A podcast dedicated to the people and ideas of the Middle Market,
hosted by Andy Greenberg (GVC) and Charlie Gifford (New Heritage Capital).

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Episode 14

Joe Conte is the Head of Strategy and Corporate Development at Standish Management, a leading fund administrator. Joe was long a fixture in middle market M&A as a managing director at Lazard before taking a senior role at Standish last year. Joe traces the evolution of the field from his early career stops as an attorney and as a young banker at Goldsmith Agio Helms. He also reflects on his recent transition from buy side to sell side and, with prodding from Charlie, shares his personal diet and fitness regimen. 

Episode 13

Jay Jester, partner at Plexus Capital, is the latest M&A luminary to spend an hour he’ll never get back with Andy and Charlie. Jay is well known as a leader in private equity’s evolution to more granular, industry-focused, relationship-based business development. He shares insights drawn from his prior experience at Audax Capital and his current focus at Plexus. Always a student of the industry, Jay chronicles the “four waves” of private equity as he has seen them. 

Episode 12

Eric Zoller is the Founder and current Partner of Sixpoint Partners, one of the largest fund placement advisors serving the middle market private equity industry. Eric traces Sixpoint’s development as an early entrant in the industry through the company’s 2019 sale to PNC Bank. Charlie, Andy, Eric have a spirited discussion about core, non-outsourceable functions in a superior private equity firm – a list once thought to include fund placement. Eric also provides his well thought out view of the evolution of private equity over the next decade. 

Episode 11

Lauren Mulholland, Founding Partner of MiddleGround Capital, burns off an hour with Charlie and Andy. MiddleGround is an operationally focused private equity fund with more than $1.2 billion in assets under management. Lauren illuminates her own background in a business family, MiddleGround’s rapid growth since its formation in 2018, the actual differentiation that comes from an operational focus, and the importance of the firm’s commitment to principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Globalization (DEIG). 

Episode 10

Sean Mooney, Founder and CEO of BluWave, stops by.  BluWave is a fast-growing provider of best-in-class resources to more than 500 private equity funds. Andy and Charlie drill into how BluWave evolved from Sean’s own background in private equity, the particulars of the business model, and what the business itself says about signature trends in private equity—higher valuations, compressed returns, greater industry specialization and heightened pressure to capture growth and operational improvement. All that, plus the usual Masterpiece Theater-level back-and-forth between the two hosts. 

Episode 9

David McIntyre, former CEO of Centra Industries, kicks off our fall season. Centra, now part of Precision Castparts Corp, is a Canadian manufacturer of airframe components. Dave tells the Centra story, with high points including his acquisition of the business from his father in 2004, an equity investment from New Heritage Capital in 2007 and a successful exit to PCC in 2012. Today he races fast cars at Ontario’s famed Motorsport Speedway and possesses a world class wit—as evidenced by the first few minutes of our conversation.

Episode 8

Glenn Oken, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Mangrove Equity Partners, and one of the most productive middle market deal professionals of this generation. He and his partners have completed 150 platform acquisitions across nine fund vehicles. He discusses Mangrove's intensely operational approach, the merits of concentrating on the $2-to-8 million EBITDA tier of the market, and his recent fondness for Spanish reds.

Episode 7

Graeme Frazier is the co-founder of GF Data, the leading provider of data on private middle market M&A transactions, as well as President of Private Capital Research, a provider of buy-side business development services. Graeme shares his unique views as a practitioner and analyst in the middle market. He brings his trademark patience to encounters with two old friends.

Episode 6

Tom Danis, Jr., Managing Partner and co-founder of RCP Advisors, is the latest industry titan to stop by. Tom charts RCP’s path as a pioneer in “fund of funds” investing. He comments on changes in return expectations over the past 20 years, including increased emphasis on the select group of PE funds able to sustain top performance. He shares his take on the competitive world of direct investment. He responds to a characteristically long-winded question from Andy, while ignoring characteristically unhelpful commentary from Charlie.

Episode 5

Pam Hendrickson, vice chair of The Riverside Company. Pam charts Riverside’s evolution from middle-market buyout shop to $11 billion global multi-style asset manager—including the productive dynamic that enabled Riverside to complete 60 transactions during the pandemic. The guys quiz her on her industry leadership role, including her understanding of ESG investing as a dimension of political risk management. Finally, Pam shares insights from her on the difference between private equity investing and her passion outside of work—cooking.

Episode 4

Phil Colaco, CEO of Deloitte Corporate Finance, takes his turn in the hot seat. Phil shares his perspectives on entrepreneurship and how technology has infiltrated almost every industry, and how working for luminaries like Hugh McColl and Erskine Bowles shaped his career. He also talks about the importance of developing a culture of inclusion as well as his philanthropic passions. Charlie and Andy compete to show that they are well-rounded people, too.

Episode 3

Joe Watkins has been a business owner, investor and observer in the flavors & fragrances industry for 40 years.  He was co-owner of Hagelin Flavors Technologies prior to its sale  to a European strategic buyer. Joe shares his perspectives on the challenges—and eventual rewards—of operating a successful business. The guys draw out Tales from a storied and well-traveled career. 

Episode 2

Peter Kaufman, the President of Gordian Group, a New York-based distressed M&A firm.  Peter shares his views on the current state of the restructuring market and on what makes special situations bankers a different breed.  He discusses his passion for and investments in the wine industry, and his fledgling career as a golf journalist. He jumps in with the guys as a world-class giver of grief.

Episode 1

Michele Masucci, a leader in Nixon Peabody’s healthcare practice. Michelle shares what it was like to live and work with front-line care providers in New York the early days of the pandemic, and offers insights on the healthcare industry in its aftermath. She defends her college classmate Andy against outrageous assaults from Charlie.

Insight. Reflection. Humor. The Best of the Middle Market.

Charlie Gifford Charlie Gifford
Senior Partner
New Heritage Capital

I’ve worked in the Middle Market for more than twenty years. Over that time I have met some extraordinary people, each with a unique story to tell. While we all know that the world doesn’t need another podcast, Andy and I are hopeful that you’ll enjoy listening and learning about each individual profiled. Half business, half human interest, half insightful, half irreverent. Yes, that’s lots of halves to cover. And aiming to do so in around 30 minutes of time. We hope you will give it a listen, and let us know what you think.

Andy Greenberg Andy Greenberg
Greenberg Variations Capital

For the past 15 years, I’ve been an investment banker and a publisher of M&A data. This combination has afforded access to a lot of information on deals. But information alone is not insight. The tagline for this podcast is “people and ideas of the middle market.” Each time out, we ask our guests to share a fresh perspective, to reflect on issues beyond what is on their schedule for the day, and to be good sports with two guys who—as my kids say, “think they are funny.” We hope you find these interviews worth your time.