Since being introduced to the concept of search funds early in the model’s history, Cambria’s principals have backed over 200 traditional search funds, worked with numerous self-funded searchers, invested in over 110 search fund acquired businesses, and served on roughly twenty search fund acquired boards. Cambria generally works with 35 to 45 active searchers at any given time. Its principals enjoy working with searchers in all stages of their fund lifecycle from high level discussions of industry theses, to assessing individual businesses, analyzing company financials, being thought partners as board members during the operating phase, and frequently developing relationships that lead to working with our management teams in successive entrepreneurial ventures over time.
Cambria’s principals are able to add the most value during the search phase by working closely with searchers in assessing businesses and industries and helping their searchers efficiently manage their funnels of opportunities, culling effectively so they can focus on the most promising opportunities that have the highest probability of closings. They are able to do so given their long history of assessing businesses both as private equity investors, and as search fund investors which has enabled them to develop a keen sense of pattern recognition when evaluating potential investments.
Cambria’s principals strongly believe that there is no such thing as the perfect searcher, or even the perfect company, but over time Cambria has identified attributes of each that are ideal in maximizing value for both searchers and investors:
- Track record of strong leadership
- Experience across a variety of skillsets: sales/ marketing, human resources, strategy, operations, finance, etc.
- Ability to make decisions with imperfect information
- Coachability/willingness to listen
- Confidence to seek feedback actively, to process it effectively, and to make their own decisions taking into account their own perspectives and the input they’ve gathered.
- Strong and consistent desire to run a small business.
- Recurring (or at least repeat) revenue
- Nichey business model
- >$1M in EBITDA/ Cash Flow
- Margins consistently higher than 15%
- Strong case for growth potential
- No binary risk (concentration, regulatory etc.)