Center Stage with CohnReznick: Pacific General Holdings
As the independent sponsor community is growing in size and relevance, sponsors face a variety of unique challenges related to sourcing transactions, raising capital, and maximizing the value of their investments. At CohnReznick, we’ve noticed that successful independent sponsors meet unique challenges with unique solutions, and we’ve invited members of the independent sponsor community to take Center Stage to share their achievements, contributions, and unique approaches to achieving their goals.
This month we’re featuring Pacific General Holdings.
ABOUT PACIFIC GENERAL HOLDINGS
Years in business
- 2.5 years
Number of investments
- Two private equity investments, one JV formed in South Korea as well as a number of credit investments
Typical size of investments
- We target to invest in a company with enterprise value between $75 million and $200 million, and our investment size ranges from $3 million to $30 million.
Q&A WITH MATTHEW YOON, MANAGING PARTNER, AND JEFFREY SMITH, VICE CHAIRMAN
What motivated you to strike out on your own as an independent sponsor?
Our senior team has a wealth of experience to fully address opportunities. The breadth and depth of global firms isn’t necessary for our business.
What advice do you have for those who are just getting started?
Be bold and focus on the areas that are aligned with their experience.
To date, what has been one of your greatest breakthrough moments?
Forming the company has been our greatest breakthrough moment.
When compared to other investors, what do you consider your key differentiators?
Our ability to spot an opportunity with international growth potential, and value creation through executing cross-border expansions.
What are some of the best reasons that capital providers should be attracted to you?
We have extensive experience and expertise handling complex situations to shape a transaction. Also, we have a large and unique network of strategic and financial contacts in certain international markets (i.e., East Asia and Middle East) and a high-quality team to work with capital providers.
What are your greatest challenges right now?
The greatest challenge has been learning how to operate virtually during COVID-19, particularly in a cross-border setting.
What are some of the things you love about being an independent sponsor?
Overcoming challenges and turning them into opportunities that require both hard and soft skills with creativity and an open mind; we also enjoy bringing our wealth of experience and capital to opportunities where we can make a difference.
Favorite ice cream flavor
- Jeff: Häagen-Dazs, Vanilla Swiss Almond
- Matt: Vanilla Ice Cream and 8th Ave from Playa Bowls (it is not technically ice cream, but it’s pretty close to ice cream)
- Jeff: Rice pudding
- Matt: Pringles
Name of your first or current pet
- Jeff: I have two pets named “Game” and “Scrabble.”
- Matt: Kykie
- Jeff: “Pride and Prejudice”
- Matt: Jason Bourne series
Best business book:
- Jeff: “Good to Great” by Jim Collins
- Matt: “Principles” by Ray Dalio
Best vacation spot:
- Jeff: Charlotte, VT
- Matt: Grand Cayman & Playa del Carmen in Mexico
- Jeff:La Rocca Osteria in Montclair, NJ
- Matt: Zuma in New York City
Favorite charitable organization:
- Jeff: Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT
- Matt: Foodbank in New Jersey
Best concert you ever saw:
- Jeff: Celine Dion at Madison Square Garden
- Matt: I am not really a concert person.
Favorite beverage (adult or otherwise):
- Jeff: Apple cider
- Matt: Diet Coke
Most surprising thing about you that nobody would guess:
- Jeff: I like to cook.
- Matt: I can be athletic.
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