Marc C. Bergschneider is a Managing Member and co-founder of Starboard Capital Partners, a private equity firm that sponsors and invests in lower middle market companies, with values ranging from $15 million to $300 million. Starboard has completed more than $500 million in private equity transactions and more than $1 billion in commercial real estate. Marc currently serves as a Director of JPC Holdings, LLC and chairs the Board of Managers of CV Properties, LLC. Marc was a past Chairman of WHI Solutions, Inc. and Vice Chairman of Jan-Pro Holdings, LLC. Prior to co-founding Starboard, Marc was Chairman and CEO of National Fairways, LLC. Earlier in his career, Marc was a Managing Director at Drexel Burnham, Lehman Brothers, and Kidder Peabody. Marc graduated with a BA from Brown University and has a MBA from The University of Chicago. He is currently a Director of the Brown University Sports Foundation, Chairman of the Brown University Rowing Association, and is a past director of the National Rowing Foundation.
Today we chat with Marc as he shares with us the investment thesis behind Starboard Capital Partners and what sets their private equity firm apart from others.
DarcMatter: Please provide a high level overview of your investment process.
Marc: The key to our investments are: 1) having business knowledge; we have this because of our deal history or because we have partners and advisory directors with applicable industry experience; 2) evaluating management; this is the key to any deal and only possible because of experience; and 3) developing an investment thesis with a post-acquisition growth strategy that is both practical and probable.
DarcMatter: What differentiates Starboard Capital Partners from other private equity firms?
Marc: We are an independent sponsor and in that world we are really a full service private equity firm without a fund, meaning we have the capability of the larger firms compared to most other independent sponsors. We therefore have better capability of completing deals with alternative sources of primary capital because we add value by not only finding investments but also having the clear capability of co-sponsoring private companies.
DarcMatter: It seems like more firms are participating in non-traditional deal structures or as independent sponsors. Can you explain how Starboard fits into this environment?
Marc: We are one of the independent sponsor leaders with a clear goal of best private equity practices. Most independent sponsors are only one or two people with one or two deals. As a differentiator, we have 4 investment professionals, 3 operating partners, and 7 advisory directors. We have completed more than $500 million in private equity transactions and more than $1 billion in commercial real estate.
DarcMatter: How does Starboard get involved with the companies they invest in?
Marc: We find deals on both a proprietary and auction basis. The key factor in any transaction is aligning with management which we try to establish from the very first meeting. We do not to replace or supplement management but have the capability to do so. We are always active board members and have served as chairman and interim CFO.
DarcMatter: What are you excited about for the future of Starboard Capital Partners? What market opportunities excite you as we look 5 years into the future?
Marc: We have narrowed our focus to four areas (business services, healthcare, franchising, and niche manufacturing) where we have clear knowledge and industry experience. I am excited about that focus, working with our operating partners and advisory directors on investments, and expect our combined efforts to result in strong deal flow and unique investment opportunities over the next several years.
DarcMatter: Finishing off on a fun note, tell us a little known fact about yourself.
Marc: I was a member of the Brown National Championship crew team in 1970.
Visit Starboard Capital Partners’ profile on DarcMatter at https://www.darcmatter.com/starboardcapitalpartners to learn more.
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