Our weekly thoughts and general ramblings about everything related to business – from industries and investments to management and operations.

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Partners

Second-year MBA students graduate in late Spring, and as some of that group embark upon a search for a small business acquisition, we tend to observe a consistent seasonal uptick in advice requests around that time.  We often get asked for our opinion on working with a partner, and lately, we have noticed a trend towards “solo” searchers in place of search fund partnerships

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Careers as Asset Classes

We recently read a LinkedIn post from Scott Galloway, Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern School of Business, who opined “careers are asset classes - don’t go where it’s over-invested.... if a sector becomes overinvested with human capital, the returns on those efforts are suppressed.”

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What We Learned About Capital Allocation at the Canucks Game

We recently decided to pay down a large chunk of debt at one of our portfolio companies ahead of its scheduled amortization.  The company in question had a fantastic 2017 and generated significant excess free cash, which put us in the welcome position of having to determine the most prudent allocation of that capital.  Our options in this regard were relatively straightforward

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Words Matter 2.0

This week, we, like everybody else in the US, have been reading about the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  Don’t worry, we aren't going to jump into the foray of Supreme Court nominations.  We will, however, outline a great RBG story from WNYC’s More Perfect podcast series.  From a talk RGB gave about her 1970’s strategy to provide women legal protections against discrimination:  

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Gross Profit

At Chenmark, we live and die by our Free Cash Flow numbers.  Free Cash Flow is a no BS way of knowing how we’re doing; it tells us how much cash we have in the bank after operating our business and meeting all of our financial obligations. On a day to day basis however, we actually speak much more frequently about gross profitability and work with all our companies to make sure we understand it at a customer and service line level.

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Seriously?

We recently listened to a Radiolab segment on Translation, part of which investigated how words can have different meanings depending on your perspective–which can lead to misunderstandings.  The word in question for this segment was “serious”.  As Greg Warner, NPR’s East Africa Correspondent highlighted, the word “serious” in East Africa has a different meaning than it does in North America

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