Partner, Provariant Equity Partners
ACG Member Since: 2010
ACG Involvement: ACG President 2014-15, Deal Maker Awards Chair for four years
Like everyone else, our team at Provariant has had to work from home. Thankfully, we previously made investments in technology to be able to work from home without issue or interruption. Candidly, we haven’t had to adjust our business model all that much to be effective. Interestingly, Provariant closed a platform acquisition of Midwest Equipment Sales (MWE) on March 6, 2020. The biggest challenge has been not being able to spend face time with our management team at MWE. A big part of our partnership approach to our portfolio investments includes spending time with the business and the team especially early in a partnership. Thankfully, our technology investments and those at MWE have allowed us to interact and connect regularly. But nothing truly replaces time together.
People’s resiliency and optimism. It's very easy to get lost in despair and be very inward during unprecedented times like these. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be fast, but if that mindset can continue, we’ll figure out how to be better and stronger on the other end. I'm also surprised at how much I miss interacting and collaborating with my partners in a conference room together!
I'm smart enough to know that businesses will be impacted for some period of time (especially in the near term), but not smart enough to know for how long and how deep the impact will be. It really depends on your business model and markets served. Provariant’s investment criteria are centered around partnering with businesses and industries where we have a deep understanding of near, medium, and long-term demand. We firmly believe our experiences and ability to bring more to the table than just capital will serve us well when companies are seeking real growth-orientated partners.
Technology, technology, technology. Relationships are key to our business. Our team has been involved with lower middle market investing for over 20 years. Many of our business relationships are also close friendships. Checking in on people and doing so 'face to face' (whether its Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.) has been great and has allowed us to stay connected to people on a personal and professional level.
It's been great to have my three daughters home from college and have dinner with them every night, listening to their questions, concerns, observations, etc.
[The Deal Maker Awards] for sure. For one, I was chair of the event for four years so it holds a special place in my heart. More importantly, the event represents what I think is great about ACG Cleveland — best in class networking on a 'national' stage.