Elk Capital Partners brings the experience and knowledge of our diverse group of experienced CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors, and advisors.
Eric Kristensen, Founder and Managing Partner is responsible for Elk Capital Partners’ daily operations and deal sourcing pipeline. In conjunction with Elk Capital Partners investment, Eric will join the acquired company’s current management team and help lead daily company operations. Prior to founding Elk Capital Partners, Eric sourced, evaluated and executed leveraged buyouts and managed the strategic direction, growth and performance of businesses with a number of talented entrepreneurial executives across a variety of industries, including consumer, retail, healthcare, business services and niche manufacturing as an investor for J.H. Whitney Capital Partners, a middle-market private equity firm based in New Canaan, CT. He has also held a number of management roles within startup and non-profit organizations. Previously, Eric was a member of the Mergers & Acquisitions group within the Corporate Investment Bank of Wells Fargo Securities where he analyzed acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings, company sales and takeover defenses. Eric holds a B.S. in Finance from Wake Forest University where he played baseball for the Demon Deacons and received his M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management, focusing on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Management, Strategy and Finance.
Investors and Advisors
Anacapa PartnersJeff Stevens has 20 years of experience structuring, operating and investing in search fund companies. Jeff has managed three funded searches during the period from 1990-2005, each one culminating in the acquisition of a lower middle market company. Jeff understands the elements of the search fund model that drive success. In addition, Jeff’s relationships with other experienced, successful search fund investors and current search fund principals allows Anacapa Partners access to invest in concert with a group that has been participating in this business model for over 20 years.
Prior to founding Anacapa Partners, Jeff was the CEO of three venture-backed buyouts – Balkin Cable Holdings (cable television system operator), Ancora Capital (mail presort), and Liberty Fitness (women’s fitness centers). Following these three buyouts, Jeff founded Deeelish! (manufacturer/retailer of ready-to cook gourmet meals). In each of Jeff’s four ventures he has maintained responsibility for all aspects of sourcing acquisition/start-up opportunities, including identifying potential targets, industry analysis, company specific due diligence, and fundraising (debt and equity) to complete the transaction.
Following the completion of each acquisition Jeff became the senior executive of the acquired company with direct reporting responsibility to a shareholder group and Board of Directors. Prior to beginning his entrepreneurial path Jeff was an Associate Consultant at Bain & Company. Jeff received his Bachelor of Arts and MBA from Stanford University, and remains actively involved in the Stanford community. He participates in classroom case discussion for entrepreneurship courses at the Graduate School of Business, serves as a mentor for students participating in a two-quarter business planning course, and volunteers in numerous capacities for the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. Jeff is also a member of the Ford Committee at DAPER.
Jeff is a member of the Board of Directors of Advanced Network Solutions, Recruit Military, and Sage Data Security.
Pacific LakeColey Andrews is a founding partner of Pacific Lake Partners, a private equity firm focused exclusively on the search fund model. Since starting Pacific Lake in 2009 Coley has worked with over 35 search funds. He is currently a director at Out of Home America and Data Fusion Technologies and a board visitor at several Pacific Lake portfolio companies. Prior to forming Pacific Lake, Coley worked at Tech For Less, a small growing company owned by two search fund entrepreneurs. He also was an associate at Golden Gate Capital and The Parthenon Group. Coley holds an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and a BA from Dartmouth College.
