Curating Information in an Age of Un-curated Data
Brookside Equity Partners isn’t a typical middle-market private equity firm. Instead of traditional, fixed-term funds, Brookside’s capital is evergreen, patient, and flexible, drawing mostly from family capital. And they partner with excellent management teams to help create long-term value.
Ray Weldon helped found the firm and is a managing director. Weldon and his colleagues use a research-intensive approach to their investment decisions. For him, the goal is “as much data-driven knowledge as you can possibly obtain.” But amidst an avalanche of information, talking to thoughtful experts will help parse the good data from the useless. Weldon and Brookside use GLG to curate their data points and help them do right by their investments or know when to walk away.
I’m Ray Weldon, I’m a Managing Director of Brookside Equity Partners. Middle market private equity involves identifying a select investment opportunities in non-traded, non-publicly available businesses, entities of various solution. We’ve looked at opportunities that are involved in advertising industries. We’ve looked at opportunities that are probably best described as somewhat tech oriented.
What’s best taken away from what we look for are unique opportunities, superior management teams, and particularly good return profiles. And given the fact that our capital is a very stable form of capital that can afford a very long holding period, we’re also looking for opportunities that we could necessarily hold for a long period of time. You’re investing in businesses where hundreds, if not thousands of people’s lives may depend upon an employment opportunity, you want to make sure you’re making the right investing opportunity and doing the right things by that investment.
It is important to have as much knowledge, as much data driven knowledge, as you could possibly obtain. Quite frankly, more often than not, the data that we’ve been able to gather early in the stage of an investment process has enabled us to decide when to cut bait and quite frankly to walk away from a transaction.
Time is a valuable commodity for all of us and it’s one that you can’t necessarily renew. GLG’s transformed the way we gather knowledge. In the past, it was a much more ad hock process. You might have to find somebody who is either an operating executive or a retired executive in an industry. And sometimes you might find that person and sometimes you might not.
When you’re trying to learn or obtain information, one thing that is a little bit awe-inspiring, at times, is despite this predominance of freely available information, much of that data’s unusable. We live in an age of un-currated data and what’s so great about GLG is it is a curator of our knowledge base.