INTRO: SOLO SEARCHER, RECENT MBA GRAD W/HANDS-ON P&L EXPERTISE
My name is John O'Brien, and I'm actively fundraising for my Washington, DC based traditional search fund, Springbrook Partners. I'd like to use this post to share a bit about my background, and look forward to connecting with investors and fellow searchers alike. But first, a brief description of Springbrook (click here for our website):
- Traditional Search Fund
- Plan to search across the United States (no geographic preference - company profile matters most)
- Top three target industries are In-Home Senior Care, Medical Claims Processing, and Water & Air Quality Testing Services (though no strict industry preference - company profile matters most)
- Currently raising Search Capital of $450,000 for a dedicated, 24 month search. I will take on the active management of the acquisition and expect a hold period of 5-7 years.
I spent the first chapter of my career at Penske Automotive Group (NYSE: PAG), which owns and operates over 400 automotive retail dealerships in the US and Western Europe. After working as a summer intern during my undergraduate degree I participated in the company's Management Development Program, which was aimed to prepare me for a leadership role at a young age. I spent two years learning every aspect of the retail dealership business model in a hands-on way, and was ultimately promoted to Pre-Owned Sales Director at Mercedes-Benz of Tysons Corner. In this role, I was responsible for the P&L of over $30MM in annual revenue and directly managed a cross-functional, two dozen member team. During my first month in the position we broke the dealership's sales record, and continued to drive both volume and margin growth in the following months and years. The experience was both rewarding and humbling at the very same time: the average age of the team I managed was more than twice my own, and the success we achieved would never have been possible without the respect and trust of team members.
After two years in this role, I took on responsibility for all New and Used Sales at the dealership, managing a larger team and holding P&L responsibility for over $130MM in annual revenue. With a desire to take the next step in my career, I left PAG in 2019 to study an MBA at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. A major part of my decision to attend IE was the program's focus on entrepreneurial career paths, and it was there that I learned about the search fund model. Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs I have always wanted to take on the challenge of running a small business, and I'm excited to pursue that dream through an entrepreneurial acquisition.