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Fund of Funds: Accessing Top-Tier Venture Capital and Growth Equity Funds With Aram Verdiyan of Accolade Partners (Ep. 24)



Access to top-performing funds across venture capital and growth equity is often  limited to large institutional investors. Having built long-term relationships with these managers, Accolade Partners is able to gain access to their deals and offer high-net-worth clients  the opportunity to invest via diversified funds of funds. 

In this episode, Kevin Kaylakie talks with Aram Verdiyan, partner at Accolade Partners and one of SineCera Capital’s partners, to break the stigma around fund of funds’ high-cost structure. Aram also shares his experience using concentrated capital allocations to enhance portfolio returns.

Aram discusses: 

  • ”03:30” Three compelling reasons to invest in a fund of funds
  • ”17:21” Why growth equity remains an immensely underappreciated asset class within private equity
  • ”20:29” The relevance of blockchain venture funds (with a brief overview of blockchain technology)
  • ”33:40” How the current recessionary period has impacted valuations
  • And more

Connect With Aram Verdiyan:

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About Our Guest:

Aram Verdiyan is a partner at Accolade Partners. Previously, he worked on the investment team at Andreessen Horowitz. Before that, Aram worked in BD, sales and marketing at Aviatrix, a cloud native enterprise software company. Aram worked at Accolade from 2012 to 2015 as a Senior Investment Associate and at Deloitte Consulting LLP. He holds an M.B.A from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) and a B.S. from George Washington University.



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Early-Stage Venture Capital: Opportunities in Enterprise SaaS & Fintech With Anna Garcia (Ep. 23)



Seed-stage investing is a fascinating space where startups can offer considerable growth potential in their earliest stages. That attractiveness is further fueled by the recent upsurge in successful Enterprise SaaS and B2B Fintech startups.

In this episode, Kevin Kaylakie talks with Anna Garcia, the Founder and Managing Partner of Altari Ventures, a New York–based venture capital fund focused on B2B Fintech and Enterprise SaaS startups. Anna shares her experience in pre-seed, seed, and post-seed funding and insights into her priority investment themes in today’s environment.

Anna discusses: 

  • ”02:10” Her journey as a financial practitioner, an angel investor, and a venture capitalist
  • ”06:57” The key differences between different stages of seed investing
  • ”12:24” Advantages that smaller, newer managers have in venture capital
  • ”19:01” The impact of recession on capital flows into private equity
  • And more

Connect With Anna Garcia:

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About Our Guest:

Anna Garcia, CFA, is the founder and managing partner of Altari Ventures, a New York based venture capital fund focused on pre-seed, seed, B2B, FinTech, and enterprise SaaS. Altari Venture’s priority investment themes include data-driven business intelligence, capital markets technology, institutional asset management technology, CFO tech stack, embedded finance, and decentralized centralized infrastructure conversions.

Immediately prior to founding Altari, Anna was the general partner and co-founder of Runway Venture Partners, a post-seed B2B SaaS fund. Before venture, she spent 17 years on Wall Street in a variety of senior investment banking and asset management roles at Merrill Lynch, Jeffries and JP Morgan.

Since becoming involved in the New York startup ecosystem post financial crisis, Anna has actively leveraged her unique perspective as a financial practitioner and software investor, as well as her extensive network, to source and vet investment opportunities and support portfolio companies’ growth. Anna’s notable investments include Trumid, a FinTech unicorn, Liveoak Technologies acquired by DocuSign, Owlet, taken public in a SPAC IPO, Logiwa, YayPay acquired by Quadient, Agilis, Monit. She was recognized with a market’s choice women in finance 2017 award for excellence in FinTech and named to innovate finance women in FinTech powerless of 2018.




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Venture Capital Today: Creating Alliances and Evaluating Market Segments With Steve Brotman (Ep. 22)



Early-stage venture capitalists (VCs) often lack the capital required to fund their pro-rata shares in subsequent financing rounds of their leading portfolio companies. That’s where Alpha Partners, instead of competing head-on against them, partners with early-stage VCs to bridge that capital gap.

