My guest today is Tracy Graham, founder and managing principal of Graham Allen Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in acquiring and building technology-enabled businesses. In our conversation we discuss how Tracy ended up playing football at Notre Dame, the key lessons he learned from famed coach Lou Holtz, why Graham Allen believes that businesses in secondary or tertiary US markets are undervalued, and why technology represents a great way to improve old businesses. I hope you enjoy my fun conversation with Tracy.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/86798473/graham-investing-in-overlooked-businesses.
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[3:35] – [First question] – Tracy’s origin story
[7:17] – Lessons from Lou Holtz
[8:58] – Why Lou was so good as a leader
[10:32] – His early experience as an entrepreneur
[15:45] – Investing principle at Graham Allen and how it was shaped by his experience
[18:41] – Types of companies they target for investment
[23:09] – Defining a unique and interesting data set
[27:14] – Mispricing data sets and the fools gold
[29:19] – Overview of a Midwest manufacturing company
[31:50] – How data is being generated in manufacturing businesses
[36:57] – Data to improve marketing
[41:13] – Using data to dissect distribution
[45:59] – Valuation of the companies in terms of multiples they are looking at
[47:31] – Business values he strongly believes in
[50:54] – Significance of Kenneth Allen in the firm
[52:23] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him