Robert McCreary CapitalWorks private equity Cleveland
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

I Am Living In a Bizarro World

When I was a boy and an avid reader of Superman Comics there was an occasional Superman encounter with the Bizarro World where that society’s objective was the opposite of Earth. For example, beauty was bad and ugly was good. Investments that made money were bad and those that

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The Illusion of Liquidity

The public market meltdown that started last Friday and continued into Monday morning was met with expected bullish and bearish commentary. What was new for me was the New York Stock Exchange announcing that it would impose “time outs” if the meltdown exceeded certain benchmarks. Those “circuit breaker” benchmarks

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Forget The Fees, Look At The Returns

The Financial Times had an interesting article on July 12 about Calpers admitting that it had not tracked the fees it had paid to private equity managers over the last 25 years. Given the SEC crackdown on excessive and hidden fees from some of the largest PE funds in

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They Call It “Water Street” For A Reason

I recall a conversation I had with one of my law partners at Calfee, Halter in the early 1980’s about private companies “trading” on an exchange. He was an older and smarter securities lawyer who understood many of the nuances that were lost on his junior partner. In those

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SEC Has Come Up With a Winning Formula

In a June 2 Wall Street Journal Opinion article, “How to Rein In the SEC”, the authors explored the current trend by the SEC to act as prosecutor, judge and appellate court under its own rules for matters where it has brought the charges against a person or corporation. The

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In Order To Play, Do You Really Have To Pay Up?

It took me most of my investment banking career (1986-1998) to realize that the best private  investors were those who had a margin of safety baked into their investment thesis. For example the leaders were able to mitigate risk by uncovering balance sheet benefits like mispriced real estate, deferred

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Co-Investing Strategies For Private Equity; Texas Hold ‘Em

My daughter is a Managing Director at Cambridge Associates (CA) in Boston and she told me about a study that CA had recently completed for its clients on  strategies to leverage relationships with PE sponsors for “no fee, no carry” co-investment opportunities. CA’s study shows a dramatic outperformance of “all

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Face to Face: The Best Due Diligence

Dick and I have been working on a transaction for the last two months that involves a service business. One of its most critical assets is relationships between the provider and its customers. We have utilized a third party marketing firm with technical expertise in financial services to help

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So Simple Even A Caveman Could Do It?

In a recent Wall Street Journal article by Andy Kessler dated March 29, 2015 entitled “The Glory Days of Private Equity Are Over” (read here) Mr. Kessler, an accomplished author, investment banker, research analyst, venture capitalist and hedge fund manager, makes an impassioned case for why macro trends will bury

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Shaking Up the Savers: Part Two

In our last blog I wrote about the mutual fund industry creating two kinds of funds; retail and prime and non-prime institutional. Institutional funds would have a fluctuating NAV and could carry liquidity constraints called “gates” unless the underlying assets were government or agency securities. Now Deposits May Require

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Shaking Up The Savers?

Over the years I have learned that the real news begins in the back pages of every newspaper, especially The Wall Street Journal. Therefore, I was not surprised to find on page C8 of the February 6, 2015 Wall Street Journal an article about how changes in money market

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Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble

Private Equity firms fashion themselves as pretty good students of relative value. While managers may have different investment styles from deep value and relative value, to growth at a reasonable price and straight growth, they all understand the nuances of valuation. For example, as a value investor we have

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Leading From The Middle

Happy New Year! PE4Fams has not been slacking in the New Year … just busy with multiple opportunities to grow our portfolio companies and acquire some new platforms. Over the last 30 days our team has been conducting all kinds of due diligence from quality of earnings to customer

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The Cleveland Browns and Private Equity

As lifelong Cleveland Browns fans, the private equity team at CapitalWorks has shared the collective angst of the City regarding the demotion of Brian Hoyer and the fumbled handoff to Johnny Manzel. We have seen this play before – 18 times before – and we all know how it

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Domestic Manufacturing and the Strengthening U.S. Dollar

We have seen many signs of re-shoring in our portfolio companies. Some of that trend is a function of China suppliers re-prioritizing their manufacturing focus towards high unit volumes where they can justify capital investment in productivity enhancing technologies. Niche manufacturers, like our fractional horsepower AC/DC motor business, have

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Where in the World is Unit Growth?

Recent financial news is full of warnings about a slowdown in worldwide growth. From Wal-Mart and AT&T, to IBM and Target, it appears that same store sales and unit growth are challenged. This is amazing to me in light of the highly stimulative policies employed by central banks around

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Private Equity Managers—It Is All About Your People

The overwhelming response to Chris O’Dell’s news that she is retiring from CapitalWorks and taking her talents to Charlotte, NC reminds me that success in private equity, like life, is all about your people. Chris has earned the affection and goodwill of our investors, portfolio management teams, intermediaries and

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LP Co-Investments—a “Win-Win” Proposition and an Emerging Trend

Assets under management in private equity funds continue to grow and so does the desire for LP’s to see co-investment opportunities alongside these funds. Generally reserved for the most important investors, many fund managers have entered into these arrangements to get proprietary deal flow, deep industry expertise, exceptional portfolio

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Family Offices Are A Protected Species

The SEC is an Uninvited Guest Title IV of the Dodd-Frank legislation enacted in 2010 requires investment advisers managing more than $150 million in assets to register with the SEC. This includes private equity firms like ours. Once registered, advisers are subject to audit and enforcement actions by the

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Private Equity for Families Blog | CapitalWorks Private Equity Cleveland Ohio

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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.