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Middle Market Musings

Business & Economics Podcasts

Middle Market Musings, a podcast dedicated to the people and ideas of the Middle Market, hosted by Andy Greenberg (GVC) and Charlie Gifford (New Heritage Capital).


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Middle Market Musings, a podcast dedicated to the people and ideas of the Middle Market, hosted by Andy Greenberg (GVC) and Charlie Gifford (New Heritage Capital).






Episode 43 Brent Baxter, Association for Corporate Growth

Brent Baxter is several months into his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of the Association for Corporate Growth, the premier trade organization serving the M&A deal making community. Brent shares his immediate vision and priorities for serving ACG’s membership, then delves into the path that brought him to this role. Childhood in western Pennsylvania, a college-era stint as in the restaurant business that honed his people and management skills, then a business and banking career in St. Louis culminating at Nolan & Associates. Brent’s youthful experience leads to the discovery that Andy and Charlie have the same favorite Italian dish – linguini alle vongole. Who says nothing in common?


Episode 42 Jim Apple, The Sterling Group

Jim Apple is partner and head of sourcing at The Sterling Group, an operationally focused private equity firm based in Houston. Jim hits the ground running with stories of a rich upbringing that included antique road shows and no TV in the house. Discussion culminates with a review of Sterling, its two current vehicles and model that includes seven drivers of value including the one Jim is responsible for – acquisitions. Before that, we hit highlights from Jim’s two earlier career stints in industrial development and investment banking. As is often the case, conversation ends up on music tastes. Jim scores with his recommendation of the Black Pumas, “an American psychedelic soul band based in Austin, Texas.”


Episode 41 Jim Andersen, Clearview Capital

Jim Andersen wakes up as if from a bad dream, and finds himself in conversation with Andy and Charlie. Jim is a managing partner and co-founder of Clearview Capital, a Stamford, CT based private equity fund that is often the first source of institutional capital for lower middle market owner/managers. Clearview is currently investing Fund V, an $850 million vehicle. We start off with tales from Jim’s early career experience stationed in Egypt with Schlumberger. Charlie seizes the opportunity to show off his mastery of the geography of North Africa. Jim goes on to detail Clearview’s trajectory as a fund that balances industry focus against selection of the right vehicle and management team. Conversation turns to a Middle Market Musings staple – culture. As a partner in a fund that has never had a principal team member leave, Jim brings some authority to the subject.


Episode 40 Rob Brown, Lincoln International

This time out, Rob Brown takes us inside Lincoln International LLC, one of the preeminent middle market investment banks. Rob joined Lincoln as one of its first employees in 1998, rising to become CEO in 2021. He charts his own and Lincoln’s development with great insight and good humor. Stick around for the second half, in which Rob, Andy and Charlie have an extended discussion about the “science of the pitch,” particularly as it bears on and channels the development of younger team members. The guitar on the wall in Rob’s Zoom background leads to an even more animated conversation – where each of the combatants list their top three greatest living guitarists. The responses are equal parts cringe-worthy and enlightened, depending upon your perspective.


Episode 39 Nishen Radia, B. Riley Securities

Hollywood settles the writer’s strike, the vast creative team supporting Middle Market Musings swings back into action, and we launch our third season with a standout guest! Nishen Radia is Senior Managing Director and Co-Head of M&A at B. Riley Securities. Nishen starts off with a panoramic tour of his well-traveled boyhood, including a stint selling (and wrecking) cars at his father’s London car dealership. Andy and Charlie then delve into an M&A career highlighted by the 20-year run of FocalPoint Partners, the M&A firm founded by Nish and Duane Stullich in 2002 and the integration of that firm into B. Riley Securities in 2022. This one is packed with business insights, but still makes room for the infamous Bollywood wedding video.


Episode 38 Chris Burbach, Fundamental Income

Chris Burbach draws the black marble and finds himself on the podcast with Andy and Charlie. Chris is Co-founder, Partner and CEO of Fundamental Income, an institutionally backed firm that offers efficient real estate-based capital to business owners and buyers, and access to net lease real estate to investors. Chris explains when and how thinking about the monetization of real estate makes sense for a buyer in the capital structure of a contemplated transaction. Before that, Chris shares an entertaining origin story – growing up in Phoenix, getting exposed to real estate value through his parent’s charter school business and having a low ceiling on the basketball court at Santa Clara University.


