Kyle Marta - Principal

Kyle Marta has a decade of experience as an investor and advisor. Kyle founded Linbrook Capital to pursue his dream of owning and operating a small business.  

Previously Kyle was a senior analyst and equity partner at Toronto-based hedge fund Picton Mahoney Asset Management. He was responsible for investment decisions across the capital structure in industrial and consumer-related sectors. During his time at Picton, Kyle helped finance several successful entrepreneurs, which ultimately inspired him to pursue entrepreneurship through acquisition. Prior to this, Kyle worked at UBS Investment Bank advising corporate clients on mergers and acquisitions primarily in mining, telecom and industrial sectors.

Kyle graduated with honours from McGill University where he received a Bachelor of Commerce degree in investment management. Kyle is a CFA Charterholder.

Analysts

Sam Park

Sam joined Linbrook Capital in 2018. Previously, Sam worked at Nexx Consultants as a credit risk consultant. He assisted clients with developing credit risk models (PD/LGD/EAD, Economic Capital, and Scorecards) and performing gap analysis with respect to OSFI/BASEL regulations. Prior to this, Sam worked at Analyst Outsourcing Unit as a summer analyst. Sam holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree (Mathematics and Statistics) from the University of Toronto. Sam was the president of Hart House Investment Club. Sam has successfully passed level I of CFA, CAIA and FRM.

Investors and Advisors

All our investors are former/current CEOs and self-made entrepreneurs. They are actively involved in the strategic direction and growth initiatives of the companies they invest in. Collectively they have executed more than 500 small and mid-sized acquisitions across a wide range of industries and have more than $3 billion in assets.

Relay Investments

Sandro Mina

Sandro Mina is a co-founding Managing Director of Relay Investments and is based in the Boston office. Sandro learned about search funds in Prof Grousbeck’s class at Stanford in 1990. In early 1993, Sandro, along with Gunnar Bjorklund, Martin Steber and Nick Babchuck, co-founded Sverica International, where Sandro spent 20 years as a co-founding Partner. He currently serves on the Board of Oasis, an Ireland based document storage company, as well as a local non-profit, the Swedish School of Boston, and WholeSalePet. During Sverica’s early days, Sandro served as President and CEO of Cameraworld.com, one of Sverica’s pre-fund portfolio companies that he sourced, managed and eventually sold. In earlier careers, Mr. Mina worked in the public and private sectors in a number of industries, including technology (United Nations Computing Centre and Storage Technology), banking (Citibank, Goldman Sachs & Co. and VISA) and telecommunications (consultant for a large European company).
 
Mr. Mina earned his BSc degree in Computer Engineering from Imperial College at the University of London and his MBA degree at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Martin Steber

Martin Steber is a co-founding Managing Director of Relay Investments and is based in the Montreal office. In early 1993, Martin, along with Gunnar Bjorklund, Sandro Mina and Nick Babchuk, co-founded Sverica International. During his early tenure, Mr. Steber was CEO of two pre-fund investments in Birmingham, Alabama, Automatic Detection Systems Inc, an electronic security company, and AccuDocs LLC, a billing services company. Both of these entities were eventually sold to larger industry leaders.

Later, Mr. Steber was actively involved in raising Sverica’s first and second private equity funds. Mr. Steber retired from Sverica in late 2007 to relocate to Europe before returning to Montreal in 2011. He serves on the board of D&S Investment, LLC as well as several other privately held companies, including companies acquired by Search Funds, such as UCITonline, Microdea and Chronus.

Mr. Steber completed his BSc in Computer Engineering from Imperial College at the University of London and his MBA degree at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Search Fund Partners

Jim Edmunds

Jim Edmunds joined Search Fund Partners in 2008 after running a company sourced through the search fund model. Jim and his partner found and acquired Celebrity Kids Portrait Studios, a leading provider of upscale children’s photography in 2005. Jim served as President and CFO of the company. He currently participates on the boards of Microdea, Neuro International, Consumeraffairs.com, Gogotech, and UCIT Online.

