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PE4FAMS Private Equity for Families Blog

The Private Equity for Families Blog

Insight for those who want to include private equity or direct investment in privately-held businesses in their portfolios. The opinions expressed in the PE4Fams blog are those of  Rob McCreary and not necessarily those of CapitalWorks or its employees.

Robert McCreary CapitalWorks private equity Cleveland

Private Equity Still on Top

We recently received a Private Equity factsheet from Preqin. Founded in 2003 Preqin has become a trusted source of information about alternative asset strategies like private equity, venture capital, real estate, hedge funds and mezzanine funds. Many alternative asset managers share their performance statistics with Preqin and we are always

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New Broker Rules May Affect Capital Markets

I am sure the Department of Labor did not intend to benefit private equity sponsors when it announced it’s new “stockbrokers are fiduciaries” program. The fall out may already be starting, I was surprised to learn that JP Morgan will not allow its brokers to solicit trades in “non-investment

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Bring Common Sense Back To Business Regulation

We had lunch with the Chairman of one of our portfolio companies last week. He is a successful entrepreneur who owns and operates several businesses. By his own admission he loves business. However all the capitalists at the table agreed that the slow death by a thousand cuts of

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Too Toxic To Touch

We recently had an opportunity to look at an interesting manufacturing company that was a participant in an underfunded multi- employer pension plan. While the target company’s deficit was small, the group plan to which they contribute was significantly underfunded. We could not move past the deficit overhang and

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Hasty Rulemaking Will Alter Employment Relationships

I am stunned by the rapid fire set of initiatives by the Labor Department under the leadership of the ambitious Thomas Perez. In the last six months he has called for changes in the minimum wage, the level of pay that will exempt an employee from overtime and the

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War On Cash Should Start With Penny

In the last several weeks there have been a number of articles about negative yields on 10 year government bonds in Japan and Germany.  In an article by Min Yeng in The Wall Street Journal titled “German Yields Near Zero” Jack McIntyre, a portfolio manager at Brandywine Global Investment

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Debt Is An Insistent Mistress

Key Private Bank publishes periodic updates on sectors of the economy they cover from an equity research standpoint. In one of their latest publications “Key Perspectives: Energy Outlook March 2016 – Revisiting Lower For Longer” Stephen Hoedt wrote an update on his publication from November regarding the duration of

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Five Foes of Team Success

I participated in a one day strategy session for one of our portfolio companies where the lunch time entertainment was a You Tube video of Patrick Lencioni speaking about his business bestseller “Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. I don’t know if our facilitator was suggesting our management

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Surfin Safari

I have noticed one constant about confirmed retirees. Universally, they rarely talk about what they did for their careers. I mean almost never. I have met, played golf with, played tennis with, skied with, gone to dinner with and had a few beers with an assortment of people who

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Why Seth Klarman Is Sitting On His Wallet

Whenever there is something written about Seth Klarman, or even more importantly, when the man speaks himself, I stop whatever I am doing to read or listen. Mr. Klarman is the founder of Baupost Group which is one of the best performing hedge funds of all time. What I

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The Case for Paying Fees

The cost of an education in Chicago is going up. In its weekly fixed income update Wasmer Schroeder, a fixed income manager with offices in Cleveland and Florida, announced a failed financing: “The Chicago Board of Education attempted to bring $874 million in bonds to market last week, with

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Checking Into the Roach Motel

Make Sure You Locate the Cashier A trip to Las Vegas is always interesting. If you are willing to trade light deprivation, sensory overload and spacial disorientation for free drinks, great people watching and endless opportunities to lose money, this is nirvana. Recently, I had the opportunity to spend

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Something We Can All Unite Around

I love it when our country comes together as it did last Wednesday night. There was so much expectation after a long hiatus.  There were long lines in Washington especially around the Capitol where Republican and Democratic campaign fundraising had stalled.  Planning for what we would do with $930

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Investment Thoughts For 2016

I am a constant and unapologetic advocate for the private equity asset class for many reasons: Alignment of manager and investor Prudent use of leverage Interest rate and tax environments have been supportive Own an asset that makes something or provides an essential service Businesses create and preserve jobs

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Lessons from an 80 Year Old Entrepreneur

It is a rare treat to spend 4 hours in a car with an 85 year old electrical engineer. The CapitalWorks model of involving industry savvy limited partners in our portfolio governance gave me that chance. Aside from the frequent rest stops (me not him) on the way to

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The Fed Gets Into The Bitcoin Business?

The Wall Street Journal reported on December 10, 2015 that the founder of Bitcoin may have been discovered in Australia. Satashi Nakamoto may actually be Craig Steven Wright. Mr. Wright’s home was raided on a tax matter relating to his business. Mr. Wright’s company, DeMorgan Ltd. describes itself as

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Good Business Literature

There is always an opportunity to read great business literature. Warren Buffet’s investment partner, Charlie Munger, is quoted as saying “In my whole life I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time—none, zero.” Foundational Reading Great business literature comes

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A New Soundtrack of America

Peggy Noonan has been my favorite journalist since 1999. In the centennial issue of Forbes, a group of thought leaders were asked to write about the forces that would shape the 21st Century. Their enthusiasm for technology, ecology, and emerging economies was everywhere. I was beaming with optimism when

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A Thanksgiving Reflection on the Wonder of Family Business

Two weeks ago we announced an acquisition of a family business that specializes in handling hazardous waste streams for industrial customers. This is a difficult technical business where there is absolute legal liability for improper disposal of a waste stream once you have accepted it.  In order to protect

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The Golden Crumbs

In Bonfire of the Vanities Thomas Wolfe’s main character is a bond trader named Sherman McCoy. When Sherman’s daughter, Campbell, asks her father what he did for work and Sherman fumbles the reply, his wife, Judy, delivers the now famous golden crumbs analogy: “Just imagine that a bond is

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Some Asset Classes May Be Targets?

Last week two debt rating agencies downgraded the creditworthiness of the State of Illinois. Moody’s downgraded the State from ‘A3’ to ‘Baa1’ while Fitch downgraded them from ‘A-‘ to ‘BBB+’. Illinois has yet to pass a budget. Fitch listed ongoing budget gaps, high unfunded pension liabilities and reduced financial flexibility

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This blog represents the views of Rob McCreary and do not reflect those of CapitalWorks or its employees. This blog is not intended as investment advice. Any discussion of a specific security is for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon as indicative of such security’s current or future value. Readers should consult with their own financial advisors before making an investment decision.