acquiring and operating middle-market companies with a proven profit history. Mr. Vesterman also was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps’ elite Force Recon, the Special Operations element of the Marine Corps. Mr. Vesterman served in Iraq where he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon. He is the author of the article “From Wharton to War” published in Fortune magazine in June 2006. Mr. Vesterman holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s degree from Amherst College.

Kent Weaver

Mr. Weaver is currently executive Chairman and former CEO of Progressive Home Care, a Northern California-based health care company. Previously, Mr. Weaver held executive positions in marketing and product management for a VC-backed marketing automation startup, as a regional CFO and business analyst in Pepsico’s Pizza Hut Division, and as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.  He received his MBA from the Fully Employed Program at the University of California, Los Angeles and BS in finance from the University of Southern California. He is a member of the Board of Directors at Onesource Water, Integra Partners, Desco, and mTab.

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