Legado has assembled an unparalleled investor group comprised of institutional investors focused in the mid-market and high net worth individuals with entrepreneurship and operational experience. Our investor group is well spread across North America with operations based in Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto and Calgary.
Pacific Lake Partners
Pacific Lake Partners is a private equity fund focused on small cap buyouts exclusively through the search fund model. Search fund investing consists of providing search and acquisition capital to promising entrepreneurs whose intent is to acquire a small, established company with revenues of $10 million to $30 million and a history of profits and growth.
Jim Southern is a Co-Founder and Managing Member of Pacific Lake Partners and a successful Search Fund entrepreneur. Once himself a beneficiary of the model, Jim launched the first Search Fund in 1984 under the mentorship of then Harvard Business School professor H. Irving Grousbeck. This fund resulted in the acquisition of Uniform Printing, a $43 million printer of specialty insurance documents. Jim served as the company’s CEO and Chairman for 10 years. Investor returns under Jim’s tenure as CEO were 24x the acquisition capital.
Jim has invested in over 75 Search Funds as an individual investor and with Pacific Lake. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of AlphaCredit, Raptor Technologies, FastSpring, Developerprogram.com, Little Sprouts, Vector Disease Control, Scottish American, Arizona College and Boca Executive Realty. He is often a guest speaker on the Search Fund model at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School and is the subject of an HBS case on his first Search Fund acquisition. Jim holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence, and resides in Wolfeboro, NH, and Boston, MA.
Coley Andrews is a Co-Founder and Managing Member of Pacific Lake Partners. Since co-founding the firm with Jim Southern in 2009, Coley has worked with over 50 Search Funds. He currently serves as a Director at Inspired eLearning, Aquavita, dESCO, and Data Fusion Technologies and as a Board Visitor at AlphaCredit, Raptor Technologies, Scottish American, Arizona College, and Vector Disease Control International.
Prior to forming Pacific Lake, Coley worked at Tech For Less, a Colorado Springs-based distributor of new and refurbished consumer and enterprise electronics owned by two successful Search Fund entrepreneurs. Coley was also an Associate at Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm based in San Francisco, after beginning his career at The Parthenon Group, an international strategic consulting firm.
Coley graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in history and earned his MBA at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Coley, his wife Alisa, and their four children reside outside Boston, MA.
The Operand Group
The Operand Group and its Partners are successful managers with deep operational experience. We have successfully partnered with many of the best and brightest entrepreneurs to find and acquire profitable lower middle-market businesses. In so doing, we seek to create value for sellers in transition, aspiring managers, and our Partners and Co-Investors.
Michael Miles is a veteran of 18 search fund investments since 2009. He has served as a board member and trusted advisor for many search fund-backed enterprises, including successful outcomes with Innflux and Midwest Supplies.
Michael also has 25+ years of experience building, growing and operating recruiting businesses. In 1988, Michael founded SeatonCorp, a leading provider of recruiting, vendor-on-premise staffing and end-to-end supplier management solutions for strategic users of contingent labor. 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. SeatonCorp achieved consistent, organic growth resulting in a 20%+ compounded annual growth rate over a 25-year period, earning more than $700 million in revenue during 2014. Michael has been recognized with several awards including: the Staffing Industry Analysts’ Peter Yessne Workforce Innovator Award, a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® program, and is listed on The Staffing 100 (the 100 most influential people in the staffing industry). In 2012, Michael founded INCubatoredu (non-for-profit), a national program teaching high school students how to start a business. In 2010, Michael then joined the private equity firm, Lake Capital, as an Operating Executive. Michael is a Board member at Workplace Answers, RIVS, Lund Van Dyke, Vokal, Olus Holdings, The Intersect Group, Insertech and Penn Foster. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Arizona State University.
Carlos Saez is Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Operand Group. Prior to his current role, 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. Carlos led and motivated an organization of 60 professionals in the process. Prior to this experience, Carlos executed various trading roles successfully, and in so doing gained valuable process, technology, and management skills that he is eager to share with young entrepreneurs. When not investing in searchers, Carlos is actively involved in the not-for-profit world, 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.