Before launching a search fund, Jim was an Associate at McKinsey & Company in Palo Alto. Prior to attending business school, Jim conducted business development for PetSmart.com, managed a successful political campaign in Texas, and worked in Investment Banking and Equity Capital Markets at Bear Stearns.

Jim holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was named a Siebel Scholar, and an A.B. in History from Harvard University. He is the treasurer of Building Futures Now, a non-profit dedicated to helping high potential students in East Palo Alto. He lives in Menlo Park with his wife Christine, daughters Emiko and Mika, and son Koji.

Rich Kelly

Rich Kelley co-founded Search Fund Partners in 2004. He currently serves on the boards of Discovia, Pet Heaven, DCI, Lund Van Dyke, Verengo, Avadyne, RIA in a Box, ISC, and Medical Positioning, Inc.

Rich Kelley has been involved in numerous small businesses and start-up companies as an operator, owner, and investor. His varied experience includes: CFO of Score Learning Centers, CEO of San Jose Giants, General Partner of the Stanford Terrace Inn, developer of houses and subdivisions, owner of office buildings and hotels, investor in successful tech start-ups (Coinstar, PLX Technology, Corcept Therapeutics). He has also invested in many limited partnerships, including venture funds, and has been involved as a search fund investor since 1994.

Rich has an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Stanford. Rich and his wife Gina have two children, Riley and Sam. He has served as an elected school board trustee and is active with the Positive Coaching Alliance and Sustainable Conservation as an advisor.

Kinderhook Partners

Tushar Shah

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.

Pacific Lake Partners

Coley Andrews

Coley Andrews is a Co-Founder and Managing Member of Pacific Lake Partners. Since co-founding the firm with Jim Southern in 2009, Coley has worked with over 50 Search Funds. He currently serves as a Director at Inspired eLearning, Aquavita, dESCO, and Data Fusion Technologies and as a Board Visitor at AlphaCredit, Raptor Technologies, Scottish American, Arizona College, and Vector Disease Control International.

Prior to forming Pacific Lake, Coley worked at Tech For Less, a Colorado Springs-based distributor of new and refurbished consumer and enterprise electronics owned by two successful Search Fund entrepreneurs. Coley was also an Associate at Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm based in San Francisco, after beginning his career at The Parthenon Group, an international strategic consulting firm.

Coley graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in history and earned his MBA at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Coley, his wife Alisa, and their four children reside outside Boston, MA.

Jonathan Schatz

Jonathan Schatz is a Vice President at Pacific Lake Partners. Jonathan works closely with search fund entrepreneurs during the sourcing and investment phases of their search. He serves as a board member of TCC and and as board observer with Circle Surrogacy, Mercury Roadways, and American Security.

Jonathan joined Pacific Lake in 2016 after earning a JD-MBA from Stanford Law School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. During graduate school, Jonathan worked at Cooley LLP as a legal summer associate, at Apple on the Strategic Deals Team, and at Invoice2go as a product manager. Previously, Jonathan worked for two years as the China Country Manager of Global Shares, an employee equity plan SaaS administration firm, in Shanghai. Jonathan also served as a Small Enterprise Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana for two years prior to graduate school. Jonathan earned his bachelor’s in History and Chinese at Duke University in 2007.

The Operand Group

Carlos Saez

Carlos is Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Operand Group. Prior to his current role, Carlos had 16 years of proprietary investment and operations experience in the equity derivatives industry. Carlos was Chief Investment Officer for Spot Trading in Chicago from 2009-2015, managing all Trading, Equity Research, Financial Engineering and front-office software development activities. Carlos led and motivated an organization of 60 professionals in the process. Prior to this experience, Carlos executed various trading roles successfully, and in so doing gained valuable process, technology, and management skills that he is eager to share with young entrepreneurs. When not investing in searchers, Carlos is actively involved in the not-for-profit world, as a Director for the Barrington Area Community Foundation and a Founding Board Member of INCubatorEdu. Carlos received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth.

