Pratham Naik – Managing Principal
Pratham is an entrepreneur and TED (ted.com) Fellow with a proven record of building P&L’s and delivering transformational business initiatives across small and large businesses in North & South America, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa. As the Founder of Peepal Tree Capital, he is dedicated to finding a growing, profitable company to purchase and manage into the future.
Prior to Peepal Tree Capital, he served as the Global Director of Operations, Integration, Planning & Performance at Anheuser Busch InBev and served as a Board Observer on several Anheuser Busch InBev portfolio companies with overall responsibility for their strategic direction, operating structure, and performance.
Pratham earned his MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where he was awarded the Legatum Fellowship and Sloan Social Impact Award. He is a dedicated husband and father of a two-year-old, and an active member within the global TED (ted.com) community.
Search Fund Partners
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 built great business.
For more information, please visit : http://searchfunds.net
Relay Investments is a private equity funds focused on banking talented, young and aspiring entrepreneurs, who plan to acquire a small or medium sized business (SME), the firm is based in Boston.
For more information, please visit: http://www.relayinvestments.com
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.
For more information, please visit : http://www.aspectinvestors.com
Individual Investors and Family Offices
M. K. O’Connell
Michael-Kevin (M-K) O’Connell joined M2O, Inc. as a Managing Director in 2009. Prior to joining M2O, he was a Manager with L.E.K. Consulting. During his tenure there, M-K led project teams across a diverse range of industries and business issues. Before L.E.K., M-K worked in commercial real estate as the Director of Research for CB Richard Ellis in New England. M-K received his B.S., magna cum laude, from Boston College and his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he was the recipient of the Thomas P. Gerrity Leadership Award.
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.
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.
Scott Asen is currently a private investor managing a portfolio of equity and real estate investments for his personal account. Scott joined the brokerage firm of Mitchell, Hutchins & Co. in 1967, where he worked in the investment advisory department with responsibility for research on small technology stocks. Between 1969 and 1974, Scott was a portfolio manager with Research and Science Investors, a New York based venture capital and money management firm. From 1974 until 1977, Scott was self-employed as a journalist specializing in reporting on municipal finance issues. In 1977, Scott became a general partner of Pioneer Ventures, a group of investment entities funded originally by a wealthy New Yorker. Throughout the following two decades, Scott had primary responsibility for managing the various Pioneer Ventures entities, which were successfully liquidated over a number of years through 2002. Scott currently sits on the boards of three privately held companies, is a Trustee of Groton School and The Paris Review, and is a board member of the Island Foundation. Scott graduated from Harvard College in 1966.
Mr. Shah co-founded and is a Managing Partner of Kinderhook Partners, an investment partnership focused on making long-term investments in public and private companies started in 2003. Prior to Kinderhook, Tushar was a Principal at Geocapital Partners, a venture capital firm, and prior to that, a strategy consultant with the Monitor Group. Tushar has been a director of a number of public and private companies. Tushar is a CFA charterholder and received a B.A. in Economics from Williams College.
Gerald Risk most recently served as Vice Chairman of Asurion, the world’s largest provider of technology protection services, partnering with the world’s top companies and brands to serve over 200 million customers globally. Prior to serving as Vice Chairman, he served as Asurion’s President from 2009 to 2013 and Asurion’s Chief Financial Officer for the 10 years prior to that. Before joining Asurion, Gerald helped a wide variety of clients, from Fortune 500 firms to early stage start-ups, execute their strategic and financial plans as an investment banker with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in San Francisco, Hong Kong and New York. He has also worked for Hambrecht and Quist and the private investment arm of Toronto Dominion Capital. Gerald is an active mentor of entrepreneurial leaders in the for-profit and non-profit worlds. In this capacity, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of Carillon Assisted Living (provider of assisted living services in the Southeast), HealthCPA (provider of medical expense management services for consumers), and QMC Telecom (cell tower operator in Brazil). Gerald holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar and where he served as a case writer for Jack McDonald, the Stanford Investors Professor of Finance. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce with honors from Queen’s University in Canada where he was on the Dean’s List.
