Episode 8: February 8, 2024
Focusing on building relationships with founders of companies can help prevent the bidding wars that sometimes occur with brokers.
On this episode of Accessing the Pipeline, McGuireWoods partners Rubin Pusha III and Dan Howell welcome guest Glenn Williams, chief operating officer of Wayve Capital, a minority-owned asset management firm based in Philadelphia. A graduate of Duke University and Washington and Lee University School of Law, Glenn is a seasoned financial services attorney and investor with over a decade of experience in private equity, venture capital, and real estate.
Tune in to hear Glenn talk about his private equity and investment background and how that led him to start a private equity fund. Glen also discusses the challenges and complexities of being a first-time manager and running a first-time fund, as well as the role of diversity in the private equity space.
Episode 7: November 14, 2023
“I’ve always kind of abided by the principle that it’s good sometimes in life to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” says Sylvester “Sly” Burley of his decision to join Avante Capital Partners in 2019. Until that point in his career, Sly’s experience was in private equity. When he saw the opportunity to join a private credit platform that was sector-agnostic and diverse, he couldn’t say no.
On this episode of Accessing the Pipeline, host and McGuireWoods partner Rubin Pusha III welcomes Sly, who recently was promoted from principal to partner at Avante Capital Partners, a woman- and minority-owned, lower middle market private credit firm. While Avante’s debt and equity investments span different industries, Sly particularly discusses the company’s success in the food and beverage sector, which seems to be a recession-proof industry.
Sly also discusses Avante’s goals for investments. Generally credit-focused, Avante looks for companies that provide good downside protection, a competitive advantage, diversification in its customer base and its vendor base, and stable and strong margins. For Sly, one of Avante’s biggest draws is its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Avante strives to invest in a diverse ecosystem of the future.
Tune in to hear Sly talk about trends in sectors, how other investors can make the right deals for themselves, and how putting your money where your mouth is really pays off.
Episode 6: October 12, 2023
In this episode of Accessing the Pipeline, host and McGuireWoods partner Rubin Pusha III welcomes Kenneth Saffold, co-founder and managing partner of o15 Capital Partners, to discuss disparities in access to private credit and how o15 works to solve them. Kenneth shares o15’s overarching objective: making lasting impacts on social, racial and gender equity by funding businesses that target the lower middle market.
Episode 5: August 17, 2023
In this episode of Accessing the Pipeline, a podcast from McGuireWoods featuring the voices of Black professionals in private equity and finance, host Rubin Pusha III welcomes Austin Smoak to the show. Austin is the founder of the private equity firm Grove Oaks Capital (GOC), an investment partnership focused on acquiring privately owned businesses in the lower middle market space. GOC is backed by various investors, including CEOs, entrepreneurs, and institutional investors.
From the length of the deal from its inception to its closing, Austin doesn’t hold back on giving advice to other aspiring Black professionals in private equity. Austin also provides insight to what he sees as attractive verticals in the marketplace, as well as influential books that helped shape his own business practices.
Episode 4: July 27, 2023
In this episode of Accessing the Pipeline, a podcast from McGuireWoods featuring the voices of Black professionals in private equity and finance, host Rubin Pusha III welcomes Omar Simmons to the show.
Omar is the co-founder and president of Exaltare Capital Management, a consumer-oriented private equity firm with expertise in multi-unit and franchise businesses strategically partnering with lower middle-market companies at inflection points.
Rubin and Omar talk about emerging managers, deal alignments and predictions for the remainder of the year. Omar also describes the ins and outs of a major portfolio company exit he recently oversaw.
Episode 3: June 9, 2023
Tune in to the second part of the conversation from episode two of Accessing the Pipeline, a McGuireWoods podcast for Black professionals in private equity and finance, with hosts Rubin Pusha III and Greg Kilpatrick talking to 5th Century Partners’ co-founders, Jessica Patton and Bruce Hampton. Jessica is a principal at 5th Century Partners, and Bruce is a managing partner.
In this episode, Jessica and Bruce discuss their professional journeys, how diverse managers in this space can be supported, and the importance of advocates in your career. They also share valuable advice they received from mentors and thought leaders, offering listeners rich insights into their successful paths.
Episode 2: June 2, 2023
In this two-part episode of Accessing the Pipeline, a McGuireWoods podcast for Black professionals in private equity and finance, hosts Rubin Pusha III and Greg Kilpatrick are joined by 5th Century Partners’ co-founders, Jessica Patton and Bruce Hampton. They discuss their firm’s investment strategy — which focuses on three main pillars — how their team came up with it, what they look for in companies they plan to invest in, and what they look for in limited partners (LPs).
As Black professionals who engage in fundraising, Jessica and Bruce do not shy away from discussing the value of diversity within their firm and within the LPs and companies in which they invest. At 5th Century Partners, they are intentional about creating more opportunity and access where they can.
Listen to part one now and stay tuned for part two of this episode, coming soon.
Episode 1: April 6, 2023
Accessing the Pipeline, a brand-new McGuireWoods podcast hosted by Rubin Pusha III, features the voices of Black professionals in private equity and finance. Rubin kicks off this series with guest Chelsea Celistan, vice president at Providence Equity Partners, to talk about how she sets herself apart as one of few Black women on a private equity investment team and get her perspective on investing more broadly and the value of sector specialization. Chelsea shares with listeners what she believes have been the crucial ingredients to her success: her grit, internal motivation, and a strong network of people with whom she surrounds herself.
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