THG was founded by a group of highly distinguished entrepreneurs, business leaders and operating executives. Our team has led, operated and grown $5 million to $30 million revenue companies in a variety of industries. We have significant experience as advisors, founders, board members and investors. We are focused on partnering with entrepreneurs or business owners like you, who are seeking to sell a minority or majority equity stake, pursue other opportunities, retire, or take on a different role within your company. You would benefit from the capital resources necessary to provide you liquidity and if desired, use our collective expertise to assist in management of the business.
Andre Stokes, President
Andre Stokes is Founder and President of Trident Holding Group, LLC. He has over 20 years of business, finance and leadership experience. Prior to founding THG, he was a Managing Director at Calabasas Capital, a boutique investment banking advisory firm focused on M&A and capital raising. Andre was also a Director at Expense Reduction Analysts, a management consulting firm focused on improving operating costs through strategic sourcing.
Previously, Andre was an investment banker at Credit Suisse and Bear Stearns in New York and London where he advised clients on a number of debt and equity financings and M&A transactions. At Bear Stearns, he was a member of the M&A group focused on identifying LBO opportunities for private equity sponsors. Over the course of his investment banking career, Andre advised clients on over $8 billion in transactions, including leveraged buyouts, IPOs, follow-on equity, bank debt and high yield debt offerings.
Andre has advised clients in a variety of industries, including business services, cable TV, Internet, media, payment processing, telecom and wireless infrastructure. He also co-founded a new media entertainment company focused on the world travel market.
Andre is a former naval officer, where he served as a surface warfare officer aboard the USS Charleston. He later became a Naval Civil Engineer Corps Officer, where he served as a contracting officer and managed construction projects for the Navy and Marine Corps. During his naval career, Andre was twice decorated with the Navy Achievement Medal for leadership and meritorious service.
Andre earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and an MBA with a focus on finance and strategy from Harvard Business School.
Our Investor-Partners & Advisory Board Members
Anacapa Partners (Click to See Portfolio Companies)
Anacapa Partners is managed by its founder, Jeff Stevens. Jeff 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 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.
Ashley has over 15 years of experience advising, operating and investing in high growth venture and private equity backed companies. Serving in corporate development, finance and legal roles Ashley has supported companies through periods of rapid growth by creating and executing business and capital strategies, negotiating complex transactions, building management teams, and managing transformational events in a company’s lifecycle. From 2002 to 2011, Ashley was a member of the senior team at Asurion Corporation, the most successful search fund operating company to date, as the Company’s first in-house counsel and later head of Corporate Development. More recently, Ashley was Vice President of Transactions and General Counsel at Sunrun, a residential solar company, where she led the project finance and legal teams through the raise of over $500 million in proceeds. Prior to her operational experience, Ashley was a corporate associate at Venture Law Group in Silicon Valley and Riordan & McKinzie in Los Angeles and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Emilio M. Garza on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ashley graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UC, Santa Barbara and Order of the Coif from UCLA Law School.
Pacific Lake Partners (Click to See Portfolio Companies)
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.
Coley Andrews is a founding partner of Pacific Lake Partners. 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.
Search Fund Partners (Click to See Portfolio Companies)
David Carver is a co-founder of Search Fund Partners. He and his partner, Rich Kelley, have spent the last nine years developing and managing the SFP portfolio. He is on the board of iNet Interactive, FastSpring, Great Bay Software, Advanced Network Solutions, UnitedLayer, DataFusion, StaffOne, WebEquity, Raptor Technologies and VRI. David spent thirty years as an executive in the high tech industry, and has extensive experience in all phases of business, including M&A, fund-raising, corporate strategy and operations. He was CEO of HiFive!, an application service provider; CEO of Hipbone Networks, an online collaboration company; EVP and GM at Network Associates; COO of Network General; an EIR at Institutional Venture Partners; and an executive at Hewlett-Packard, including ten years in the professional service/software divisions of HP. Dave has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Arkansas. Dave and his wife Julia have two boys, RJ and Sam. He is active in community and non-profit organizations, having founded the Redwood Chapter of National Junior Basketball serving 650 children.
Rich Kelley co-founded Search Fund Partners in 2004. He currently serves on the boards of Discovia, HemaSource, 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.
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, daughter Emiko, and son Koji.
Abbey Road Capital (Click to visit website)
Ali Ashurov founded Abbey Road Capital with a vision to be an active, supportive and value driven investor in innovative, industry-leading businesses. Prior to founding Abbey Road Capital, Ali was a member of the Executive Team at FleetCor Technologies (NYSE: FLT), a leading global provider of specialized payment products and services including fleet cards, food cards, corporate lodging discount cards and other specialized payment services. During his 10 years at FleetCor from 2005 to 2015, the company grew revenue from $150 million to $1.7 billion, EBITDA from $75 million to $900 million, and valuation from $500 million to $14 billion (~45% per annum). The company expanded from a regional business in the U.S. to over 40 countries by executing on its “buy, build and partner” strategy. Ali played a key role in this growth by leading acquisitions and partnerships with more than 20 businesses. Most recently, Ali served a dual role as Group Executive, managing FleetCor’s Russia, Czech Republic, epyx, and Masternaut (as Board Director) businesses as well as Executive Vice President International Corporate Development leading all M&A activity in Europe and Australasia. From 2008 to 2011, Ali was President of FleetCor Eastern Europe. Ali received his MBA from Harvard Business School and BBA with a concentration in Finance from Emory University.