Argo Partners

Sam Duprey

Sam Duprey is a Principal at Argo Management Group. Sam brings many years of experience across all facets of a transaction and management of a company from sourcing investment opportunities through working collaboratively with management teams and board members post-transaction to build and grow businesses. Prior to joining Argo, Sam worked at Deloitte Consulting helping management teams achieve their goals, and at Growth Equity Capital Partners in deal sourcing and investment evaluation. Sam was also previously the Controller of a consumer products company.

Mr. Duprey is an MBA Graduate of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and holds a BA from Yale University.

John Fitzgerald

John T. Fitzgerald has extensive experience acquiring and operating middle-market companies. J.T. is a former search funder himself and is the founder of Argo Management Group, a private investment firm that has acquired or made direct investments and follow-on acquisitions in dozens of operating companies utilizing the Search Fund model. Mr. Fitzgerald is President and Director of Kingsway Financial Services Inc. (NYSE: KFS) and serves on the board of directors Atlas Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: AFH), and Itasca Capital Ltd. (TSXV: ICL).

 

Prior to Argo, Mr. Fitzgerald was co-founder and managing director of Adirondack Capital, LLC, a financial futures and derivatives trading firm. He was formerly a member and Full seat owner on the Chicago Board of Trade.

 

JT has been invited to speak on multiple occasions at the Kellogg School of Management on the topic of Search Funds and acquiring and operating middle-market businesses. He is a member of the Young Presidents Organization and also enjoys skiing, cycling, and fly-fishing.

 

Mr. Fitzgerald is an MBA graduate of the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University with concentrations in Finance, Accounting, and Management Strategy. He holds a BS, finance, from DePaul University with highest honor, Beta Gamma Sigma.

Cambria Group

Rene Lajous

Mr. Lajous is a Principal with The Cambria Group, working in the firm’s Dallas office. He participates in all aspects of Cambria’s activities, focusing equally on originating and evaluating investment opportunities, negotiating and arranging financing for transactions, and providing oversight for the firm’s portfolio companies. He has experience both as a member of and observer to the boards of directors of several private companies.

Prior to joining Cambria, Mr. Lajous was a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, a boutique management consulting firm, working in Dallas, Texas and Buenos Aires, Argentina. At BCG, he advised clients in the transportation, energy and telecommunications industries on a variety of issues ranging from strategy and operations to merger and acquisition activity and due diligence.

Earlier, Mr. Lajous focused on logistics and operations in the consumer packaged goods industries, working for Procter & Gamble in Canada and Mexico, as well as Pillsbury in Canada. He also draws on broad experience developed leading projects in inventory control and supply chain management for these companies.

Mr. Lajous earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto, earning the W.S. Wilson Medal for academic excellence. He subsequently received an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Neil Cuggy

A Montreal native who comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, Neil is President and COO of Goodfood (TSX: FOOD). Prior to this, he co-founded and led MTL Capital LLC, a privately held entrepreneurial investment firm and, from 2010 to 2012, worked in the Investment Banking division of RBC Capital Markets. He graduated first class honours with distinction from McGill University, where he received a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Investment Management.

Mario Nigro

Mario Nigro is a partner in the Toronto office of Stikeman Elliott and a member of the firm’s M&A/Private Equity Group. His practice focuses on business law, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, dispositions, and reorganizations. He has extensive experience working with private equity and venture capital clients on numerous acquisitions and dispositions. The private equity funds which Mario has worked with on Canadian transactions include AEA Investors, Arbor Investments, Auxo Management, Black Eagle Partners, Blue Point Capital, Centre Lane Partners, Clearview Capital, Harvest Partners, H.I.G. Capital, High Park Capital, Generation Partners, Goode Partners, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, Greybrook Realty Partners, Novacap Industries, Oakridge Capital, Sharp Capital, Sun Capital, Turtle Holdings, White Wolf Capital and Wingate Partners. Mario works with a number of growing technology companies and has helped them with acquisitions, financings and growth capital transactions.