Justin Kundrat Survey

 Justin Kundrat, Briarwood Equity Partners

Briarwood Equity Partners, Current Searcher, Self-funded

Survey completed September 17, 2020

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

More control, better economics, and I have capital to put to work unlike MBAs

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. again, more control solo and can go further down market with less competition

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

ASAP, but I have pre-existing relationships as a self funded searcher

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


What is your work experience prior to searching?

Investment Banking + Private investing

What industries and sizes of companies are you pursuing?

$0.5-2.5mm EBITDA.

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


How long have you been searching?

1-2 months.

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

Excel, GSuite.

How do you organize your day?

Still fairly unstructured between broker outreach, reading CIMs, signing NDAs, putting together diligence requests, writing LOIs.

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

Only brokers currently.

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


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


Approximately how many deals have you reviewed?


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

1, 2 weeks.

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

The overall uncertainty around everything – random lulls and deals can move slowly.

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

HBR Guide.

 What do you wish you knew prior to searching? 

That it’s OK to just start out and get your feet wet without fully committing to a search. Go down the road with brokers and opportunities that arise, even if you aren’t 100% sure you want to do a search fund. It’s costless to you (except for time). Search doesn’t have to be a full time job right out of the gate.

What single piece of advice would you share with prospective searchers?  

The most important thing is efficiency of time. Whether it’s automating a proprietary outreach or being quick in your decision to pursue/kill a deal. Inefficient searches and either dragging on a process/not getting to LOI is a waste of time for you and the broker/seller. Lots of inexperienced searchers don’t know what they’re looking for in a business and thus spend too much time on a poor opportunity or pass on too many pitches and waste 1-2 years of valuable time/opportunity cost.


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