Episode 37 Ted Kramer, HKW

Ted Kramer is the CEO of HKW, a private equity firm that traces its lineage to the early years of the 20th century. Ted not only shares an overview of his firm’s lineage, but also traces his own beginnings in northwestern Ohio and his immersion in hockey as a schoolboy, University of Michigan star, and eventually as a professional player in the early 90s. From there, the conversation evolves into Ted’s career path, which maps to the increasing centrality of the business development role in private equity fund management. Andy and Charlie relish the appearance of an old friend who makes a lot of serious points but also joins in their often pointless, competitive, digressive repartee.


Episode 36 Devin Mathews, ParkerGale

Devin Mathews wanders out onto the Middle Market Musings stage and the audience goes wild at the cross-platform possibilities. Devin is co-founder of ParkerGale, a Chicago-based private equity fund focused on profitable technology investments, and co-originator of their successful podcast devoted to companies in the tech space. Devin entertains with his account of how an art history major from SUNY Binghamton found his way to the upper reaches of private equity. He assesses the current state of the market and shares best practices on producing an industry focused podcast, something that both Andy and Charlie believe the other desperately needs.


Episode 35C – Parker Weil, TD Cowen

Parker catches the guys up on Cowen’s successful integration into TD since his last visit. He discusses the current market from the perspective of a larger firm with two dozen professionals on the ground in Vegas. Parker and Charlie trade insights on Jerry Garcia vs. Bob Weir while Andy weighs the possibility that this conversation will make him seem “cool” by osmosis. (Prognosis? Unlikely).


Episode 35A – Bruce Fenton, Troutman Pepper

Bruce shows his skills as M&A lawyer and raconteur have not diminished since his last visit. Bruce talks about his unusual intentionality in marketing off of a law firm platform at DealMAX and elsewhere. His account of a past encounter with Peyton Manning takes about half as long as an actual football game, but is materially amusing and perfectly captures Bruce’s je ne sais quoi.


Episode 35B – Michelle Eidson, Crest Rock Partners

Michelle drops by to talk about how Crest Rock – a Denver-based PE fund founded in 2019 and devoted to software, tech and business services – set out to establish a market presence in the midst of the pandemic. She ignores the premise of “Charlie or Andy” but scores a direct on the hosts by answering, in response to a question about who you would choose to look after your children, “Neither.”


Episode 34 David Welinsky, Monroe Capital

Andy and Charlie set their sights on David Welinsky, a young star in the private credit industry. (Young = younger than Charlie.) David is a managing director in capital markets at Monroe Capital, widely regarded as a premier boutique asset management firm specializing in direct lending amongst other strategies. David talks about his upbringing, Monroe’s evolution from public BDC to diversified asset manager and the state of middle market private finance today versus a year ago.


Episode 33 Jay Weinstein, EisnerAmper

Not unlike the guy who drives through the carwash with his top down, Jay Weinstein gets the full Middle Market Musings treatment from the co-hosts. Jay is Vice Chair of Industries and Markets at the EisnerAmper accounting, tax and business advisory firm. Jay has seen all sides of the M&A business – from running accounting firms that merged into progressively larger practices, to overseeing acquisitions for EisnerAmper, to being involved in EA’s 2021 recapitalization by TowerBrook Capital Partners. A common theme is how to build and capture value in a complex professional services firm. Jay shares all – and is able to give (potshots) as well as he gets.


Episode 32 Gretchen Perkins, Avance Investment Management

Gretchen Perkins inexplicably agrees to spend an hour with Andy and Charlie. Gretchen, partner at Avance Investment Management, is one of the best known and widely respected figures in the world of private equity business origination. Gretchen shares the story of Avance, a two-year-old equity fund differentiating itself through investments in rapidly scalable business models in the consumer and technology industries. She and the guys trace the evolution of the deal sourcing discipline over the past 20 years and compare notes on what distinguishes the standout practitioners. We wind up with Gretchen sharing thoughts on a life after private equity, involving dogs and yoga (or is it dog yoga?). A fun, informative, and fast-paced outing.