Argo Management Partners
John T. Fitzgerald is the co-founder of Argo Management Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm that has participated in multiple mid-market investments. Prior to Argo Management Partners, Mr. Fitzgerald was Director of Adirondack Capital, LLC. Mr. Fitzgerald is an MBA graduate of the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and holds a BS in finance, from DePaul University with highest honor, Beta Gamma Sigma.
Kinderhook manages a concentrated portfolio of long-term investments in public and private companies that we believe have both the potential to grow substantially in value and management teams whose interests are closely aligned with shareholders. Kinderhook 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.
Tushar Shah Prior to co-founding Kinderhook Partners in 2003, Tushar was a Principal at Geocapital Partners, a venture capital firm. Before Geocapital, Tushar was a strategy consultant with the Monitor Group. Tushar was also a WorldTeach volunteer in Ecuador. Tushar is a CFA charterholder and received a B.A. in Economics from Williams College.
Pete Wilson is a TIGER 21 Chair in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as an investor and advisor. Mr. Wilson has led teams in capital markets and institutional investment management for more than 25 years; working with BARRA, Montgomery Asset Management, BGI and BlackRock. Mr. Wilson’s team at BGI was a pioneer in fixed income hedge fund and ETF management. After BGI, Mr. Wilson led BlackRock’s 55 person Global Strategy team and later helped start the platform technology firm, Incapture.
Today, Mr. Wilson focuses on investing in and advising small businesses in the Bay Area. He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from Columbia University and his MBA from Haas at UC Berkeley.
Mario Nigro is a partner in the Toronto office of Stikeman Elliott and a member of the firm’s M&A/Private Equity Group. His practice focuses on business law, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, dispositions, and reorganizations. He has extensive experience working with private equity and venture capital clients on numerous acquisitions and dispositions. The private equity funds which Mario has worked with on Canadian transactions include AEA Investors, Arbor Investments, Auxo Management, Black Eagle Partners, Blue Point Capital, Centre Lane Partners, Clearview Capital, Harvest Partners, H.I.G. Capital, High Park Capital, Generation Partners, Goode Partners, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, Greybrook Realty Partners, Novacap Industries, Oakridge Capital, Sharp Capital, Sun Capital, Turtle Holdings, White Wolf Capital and Wingate Partners. Mario works with a number of growing technology companies and has helped them with acquisitions, financings and growth capital transactions.
W. Brett Wilson
Mr. Wilson co-founded FirstEnergy Capital Corp., the leading investment bank in Canada focused on Energy, with offices in Calgary and London. Since inception in 1993, the firm has brokered over 1,200 financings and M&A transactions totaling over $240 Billion in value. Mr. Wilson was also responsible for managing the FirstEnergy Partner funds, which enjoyed returns of more than 10 times capital invested over a period of less than a decade. He also initiated a series of funds with outside capital investing alongside Partner capital, where Partner capital represented more than 25% of funds invested (which was very unique in an industry where managers rarely co-invest significant capital). Mr. Wilson has also invested on a merchant banking or angel investing basis in hundreds of early stage enterprises over the last two decades. In 2007, he joined the hit reality TV show in Canada called The Dragons’ Den, where wealthy and experienced investors sit in judgment of generally early stage entrepreneurs coming to the show. In the 3 years he has been on the show, Mr. Wilson has closed nearly 30 deals, making him the most active investor of all shows, including the other Dragons’ Den programs in 17 other countries around the world. David Waslen joined Mr. Wilson to manage the entire portfolio of Dragons’ Den investments, which are made through Prairie Merchant Corporation based in Calgary, Alberta
Allan Mackenzie is currently a partner with Octane Venture Partners, an oil and gas technology venture capital fund. Prior to that, Mr. Mackenzie was the principal of Disruptive Ventures, an IT private equity fund. Mr. Mackenzie has more than 15 years of total investing experience. From 1999 to 2000, Mr. Mackenzie joined the management team of one of his investments, Quack.com as the Vice-President, Finance which was later purchased by America OnLine. Mr. Mackenzie holds a Bachelor of Science (Engineering) from Stanford University, a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario (Ivey).
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