Jim Southern is a founding partner of Pacific Lake Partners, a private equity firm focused exclusively on the search fund model. Earlier in his career, Jim led a team of operators and investors using the search fund model to acquire Uniform Printing, a $43 million printer of specialty insurance documents, where he served as CEO and chairman for 10 years. Investor returns from distributions and exit exceeded 30x the acquisition capital. Jim currently is a director of multiple search fund companies including Arizona College, Raptor Technologies, Fastspring, Vector Disease Control, Alphacredit, Scottish American Capital, and Little Sprouts. Jim holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Trilogy Search PartnersScott Alderman is a Managing Director of Trilogy Search Partners. Most recently, he was on the investing team of Trilogy Equity Partners, where he is still a Partner. Previously, Scott spent 11 years at Western Wireless Corporation in various roles, including Chief Financial Officer of Western Wireless International which operated mobile networks in Europe, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Scott graduated from Whitman College, where today he serves on the Board of Overseers, and he has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Cregg Baumbaugh is a Managing Director of Trilogy Search Partners. Previously, Cregg served as Executive Vice President – Finance, Strategy and Development for VoiceStream Wireless (now T-Mobile US). In addition, he served as SVP – Corporate Development of both VoiceStream and Western Wireless Corporation. Prior to his wireless career, Cregg worked at The First Boston Corporation. Cregg received his BS and MBA degrees from Indiana University. He lives in Marin County, California and is a trustee of Marin Academy. Cregg is also a Partner of Trilogy Equity Partners and serves on the boards of Asurion and ResponseLink and on the advisory board of HarvestWest Investments.
Mitch Cohen is a Managing Director of Trilogy Search Partners. Mitch was a Managing Director of Hellman & Friedman from 1989 until 2008, where he sourced and oversaw portfolio investments, as well as lead the firm’s fundraising and client relations. Mitch worked closely with other Trilogy partners while representing Hellman & Friedman on the boards of Western Wireless and VoiceStream. Prior to Hellman & Friedman, he was an Associate at Shearson Lehman Hutton. Recently, Mitch has been managing his family office, investing in a range of private companies. He graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. Mitch lives in Marin County, California and serves on a number of for-profit and non-profit boards.
Rich AugustynMr. Augustyn is Founder and CEO of both NIP Group, a top 100 business insurance broker, and Extensis Group, a top 20 Professional Employer Organization (PEO). Mr. Augustyn has been a successful entrepreneur and accomplished investor for more than 20 years. His investments are focused upon the financial and business services and healthcare sectors.
He currently serves on the board of several high-growth companies and chairs the Market Development Councils of two national insurance companies. His early business success landed him a spot among New Jersey's Forty Under 40, a program that honors young men and women who have made outstanding contributions to their fields.
Larry DunnLarry is a talented business leader with over 25 years’ experience. He has generated substantial value in high growth environments by delivering solutions in a wide array of areas, including organizational strategy, corporate development, financial reporting, cost reduction, cash flow and working capital management, and process improvement. In addition to his role at Endurance he is the CFO of NIP Group. Prior to joining NIP Group, he was Managing Director at Ally Financial and a Director of M&A and divisional CFO at AIG Group. He began his career at KPMG. Larry graduated from Pace University with a BBA in Accounting with highest honors. Larry is also a Certified Public Accountant.
David DodsonDavid Dodson has been active for fifteen years in the formation of new business through the search fund model. After graduating from Stanford University in 1983, and then the Graduate School of Business in 1987, he joined the faculty as a case writer where, under the direction of H. Irv Grousbeck, he wrote the original course material for search funds–then in its infancy. After one year as a case writer, David Dodson raised his own search fund, which led to the purchase of Smith Alarm Systems in 1989. He subsequently raised two more search funds to purchase an auto parts retailer and an environmental services firm. During this time, Mr. Dodson became an active investor in and board member of other search funds, investing in over twenty-five search funds. Mr. Dodson has been a director and investor in seventeen middle market companies.
Remaining active with the Stanford Graduate School of Business during this time, he has been a regular guest for the New Ventures and Managing Growing Enterprises courses, and is a director of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Alumni Association. He is on the board of: U.S. Fund for UNICEF (Regional), Project Healthy Children, Penn Warranty, Wind River Environmental, Harr Automotive, Eyewitness, Carillon Assisted Living, and Gum Branch Capital. David Dodson currently divides his time between Stanford University and Project Healthy Children (a nonprofit enterprise with operations in Rwanda, Nepal, Liberia and Malawi). He is also completing his first novel.
