Center Stage with CohnReznick: Prodos Capital LLC

    financial sponsors independent

    The independent sponsor community is growing in size and relevance. Independent sponsors face a variety of unique challenges, including sourcing transactions, raising capital, and maximizing the value of their investments. In our experience, we’ve noticed that successful independent sponsors meet unique challenges with unique solutions. Center Stage with CohnReznick is a program designed to elevate members of the independent sponsor community for their achievements, contributions, and unique approach to achieving their goals.

    Prodos Capital LLC

    This month we’re featuring Douglas Song, Alberto Garofalo, and Matthew Cohen of Prodos Capital LLC.

    About Prodos Capital LLC

    Years in business

    • 20 years

    Number of investments

    • Currently 6 portfolio companies

    Typical size of investments 

    • $10-$50 million

    Industry preferences

    • Industrial, Business Services, Distribution, Consumer
    Matthew Cohen

    Q&A with Douglas Song, Alberto Garofalo, and Matthew Cohen, Partners

    What motivated you to strike out on your own as an independent sponsor?

    Douglas Song: Co-founded the firm with Arnold Ditri, who partnered with Sam Zell throughout the ’80s. Neither one of us had a fund and were comfortable with the Independent Sponsor model. There was not a name for our type of firm when we started, so we called ourselves a Merchant Bank.

    What advice do you have for those who are just getting started?

    Douglas Song: Give yourself at least two years of runway and make sure your first deal is a success. I encourage Emerging Independent Sponsors to partner with other Independent Sponsors or others to ensure success.

    To date, what has been one of your greatest breakthrough moments?

    Douglas Song: Our first deal, which was a great success, but working with great partners would be the most important element to our business.

    When compared to other investors, what do you consider your key differentiators?

    Douglas Song: We are focused on providing elegant exits for owner/operators that are looking for a good steward and partner for the business. We can be flexible in how we structure the deal and in investment hold periods.

    What are some of the best reasons that capital providers should be attracted to you?

    Douglas Song: We always think of our LPs first and foremost in all of our strategic and financial decisions.

    What are your greatest challenges right now?

    Douglas Song: Capacity to do more deals.

    What are some of the things you love about being an independent sponsor?

    Douglas Song: The flexibility and having each deal stand alone.

    Fun facts

    Favorite ice cream flavor

    • Douglas: Butter Pecan
    • Alberto: Stracciatella (i.e., cookies & cream)
    • Matthew: Vanilla or Vanilla with peanut butter

    Favorite snack

    • Douglas: Charcuterie 
    • Alberto: Anything with bread
    • Matthew: Always a sucker for a slice of hot, crispy plain cheese pizza!

    Name of your first or current pet

    • Douglas: Louis and Lady (cats)
    • Alberto: Poker Face (dog)
    • Matthew: Chester (Portuguese Water Dog)

    Memorable movie:

    • Douglas: “To Catch a Thief” 
    • Alberto: “Whiplash”
    • Matthew: “Wall Street”

    Best business book 

    • Douglas: “Good to Great” by Jim Collins 
    • Alberto: “The Undoing Project” by Michael Lewis
    • Matthew: “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss

    Best vacation spot

    • Douglas: Anywhere in Europe
    • Alberto: A beach in the Caribbean
    • Matthew: Aspen, CO (summer and winter)

    Favorite restaurant

    • Douglas: Jean-Georges or Nobu 57
    • Alberto: Noi, Italian restaurant in Madrid
    • Matthew: Cache Cache in Aspen, CO

    Favorite charitable organization

    • Douglas: New York Junior League (wife was a Board Member)
    • Alberto: SAUCE, supporting disadvantaged communities in Cambodia’s Battambang region
    • Matthew: The Cape Eleuthera Foundation

    Best concert you ever saw

    • Douglas: Difficult to say, but I would put Eagles or Rolling Stones at the top 
    • Alberto: Difficult to say, but I would put Coldplay or U2 in the 2000s
    • Matthew: The Rolling Stones in Nashville, TN

    Favorite beverage (adult or otherwise) 

    • Douglas: Bordeaux 
    • Alberto: Red wine
    • Matthew: I’m a simple man. A martini or a Diet Coke with lemon always does the trick.

    Most surprising thing about you that nobody would guess 

    • Matthew: I am an Instrument Rated Pilot (soon to be Commercial) and use my airplane frequently to attend industry conferences, look at new companies, and develop deal and capital provider relationships, among other things.

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    Claudine Cohen

    Managing Principal, Value360 Practice

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