How would you describe your role?
Honestly, my focus is all about our investors. True, I am responsible as a partner for running the firm, but my true passion is helping individuals understand the tremendous value and potential of venture capital and how it may best fit into their entire wealth planning strategy. I love to listen to our existing investors and our potential investors while learning about their families and financial goals. I manage our internal team that works diligently to understand the needs of our investors and how to best communicate with them.
What about your background led you to VCapital?
I was fortunate to have another completely different career prior to my time in wealth management. I served as the Head Golf Professional at Detroit Golf Club from 1982 through 1990. Personal relationships and experience gained in my time in the golf business prepared me well to create, build, and associate with successful companies. In 1990, I started my own financial services company in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. My team and I provided insurance and investment planning to the owners of closely-held businesses. This led to joining William Blair & Company in 1998 where I founded and managed an open-architecture investment management platform called William Blair Select. This program served financial advisors, both internal and external to the firm, by offering an outsourced supplement to their investment management. The program grew to $1.2B in client assets during my 11-year tenure.
What is your venture capital philosophy?
Venture Capital is all about trust. We need to trust that the companies we choose to invest in have potential future value. The companies need to trust that we will support them, offer our expertise, and provide access to our networks to help grow their business. Our investors need to trust that we understand their financial situation and that venture capital has a strategic place for them.