Introduction to Search Funds: Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition
A search fund (or entrepreneurship through acquisition) is an innovative way for a young entrepreneur - typically an MBA graduate - to run his or her own business. Search funds also offer a unique investment opportunity yielding exceptional return for investors and entrepreneurs.
Over the last 20 years search funds have grown in popularity from North America to Europe and other parts of the world.
This panel session is designed to introduce the funded search model to aspiring entrepreneurs and investors interested in this asset class. The event will be conducted by Simon Webster, LBS alumnus, experienced UK investor and first person to raise a SF in the UK, Will Thorndike, expert in SF and investor based in the US, Raja Prasanna, a searcher recently closed fund raising and LBS alumnus, and Saquib Ansari, a searcher managing the acquired business now and LBS alumnus.
LT6 + Park 2 Restaurant
26 Sussex Place, Marylebone, London, NW1 4SA, United Kingdom
Simon Webster learnt about the search fund model while studying at LBS. He was the first person outside of the USA to raise a search fund. He acquired a business and between 1995 and 2005 he grew it from £3.5m to £30m sales and EBITDA from £0.4m to £2.4m. He successfully sold the business in December 2005. Simon has various business interests but is an investor and mentor of search fund entrepreneurs and he chaired the first international conference on search funds in April 2015.
Will Thorndike founded Housatonic Partners in Boston in 1994 and has been Managing Director since that time. Will is a graduate of Harvard College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is Director of several search fund acquired and public companies, a Trustee of The Stanford Business School Trust; and a founding partner at FARM, a social impact investing collaborative. He is the author of The Outsiders and is a very experienced Search Fund investor worldwide.
Saquib Ansari is an aerospace engineer and, pre-MBA, he had 7 years of experience in the oil & gas industry. His experience ranged from running offshore drilling operations for Shell in the North Sea, where he had direct management responsibility for 50+ personnel, to starting his own business, which he successfully grew to £0.5mill EBITDA business, within 2 years, and exited the business during his 1st year of LBS MBA. After selling his business, Saquib decided to raise a search fund and was successful in raising the required capital. In Oct 2017, Saquib acquired Esprit Automation Ltd. and is currently running the business
Raja Prasanna the Founder and Managing Director of RJ Capital Partners, a Search fund aiming to acquire and operate a UK based private company. Raja is an experienced General Manager with a wide range of commercial, operational and investment experience in UK manufacturing and service sectors. Prior to RJ Capital Partners, Raja was the Global Head of a business line for the Linde Group (BOC Gases). Raja holds an MBA from London Business School.
Co-hosted with: Entrepreneurship Club
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