Tuck School of Business | Nick Russell D'00, T'10 

Tell the ISCP Club a little about yourself and your firm:

Founded in 2001, Tuckerman Capital was a pioneer in investing in support of independent sponsor partners, and remains today exclusively focused on this strategy.  We partner in the acquisition of control buyouts, typically in engineering driven solutions (product and service) businesses with cash flows below $20M (and most typically below $10M), and invest in these situations as equity investors, but with an eye toward managing capital structure risk to broaden the probability of success.

I joined Tuckerman’s founders over a decade ago, and today lead the day to day investment activities of the firm.  We’ve invested over the last 20 years through 5 discretionary funds on behalf of a very concentrated set of long term focused limited partner institutions and families.

What projects are you currently working on?  

Selling everything that’s not bolted down! Just Kidding (sort of!)  We have exited several investments in the last few years and this year have been focused on building a couple of our portfolio companies with both add-on investments and internal growth capital rounds.  Generally the portfolio has been extraordinarily resilient through the pandemic, for which we are thankful, and we are of course, always looking hard for the next platform and next awesome deal partner for our strategy. We’re very excited about where 2021 will take us.

What types of deals are you currently looking for?

We are looking for the same things we always have:  highly cash generative businesses with outlier profit margins driven by truly differentiated product/service offerings; businesses participating in markets that are driven by long term, secular growth trends (for example, recent investments have been supported by climate change, wildfire activity, aging demographics, access to quality affordable healthcare products, and US infrastructure build out and refurbishment – all we believe – durable secular trends); great value-added talent (both independent sponsors and executives) with whom we can be very aligned with building attractive long term investment outcomes while managing risk.  We also love a good inefficiently shopped acquisition opportunity and as an equity-focused investor are able to provide all the junior capital necessary to close an investment (without requiring a third party lender at close).

Who is your ideal investment partner?

One with a great deal in their hand!  Just kidding again (sort of). There are a lot, and an increasing number, of great independent sponsor partners out there in this community.  The growth of the community if perhaps it’s most impressive feature. We work hard to be good partners as well.  I think on both sides of these investment partnerships, the most important characteristic is awareness and intellectual honesty around what advantages you (or we) are bringing to the deal to add-value and create a great outcome for all involved, and as part of that, a willingness to “Partner” (with a capital “P”) together to build resilient, market leading, and extraordinary companies that will both grow and generate outlier levels of interest from future potential owners. Those attributes are much more important to us than a certain specific skill, capability, type of expertise, or background.

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