Martin Skarra Survey

 Martin Skarra, Nordic Rock Capital

Nordic Rock Capital, Current Searcher, Self-Funded

Survey completed September 18, 2020.

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

Wanted to do a regional search. Yes

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. Immigrant / not an option.

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

Short intro calls where relevant, but primarily after you have an LOI.

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

Yes, at Tuck, in order to enable a transition from Norway to the US.

What is your work experience prior to searching?

7 years as an in-house lawyer / attorney.

What industries and sizes of companies are you pursuing?

Anything, mostly blue collar, $500k EBITDA and up.

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

Pacific Northwest.

How long have you been searching?

15 months.

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

CRM (pipedrive), misc. applications, MS Office.

How do you organize your day?

That would be nice.

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

Networking / outreach / brokers & intermediaries, use them all.

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


How do you find company lists?

Misc. online databases.

Do you subscribe to broker deal lists? Which ones?


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

Find companies, build lists, help come up with new industries to target.

Approximately how many deals have you reviewed?


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

Negotiated LOI with a handful, under LOI on one now.

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

Finding enough companies to target. Prioritizing my time, there is always 10 other things you can be doing at any given time

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

HBS Guide,, Jim Sharpe, Stanford study, etc.

What do you wish you knew prior to searching?

I kind of knew what I was getting into from talking to lots of people beforehand, but you don’t really internalize how hard it can be at times until you’re actually in it.

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

Think long and hard about why you want to do it and make sure you are in it for the right reasons.


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