One of our community members asked about search fund acquisitions by graduate school. Given that IESE, Stanford, Kellogg, and Harvard business schools have held conferences on entrepreneurship through acquisition in recent months, we thought we'd take a gander at our crowdsourced data* to see what the answers might be.

Harvard beats Stanford? We've identified over 350 schools at both the undergraduate and graduate school levels who can claim at least 1 acquiror as an alum. The above chart identifies the Top 10 graduate business schools by number of acquisitions. That means if you attended Yale undergrad and then attended Harvard Business school, HBS is listed on the above chart. Given that the search fund concept originated with Professor ^[redacted]‌ at Stanford Graduate School of Business, we were surprised that Harvard leads in total number of successful search fund acquirors. If your school is under-represented on these charts, feel free to contact ^[redacted]‌ to update the information.

Is 2018 the right cut-off date for this report? You may wonder why we're not waiting until January to do this report to include 2019 acquisitions. First, there can be a substantial lag between when an acquisition occurs and when we're informed of it. Deals may be confidential due to employee and customer sensitivities. Also, new CEOs are fully absorbed in learning their new businesses and building relationships with their subordinates. For these reasons, we expect that the number of acquisitions may rise for 2018, and, commensurately, we've decided to allow a lag before we report numbers for 2019.

Global expansion. The chart immediately below shows the growth of search fund acquisitions since the 80s while the chart far below demonstrates the global expansion of search funds. In 2009, only 2 US schools from the total top 10 list of acquirors are represented. In 2018, there were acquirors from 9 of the top 10 graduate business schools -- including London Business School and INSEAD in Paris, France. Notably, IESE in Barcelona, Spain and Ivey Business School of Canada == which did not quite make the Top 10 List -- have had acquirors in recent years. In light of the strong interest in search funds globally and the need for business succession globally, we expect that our list of business schools will have an increasing global representation in coming years.

* Notes on the charts. The charts covers crowdsourced acquisitions for all types of search funds through 2018 as identified on on December 11, [redacted]We did not adjust for partnered searches. Thus, if 2 or more searchers purchased a company, their business school receives one credit. for each acquiror. This report has been updated to correct a compilation error.

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