In this episode, Kevin Kaylakie talks with Steve Brotman, the managing partner of Alpha Partners and a strategic advisor to Pritzker Group Venture Capital. They talk about Steve’s experience in the venture capital space and some interesting market segments in the current economy.

Steve discusses: 

  • ”04:40” How he came to start his own growth equity firm, Alpha Partners
  • ”17:02” The major barriers to entry in the current venture capital landscape
  • ”22:54” How a potential recession and the rising cost of capital might influence venture capital moving forward
  • ”25:53” Market segments worth looking into during economic downturns
  • And more

Connect With Steve Brotman:

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About Our Guest:

Steve Brotman’s first entrepreneurial effort was when he was the co-founder of a venture-backed company known as the pioneer of online classified advertising platforms called AdOne. He started AdOne as an assignment in an entrepreneurship class at Columbia Business School and the company later signed over one third of the newspaper industry at the time.

He moved on to found Silicon Alley Venture Partners with $15 million assets under management. He later became the co-founder and Managing Director of Greenhill SAVP, a technology and business information services venture capital fund with $100 million under management.

Steve is now the founder and managing partner at Alpha Partners. He is also an entrepreneur, investor and fund manager, and serves as a Strategic Advisor to Pritzker Group Venture Capital.




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Transitioning Capital Through a Value Added Partner With Gina Luna (Ep.21)



After nurturing a family business for years, a founder may now be looking for successors who can grow it to the next level.

This transfer can be within the family, to an existing employee, or to a strategic investor.

In this episode, Kevin Kaylakie speaks with Gina Luna, Founding Partner of GP Capital. They provide strategies on how to set up your business for success through purpose-driven wealth management. They also explore investment opportunities in the private credit space for high-net-worth individuals looking for businesses to invest in.

Gina discusses: 

  • ”05:04”  What an SBIC fund is?
  • ”09:27” How to facilitate transfers between generations in a family business or company.
  • ”11:29” What happens when the business founder has no successor post-retirement.
  • ”21:26” The difference between private investors and institutional investors.
  • And more… 

Connect With Gina Luna:

Connect With SineCera Capital:

About Our Guest:

Gina is a founding partner of GP Capital. Gina founded Luna Strategies in 2016, where she counseled companies and their leaders on complex strategic issues and growth initiatives. She also serves on the board of public and privately held companies. Prior to founding Luna Strategies, Gina held senior executive roles with JPMorgan Chase during her 22-year career at the company. Most recently, she served as Chairman of the Houston Market and Managing Director of Chase Commercial Banking.

Gina is a member of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch, and St. Luke’s Health System. She also serves as a trustee of The Texas A&M Foundation, The Welch Foundation, The Welch Institute for Advanced Materials, and Baylor College of Medicine. She was elected chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership in 2015 and continues to serve on the board and executive committee. She was the founding chairman of Houston Exponential and serves as a senior advisor to HX Venture Fund. Gina is a summa cum laude graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Finance and management.

Gina serves on the Management and Investment Committee of GP Capital.

 


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A Next Gen Perspective on Impact Investing and Philanthropy With Chelsea Toler (Ep.20)



In the world of investing and philanthropy these days, the focus is on impact. There is a generational divide on what this actually means and how to approach it.

In this episode, Connee Sullivan speaks with Chelsea Toler, Founding Partner at NOVA Impact and President at Keep Families Giving Foundation. Together, they talk about implementing impact strategies while being mindful of investment returns and risks.

Chelsea discusses: 

  • ”04:25”  How various generations approach impact investing 
  • ”07:34” How to combine your philanthropic strategies with existing organizations within your community
  • ”11:44” Linking impact investing to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
  • ”14:17” Key structures and vehicles you can leverage for impact investing 
  • And more

Resources:

Connect With Chelsea Toler:

Connect With SineCera Capital:

 


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Art-Secured Loans: A Unique Gateway to Private Credit with Alan Snyder (Ep. 19)



Have you ever considered fine art as collateral for private credit investments?

The high-end art market attracts ultra-high-net-worth clients from around the world with art-secured lending becoming a globally valued asset class.  For private credit investors, it can be a great diversifier for their portfolios.