Joe NiehausMr. Niehaus is a Managing Director at Housatonic Partners in San Francisco and was a Managing Director at Hellman & Friedman before joining Housatonic Partners in 2001. During his twelve-year career at Hellman & Friedman, he was involved in several of the firm's recurring services, media and communications investments including Eller Media, Falcon Cable, and Mitchell International.
Mr. Niehaus is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Harvard Business School. He is a Director of Fastener Distribution Holdings, LLC (formerly Aircraft Fasteners International, LLC); ResponseLink; Circle Graphics; 365 Data Centers; and HealthWyse.
Gerald RiskGerald Risk most recently served as Vice Chairman of Asurion, the world’s largest provider of technology protection services, partnering with the world’s top companies and brands to serve over 200 million customers globally. Prior to serving as Vice Chairman, he served as Asurion’s President from 2009 to 2013 and Asurion’s Chief Financial Officer for the 10 years prior to that. Since joining Asurion in 1999, Mr. Risk has been a key member of a management team that has grown the business 200 fold. Today, Asurion’s 5,000 team members serve over 110 million subscribers globally.
Prior to joining Asurion, Mr. Risk helped a wide variety of clients, from Fortune 500 firms to early stage start-ups, execute their strategic and financial plans as an investment banker with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in San Francisco, Hong Kong and New York. Mr. Risk has also worked for Hambrecht and Quist and the private investment arm of Toronto Dominion Capital.
Mr. Risk is an active mentor of entrepreneurial leaders in the for-profit and non-profit worlds. In this capacity, Mr. Risk is an active private investor and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Carillon Assisted Living (provider of assisted living services in the Southeast), HealthCPA (provider of medical expense management services for consumers), and QMC Telecom (cell tower operator in Brazil). He is an active private investor.
Mr. Risk holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar and where he served as a case writer for Jack McDonald, the Stanford Investors Professor of Finance. Mr. Risk also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce with honors from Queen’s University in Canada where he was on the Dean’s List.
Will ThorndikeMr. Thorndike founded Housatonic Partners in Boston in 1994 and has been Managing Director since that time. Prior to that, Mr. Thorndike worked with T. Rowe Price Associates where he did investment research in the nascent field of business services and Walker & Company, where he was named to the Board of Directors.
Mr. Thorndike is a graduate of Harvard College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a Director of Access Information Management; Alta Colleges; Continental Fire & Safety Services, LLC, Carillon Assisted Living, LLC; Liberty Towers, LLC; OASIS Group Ltd.; White Flower Farm, Inc., and a Trustee of Groton School and the College of the Atlantic.
AJ WassersteinMr. Wasserstein is a private investor with a long-term orientation, interested in lower middle market businesses and philanthropic organizations, where he can be positively impactful using his experiences, time and capital.
He was the founder and CEO of ArchivesOne, the third largest records management company in the United States. He successfully built ArchivesOne into a super-regional records management company employing 400 people before selling to Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM) after 17 years of operation. At ArchivesOne, 38 acquisitions were successfully completed to support the company’s growth.
A.J. graduated from Colgate University and received his MBA from New York University. He completed the Owner/President/Manager Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School.
Mr. Wasserstein is a board member at American Auto Auction, LLC; President of Onesource Water, LLC; a board member at Facility Maintenance, LLC; a board member at MRA Inc.; a trustee and Chair of the Investment Committee at the Connecticut Community Foundation; a trustee and Chair of the Finance Committee at Waterbury Hospital and a board member at Global Giving, LLC.
In 2000 the U.S. Small Business Administration named A.J. the Small Business Person of the Year in Connecticut. A.J. was featured in the book Leadership Secrets of the World's Most Successful CEOs.
Kent WeaverMr. Weaver is currently Chairman and CEO of Progressive Home Care, a Northern California-based home health care agency purchased using the search fund model. Previously, Mr. Weaver held executive positions in marketing and product management for KnowledgeLINK, a venture-backed technology services company. Prior to this, he served as a regional CFO and business analyst in Pepsico's Pizza Hut Division and as a management consultant with Ernst & Young.
Mr. Weaver received his MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles and a BS in finance from the University of Southern California.