Mr. Weaver is currently Chairman and CEO of Progressive Home Care, a Northern California-based healthcare 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 currently a board member at VRI, Discovery Outsourcing, Data Fusion Technologies, Onesource Water, Integra Partners and Healthwyse.
Matthew Burr is a general partner at Matland Capital, where he is responsible for a hedge fund portfolio and is also active in making private investments. He previously worked at Cambridge Associates, where he was a hedge fund analyst and also assisted universities, foundations, and high net worth families with asset allocation, investment manager selection, and market research. Mr. Burr is currently a board member of HousingWire and is a board observer of In Charge Electric and OneSource Water. Mr. Burr received his BA, cum laude, from Harvard University.
Peter Schober has been in venture capital since the mid-1980s. He founded and runs Milk Street Ventures, a firm that specializes in secondary transactions involving the acquisition of stakes in venture-backed technology companies near liquidity events. Earlier in his career, Peter started and ran the international investment activity of Boston-based M/C Partners with an office in London. He helped develop business plans and recruited senior management teams for several sizeable telecommunications start-ups with recurring revenue models. Peter also co-founded MVP Ventures, investing in a wide range of sectors, including information technology, communications, hospitality, and industrial. Peter earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. As a Fellow at Penn’s Joseph H. Lauder Institute, he also received an M.A. in International Studies.
Jan is an entrepreneur and acquired Funa Nachrichtentechnik GmbH, a company providing audio/visual technology to cruise ships and luxury yachts. He successfully completed a buy and build strategy and the company was sold to L-3 SAM Electronics in December 2012. Jan holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Brad Brown is 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. He focuses his board work on tech-enabled companies, and is on the board of five companies: Blue Sky Network, ISI
Telemanagement, Attainia, CloudX, and D2C Brands. Brad brings a unique mix of advisory expertise with growth capital. He works closely with op-co CEOs as an Active Board Member. In addition, Brad is involved in the tech growth equity community as an ongoing advisor to the management teams of five companies: Uncork, Blueteam, Afiniti, One Inc, and Skydeo.
He has professional expertise in digital marketing and sales, lead gen/customer acquisition/retention, Saas, cloud, and data.
He is a Senior Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company, the world’s leading consultancy. For eighteen years, he was a senior member of the Digital Technology practice, and recently the global leader of the Big Data practice. He worked with clients to implement strategies around digital, automation, analytics, cloud, and agile. He was central to the build-out of the McKinsey Analytics Nerve platform, Data Cloud, and analytics tools. He also worked in Fintech and InsurTech. For seven years, he led the Global Insurance Technology practice, and is well know in the industry.
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.
He has been on the board of the Executive Council of New York and has worked with MassMoCA, leading several pro-bono engagements to help the museum.
He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at Connecticut College, since 2012.
Brad is a graduate of Dartmouth College, receiving his bachelor of arts degree, cum laude. He received an M.S.E.E. in Computer Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.B.A., with distinction, from the Wharton School.
Mr. Charbel Zreik has been Chief Executive Officer of DCI Design Communications Inc. since October 2014. Mr. Zreik is a Managing Principal at Light Beam Capital. Mr. Zreik has a track record of excellence as an investor, a small company operator and an advisor to fortune 500 companies. He built the foundation of his experience in small businesses, running the family’s moving business in Manhattan, New York, for many years. Previously, he served as a Vice President at Osage Investments (alternate name Osage Partners LLC). He joined Osage in 2005 and invested in and advised startup companies. He started his professional career on Wall Street, where he spent four years at J.P. Morgan in an operational improvement role (Internal Consulting) and in a venture capital role (Labmorgan). He then went on to be a Founding Member of The Rohatyn Group. He spent four years at McKinsey and Company, leading global teams and advising Chief Executive Officer’s of Fortune 500 companies on how to create value in their companies. He also worked as a Caddy, a Landscaper, and a Waiter. He was instrumental in shaping the New York non-profit, Minds Matter. He played many roles over five years from mentoring a student to serving on the National Board of the organization. Mr. Zreik holds an M.B.A. in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Wharton and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.
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