In this episode, Kevin Kaylakie speaks with Alan Snyder, the Founder and Managing Partner at Shinnecock Partners, and the Founder of artLending.com. Together, they walk you through the process of securing private credit using art as a collateral — from the viewpoint of both buyers and lenders.

Alan discusses: 

  • ”04:38” The benefits of art-secured financing
  • ”13:41” The comprehensive due diligence process involved in art-secured private lending
  • ”19:15” How investors can mitigate risks involved in using art as collateral
  • ”30:01” The applications of blockchain and NFTs in the world of fine art
  • And more

Resources:

Connect With Alan Snyder:

Connect With SineCera Capital:

About Our Guest:

Alan Snyder is the founder and managing partner of Shinnecock Partners. Alan was the founder, CEO, president, and chairman of the Board of Answer Financial Inc. and Insurance Answer Center, CEO of Aurora National Life Assurance, president/COO of First Executive Corporation and executive vice president and board member at Dean Witter Financial Services Group (predecessor to Morgan Stanley), where he formulated the launch of the Discover Card as a member of a three-person team. He is also the former chairman, president and board member of the Western Los Angeles Boy Scout Council. Alan is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.


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Addressing the Founder’s Dilemma from a Private Equity Lens with Amanda Eisel (Ep. 18)



As an entrepreneur or a private equity investor, you may be involved with businesses that are in their early growth stages and transitioning from “founder-led” to “professional management.”

In this episode, Connee Sullivan speaks with Amanda Eisel, the CEO of Zelis, who has significant experience in private equity and working with founders. Amanda discusses how these transitions affect businesses and the real impact of the founder’s dilemma (the question of when or if you should step aside for an outside CEO).

Amanda discusses: 

  • ”03:37” Why businesses experience founder’s dilemma
  • ”07:58” Whether the founder’s dilemma should be a key consideration in private equity investments
  • ”10:47” What new CEOs entering founder-led businesses ought to know
  • ”12:57” Leadership insights to improve your company’s team dynamics
  • And more

Connect With Amanda Eisel:

Connect With SineCera Capital:

About Our Guest:

Amanda Eisel has focused the last 20 years of her career at the intersection of healthcare and technology. She has been deeply involved in creating and scaling multiple growth technology companies including Waystar, Applied Systems and Viewpoint. Amanda has been a member of the Zelis team since 2019, playing a leadership role across Zelis’ growth, operational and talent strategies. Amanda started her career at McKinsey & Company, where she spent nearly a decade advising consumer companies. Prior to Zelis, Amanda was an Operating Partner at Bain Capital focused on technology and healthcare IT companies.

 


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Private Market Investing for Family Offices and High-Net-Worth Individuals with Alexander Schoenbaum (Ep. 17)



The private market space has been around for a long time. But recently, it has been gaining interest from family offices and high-net-worth individuals.

SineCera Capital remains highly committed to finding the right private investment managers who can be trusted with clients’ capital.

In this episode, Kevin Kaylakie sits down with Alexander Schoenbaum, CEO of CrowdOut Capital, a leading private investor in lower-to-middle-market companies. Alexander shares how CrowdOut Capital makes private investment opportunities easily accessible to family offices and individual investors.

Alexander discusses: 

  • ”12:08” The growth of private debt investments as an asset class
  • ”19:28” The impact of COVID-19 on the private investment space
  • ”25:31” How CrowdOut enables clients to participate in funds as well as individual deals
  • ”30:54” Valuable advice for families and individuals new to private investing
  • And more

Connect With Alexander Schoenbaum:

Connect With SineCera Capital:

About Our Guest:

Alexander Schoenbaum co-founded CrowdOut Capital after more than a dozen years of direct lending, private equity, and investment banking experience. He has provided financial and strategic advisory services to many growing middle market companies across a range of industries including: consumer, retail, telecom, media, manufacturing, technology, financial services, oil & gas, and industrials. Collectively, Alexander has completed more than $3 billion of transactions, including both debt and equity placements.


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Making Data Driven Philanthropy Decisions with Susan McDowell (Ep. 16)



In working with clients on their philanthropic goals, SineCera Capital brings the same rigorous analytic approach as it does with investments. 