Episode 31 Chad Gifford, Chairman Emeritus of Bank of America

Charles K. Gifford is Chairman Emeritus of Bank of America. Chad visits the podcast to provide valuable perspective on the current tempests swirling around the global banking system. Son Charlie and co-host Andy are on best behavior with a guest who would be an incredible “get” under any circumstances. As CEO of the Bank of Boston, Chad had a front row seat for the New England banking crisis of the early 90s. Following successive mergers, he rose to become Chairman of Bank of America. Upon retirement he remained on the board for more than 15 years and chaired the credit committee during the 2009 financial crisis. His observations on the SVB failure and successive events are anchored in these experiences and 50 years of executive leadership Is there time for trademark Middle Market Musings folderol? Of course there is! A drily humorous Gifford just what the podcast needed.


Episode 30 Andrea Auerbach, Cambridge Associates

Andrea Auerbach of Cambridge Associates stops by Middle Market Musings to offer a master class in the trends defining the private equity asset class. Cambridge Associates is a leading advisor/portfolio manager to institutional investors. Andrea oversees a team directing $12-15 billion per year to private investments, co-investments, and secondary opportunities. She shares how different GPs manage to different valuation expectations, the emergence of direct and co-investing, and the advent of greater specialization, not just in industry verticals but in functional areas of expertise. She holds her own with the guys in making vintage cultural references, including a callback to Mutual of Omaha’s Animal Kingdom. Forget all the other times Andy and Charlie touted a guest. Andrea delivers the goods!


Episode 29 Matt Carroll, WestView Capital Partners

Matt Carroll helps Andy and Charlie prove that Middle Market Musings is exactly as mature and insightful in 2023 as it was in 2022. Matt is a managing partner at WestView Capital Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm that recently closed on its $1 billion fifth fund. Matt has been a part of WestView since its inception in 2004. He charts the firm’s evolution into more intense pockets of industry focus while maintaining its stronghold as a leading investor of non-controlling equity. Matt ignites the discussion with his many passions – Boston College, family and helping younger people make their way in our business. He and Charlie swap Boston sports stories while Andy maintains a polite frozen smile.


Episode 28 Ed Bagdasarian, Intrepid Investment Bankers

LA-based investment banking luminary Ed Bagdasarian misses the Slauson Cutoff and finds himself in the middle of an episode of Middle Market Musings. Ed is CEO of Intrepid Investment Bankers LLC, now part of MUFG. Ed begins with an extraordinary family story—he is of Armenian heritage, born in Romania, brought to the United States by his parents as a young teen. The family jewelry business provided identity and an introduction to the entrepreneurial life. Ed traces his own investment banking career and then—with his partners Jim Freedman and Mike Rosenberg—the development and sale of two successful investment banks. The guys have an interesting discussion about choosing sectors versus building sectoral strength around strong bankers.


Episode 27 Rusty Goodsell, New Orchard LLC

Rusty Goodsell, CEO and Co-Founder of New Orchard LLC, joins us for a podcast all about culture – or as they say in Boston, “cultcha.” (Charlie doesn’t say that -- other Bostonians). New Orchard is an analytics company that helps business buyers and other clients more quickly assess organizational culture as part of their operational/investment decisions. New Orchard’s approach to “quality of organization” echoes the “quality of earnings” model that has become so prevalent over the past 15 years. This gives Andy and Charlie an opportunity to talk about the overriding importance of the human factor in business enterprises – an ironic topic given the chronically frosty and combative tone of Middle Market Musings.


Episode 26 Pete Stavros, KKR

Pete Stavros is a Partner & Co-Head of Americas Private Equity at KKR, as well as founder/chairman of Ownership Works, a nonprofit organization that partners with companies and investors to provide employees with the opportunity to build wealth at work. Pete and the guys discuss the role of global investment firms like KKR versus middle-market PE groups, the personal and business experiences that led to the formation of Ownership Works and the activities of that organization. There’s also discussion on how PE firms and individual businesses address fundamental social questions of wealth formation, equity and empowerment. So engrossing, Andy and Charlie forget to make fun of one another, a first for MMM.