Betsy Brandt Survey

 Betsy Brandt, Forest Park Capital

Forest Park Capital, Current Searcher, Traditional Search

Survey completed September 21, 2020.

Why did you choose your model? Would you make the same choice again?

Partnership with investors, economics converge with ability to buy something bigger. Higher likelihood of finding something sooner. Yes, would make the same choice again.

Are you searching with a partner? If so, why did you choose them? How did you find them? If not, why did you choose to search solo?

No – lone wolf kind of gal!

When is the right time to start speaking with investors? How did you select your search and/or acquisition investors?

I think momentum is important with the fundraising process. You can start having casual conversations with investors early on and figuring out the landscape, but once you start fundraising it should be a dash.

Did you get an MBA before searching? If so, where and why?

Yes, HBS. Did not learn about the search fund model until business school!

What is your work experience prior to searching?

Investment Banking + Operating.

What industries and sizes of companies are you pursuing?

B2B and services-based, +$1.5M in EBITDA.

Are you doing a geographically focused search? If so, where?

Yes, the midwest!

How long have you been searching?

6 weeks.

What systems do you use? (CRM, Email Manager, etc)


How do you organize your day?

I block out the mornings before 12:30 for industry research, emails, etc. I schedule phone calls back to back in the afternoons so I don’t waste any time.

How do you identify prospects to acquire? Do you use only brokers, only direct outreach, or both?

40% broker, 60% proprietary (I am geography-focused).

Approximately how many direct outreach calls and emails have you made to owners?


How do you find company lists?

Apollo, Google, A-Z Database, ReferenceUSA.

Do you subscribe to broker deal lists? Which ones?

Any and all I can get my hands on haha.

Do you use interns? If so, how many? What do you have them do?

3 – industry research and building lead lists.

How many companies have you gotten to the LOI stage with? How long before your first one?

1, 5 weeks (kind of a unique situation).

What has been the most challenging part of your search? What was harder/easier than you expected?

Being consistently “on” on calls every day. It get’s extremely tiring!!

What articles, books, and resources were most helpful to you in preparing to search?

Stanford primer, Stanford study, searcher handbook. Talking to any and all searchers I could get connected to!

What do you wish you knew prior to searching?

You aren’t going to be great at it week 1. It is a learning process!


Join small company investors, search funds, private equity firms, business owners, and entrepreneurs in reading the Think Like an Owner newsletter and other project updates.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit

Get In Contact

I’m always looking to connect with folks interested in this space, don’t hesitate to reach out.