The Operating Partner Model
What is an Operating Partner? The concept is simple, but also easy to misunderstand and misuse. An operating partner is a highly experienced executive who applies that expertise toward the development of corporate value. The application can be in the form of coaching, advice, hands-on planning, or in an operational executive role. The level of application can be with an investment firm, the board, the CEO or other members of the executive team, or the entire executive team. The level and method of application must be flexible and adaptive to the unique situation of the company.
The concept has been around for decades in Private Equity and in Venture Capital, where it's more often called an advisor, mentor, incubator, accelerator, or many other possible terms including Operating Partner (especially recently). The commonly accepted wisdom is that the Operating Partner is a tool of the investor to squeeze performance out of a fund by not only identifying the right (and wrong) investments, but also by becoming hands-on in guiding portfolio companies. We reject the concept that we are here to serve only the investor; finding the best way to build corporate value aligned with all the stakeholder's unique perspectives can benefit everyone. There are many situations where the added expertise can reduce risk and grow returns for all shareholders, whether they be institutional investors, angels and other outsiders, insiders, and founders. Such situations include strategic planning, capital raise, growth inflections, turnarounds, planning and execution for M&A, addressing performance issues, or, when necessary, leadership transitions.
Maroon Creek Operating Partners seeks to apply its experience and expertise to help investment backed companies reach their goals by accelerating corporate value development. We bring experience in multiple phases of corporate development across multiple industries; and a very flexible engagement model. In the entries that follow, we hope to pass on insights and knowledge that may help you address your particular situation. If you'd like to have a conversation about our insights, ask questions, or engage us to assist, don't hesitate to contact us.