Mr. Cassutt is Managing Partner of TD Investment Company, which has made investments in more than 50 private companies, and is CFO of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. From 1984 to 2011, Mr. Cassutt was Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a rapid prototyping and engineering support company based in Los Angeles, California. Prior to joining Nelson, Mr. Cassutt was the Controller of Bristol Corporation, the parent company of 10 manufacturing companies, from 1978 to 1984. He currently sits on the board of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products and Yates & Associates Insurance Services, Inc. Mr. Cassutt received his Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of California, Irvine, and his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Mr. Lazier is Managing Partner of TD Investment Company. TD makes private equity investments, primarily in search funds. Mr. Lazier also serves as President of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. He has served as Controller, Vice President of Sales and Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of durable graphics and membrane switches based in Los Angeles, California. Prior to joining Nelson, Mr. Lazier worked as an engineer with IBM Corporation from 1982 to 1984. He is currently on the board of Nelson Nameplate Company, American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. He has also served on the board of Glendale Memorial Hospital Foundation and the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Lazier received his Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University.
Gerald Risk is the President of Asurion, the world’s leading provider of handset protection and other value added services to the wireless industry. Prior to serving as President, Mr. Risk was Asurion’s CFO. 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 Hambrecht and Quist and the private investment arm of Toronto Dominion Capital. 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). Mr. Risk holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar and where he serves 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.
Rich is an entrepreneur in the truest sense – he sees opportunities, builds businesses that fill needs, and creates lasting growth. In 1987, he founded NIP Group, a national leader in insurance brokering and risk management. He quickly saw a need to improve the HR model for small businesses, and founded Extensis Group. Since being in business for two decades, Extensis Group has become a national leader in HR solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. He is CEO of both companies. True to his life-long entrepreneurial spirit, he now enjoys partnering with and mentoring search fund entrepreneurs. As an active search fund investor, he works closely with searchers at every stage to find, buy and build successful companies. He is well known for his availability, engagement level and is sought after for his practical business advice.
Rich serves on the board of Housing Wire, KGHP, PEC Safety, Sage Data Security, Windley Ely and World Wide Security.
Matthew Diamond co-founded Alloy, Inc. together with Jim Johnson, taking the company public in May 1999 and building it to become one of the most important millennial-focused media and marketing companies of the past two decades. As CEO of Alloy, Inc., Mr. Diamond was instrumental in the establishment of the company’s multi-discipline marketing unit, Alloy Media + Marketing. Until 2005, Alloy, Inc. included the youth merchandise brands Alloy, CCS and dEliA*s. Under Mr. Diamond’s leadership, these businesses grew to be among the largest direct marketers (e-commerce and catalog) to teens and young-adults in the U.S. and were divested via a public-to-public spinoff. In November 2010, Alloy, Inc. completed a go-private transaction by an investor group led by ZelnickMedia. Prior to founding Alloy, Inc., Mr. Diamond held positions in the Finance and Operations groups at the General Electric Company, including two years at the company’s offices in Tokyo. Mr. Diamond also serves on the board of Do Something, Inc. and, in 2009, the youth focused non-profit organization honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Alloy’s considerable contributions. He has also supported youth education initiatives in New York City, dedicating his time to the Bronx Academy of Letters and as a member the PENCIL program pairing business leaders with public schools. Mr. Diamond graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in International Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.
Jim Johnson co-founded Alloy, Inc. together Matthew Diamond. They took the company public in May 1999 and built it to become one of the most important millennial-focused media and marketing companies of the past two decades. As COO of Alloy, Inc., Mr. Johnson led operational management and guided many of the company’s growth initiatives. Until 2005, Alloy, Inc. included the youth merchandise brands Alloy, CCS and dEliA*s. Under Mr. Johnson’s direction, these businesses grew to be among the largest direct marketers (e-commerce and catalog) to teens and young-adults in the U.S. and were divested via a public-to-public spinoff. He was instrumental during key expansions, including the acquisition of Alloy Entertainment and Alloy Education, a leader in student recruitment solutions for higher education. In November 2010, Alloy, Inc. completed a go-private transaction by an investor group led by Zelnick Media. Prior to founding Alloy, Mr. Johnson was a member of GE Company’s Corporate Audit Staff and a graduate of its Financial Management Program. He held a variety of financial, operational and business development positions within GE, most significantly in GE Japan and GE Brasil. Mr. Johnson received his B.A. in History from Hamilton College.
Mike Quilty is the former CEO of Matrix Medical Network which he sold in 2012. Matrix provides high-risk member management services for Medicare Advantage plans and Special Needs Health plans. Matrix utilizes a physician-centered model of care to provide intensive primary care services for members in the skilled nursing facility, nursing home, and home settings. Prior to co-founding Matrix, Mike served as Vice President of Business Development at Integrated Healthcare Networks and as Director of Business Development at Pfizer Health Solutions. Mike served as a Lieutenant on the fast attack submarine USS GATO (SSN-615). He received his undergraduate degree from the United States Naval Academy and his Masters degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. Mike is also a founding member of the board of directors of the Disease Management Association of America (DMAA).
Mr. 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 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.; QMC International, LLC; White Flower Farm, Inc., a Trustee of Stanford Business School Trust, the College of the Atlantic (Chair) and a founding partner at FARM, a social impact investing collaborative. He is the author of The Outsiders.
Mr. 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.