In this episode Connee Sullivan highlights one of the Austin non-profits that best fits this model. LifeWorks is on a mission to end youth homelessness, and does so with a focus on data-driven results. 

Since launching in October 2018 with a goal to end youth homelessness in Central Texas, LifeWorks has transitioned almost 1,000 youth from literal homelessness to permanent housing, and done so with an 80% success rate.

In this episode, Connee Sullivan, Head of Family Office Services at SineCera Capital, interviews Susan McDowell, CEO and executive director at LifeWorks. They discuss the measures that LifeWorks is undertaking to end youth homelessness and help these youth build lives of self-sufficiency.

Susan discusses: 

  • ”03:44” LifeWorks’ data-driven approach to systematically tackle youth homelessness
  • ”09:15” Success stories of homeless people who have ‘made it’ in life
  • ”14:31” Shelter opportunities in the hot real estate market
  • ”18:44” A new way to approach philanthropy by millennials
  • And more

Connect With Susan McDowell:

Connect With SineCera Capital:

About Our Guest:

Susan McDowell is the CEO of LifeWorks, a youth and family service organization in Austin, Texas that helps transition-aged youth achieve self-sufficiency through housing, education and mental health support. Susan is active in numerous civic organizations and regional planning efforts. She has been awarded “Austinite (Under 40) of the Year,” and “Central Texas Social Entrepreneur of the Year,” by Ernst and Young. She participated in the 2007 Marshall Memorial Fellowship Program and was awarded the Anita and Earl Maxwell Lifetime Achievement Award through the Ethics in Business and Community Awards. Susan holds a B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University and the University of Texas-Austin, respectively.


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Diversifying Through SineCera Capital’s All-Weather Portfolio With Kevin Kaylakie and Adam Packer (Ep. 15)



In 2021, we experienced a spike in inflation rates, bond tapering by the Fed, and increased popularity of cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

How did SineCera Capital’s all-weather portfolio perform through it all?

Find out in this episode, as Kevin Kaylakie and Adam Packer provide insight on the impact of various economic factors and market trends on our all-weather portfolio in 2021.

Adam discusses: 

  • ”02:15” Why U.S. treasuries are a strong portfolio diversifier
  • ”08:26” Effective inflation-hedging asset classes
  • ”17:35” The impact of inflation, both when it is transitory and long-term
  • ”26:45” The future scope of cryptocurrencies and NFTs in our all-weather portfolio
  • And more

Resources

Connect With Adam Packer:

Connect With SineCera Capital:

Disclosure:

Asset Allocation may be used in an effort to manage risk and enhance returns. It does not, however, guarantee a profit or protect against loss. Increase in real interest rates can cause the price of inflation-protected debt securities to decrease. Interest payments on inflation-protected debt securities can be unpredictable. Index returns are unmanaged and do not reflect the deduction of any fees or expenses. Index returns reflect all items of income, gain and loss and the reinvestment of dividends and other income. You cannot invest directly in an Index. Investing in commodities’ entail significant risk and is not appropriate for all investors. The price of Digital Assets is affected by many factors, including, but not limited to, global supply and demand, the expected future prices, inflation expectations, interest rates, currency exchange rates, fiat currency withdrawal and deposit policies at cryptocurrency exchanges, interruptions in service or failures of major cryptocurrency exchanges, investment and trading activities of large investors, monetary policies of governments, regulatory measures that restrict the use of cryptocurrencies, global political, economic, or financial events. Pricing also might be influenced by efforts at market manipulation by certain participants. Drastic or even gradual changes in price of cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency derivatives could materially affect the value of the Client’s Digital Assets. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee returns or eliminate risk in any market environment. Although bonds generally present less short-term risk and volatility risk than stocks, bonds contain interest rate risks; the risk of issuer default; issuer credit risk; liquidity risk; and inflation risk. Risk associated with equity investing include stock values which may fluctuate in response to the activities of individual companies and general market and economic conditions. There are risks associated with investing in Real Assets and the Real Assets sector, including real estate, precious metals and natural resources. Investments can be significantly affected by events relating to these industries. All investments include a risk of loss that clients should be prepared to bear. The principal risks of SineCera Capital strategies are disclosed in the publicly available Form ADV Part 2A.