This week’s guest is Will Thorndike, an author and investor whose book The Outsiders is an all-time favorite of mine. Our conversation is in two parts. First, we dive deep into the lessons of his 8-year research project studying CEOs who were master capital allocators. These CEOs include Henry Singleton, John Malone, Tom Murphy, Katherine Graham, and Warren Buffett. We discuss how these CEOs tended to be contrarians on topics like dividends, buybacks, acquisitions, and the use of debt. As we go through each of the tools in the capital allocators toolkit, you’ll hear several useful lessons for running or evaluating a business.
In the second part, we cover Will’s career in private equity. Will founded and continues to run Housatonic Partners, investing in buyouts, recaps, and search funds. Will has been one of the most active search fund investors for decades, and given how much time I’ve spent in past episodes on the searchers or operators in the micro-cap, permanent equity space, it was great to get the perspective of an experienced LP. As always, we also take time to survey the dangers and opportunities in today’s private equity market.
For comprehensive show notes on this episode go to http://investorfieldguide.com/thorndike
For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.
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