From Broke to Three Fewer Zeros than Warren Buffett with Brad Nathan

November 9, 2017

It’s a funny thing to think you’re doing something totally clever and unique, and then run into someone who has been doing the exact same thing for almost 20 years except much, much better. You’d think that you’d feel threatened or maybe get this sense that you’re not doing enough, that you’re totally behind… but that’s not what happened to me when I met Brad Nathan. Instead, I found an example of someone I really want to be like when I grow up.

Brad is the founder and CEO of Lynx Equity. They acquire established small businesses from retiring owners who make an EBITDA in the range of $750,000 – $2,000,000, using a vendor take back model. They started in the Toronto area with three small deals on the back of a capital raise, and have since grown it to a family of operations with over 40 entities earning $25 million EBITDA annually on consolidated revenue in excess of $325 million, funded by $125 million in capital sourced everywhere from high net worth families, institutional investors and pension funds. Oh yeah, there was that little bump in the road along way where Brad was so broke he couldn’t even afford to pay his hot water bill. But the numbers aren’t everything, they’re a result. He got here by focusing on PEOPLE.

Listen in as we discuss details on what it really means to humanize the business of mergers and acquisitions,  the qualities one needs to possess to have a long run in this industry, what to look for in a seller, how to be patient, to follow your heart and make yourself invisible to the competition. Oh and I think there was a story about a Mexican Fisherman in there somewhere too.

I had a blast with this episode, we even threw a little shade at consolidation players and the hyped up public markets backing barely profitable ventures like Freshii.

The best news is that if you ever want to get advice from Brad himself on your deal, you just have to make a donation to the Toronto Wildlife Centre and ask.


Originally published November 4, 2017