Many people would probably underestimate Marc Leder because he calls himself a banker. They usually see bankers as boring, dry corporate stiffs who do everything by the books. They could not be more wrong about Marc Leder. True, the man has a quintessentially banker background, having graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. What’s more, Marc Leder worked for Lehman Brothers in New York and climbed his way to the Senior Vice President position. However, he was so curious about bigger challenges as well as opportunities that he quit Lehman Brothers in 1995 to establish global equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc. with his Wharton classmate Rodger Krouse. The two ambitious men had a hard time convincing other fellow bankers to understand what they were doing, so it was completely unsurprising that they had to eat humble pie at the onset of their business. While today Sun Capital Partners Inc. is enjoying the fruits of its labor, Marc Leder still looks fondly at those tough early years.
From Having No Capital to Giving Capital to Others
Marc Leder recalls that Sun Capital Partners Inc. had its share of hard times. “When we talked to our friends who were in private equity, no one wanted to hire us as we didn’t have experience in private equity, just investment banking. So Rodger and I decided we would start a firm from scratch.” The two moved to Florida, “where the market was less competitive, and our strategy was to buy companies that others did not want to buy.” Marc Leder and Rodger Krouse had to start from absolute zero. “We started off sharing an office the size of a small conference room. I made the coffee, he made the copies. We had no capital.” They were not having so much fun, but they persevered. “We spent the first five years just by finding deals by hustling. Once we found the deal, we would go around and raise the money. We passed the proverbial hat around to get our first twelve deals financed.” Luckily, their hard work paid off, and today Sun Capital Partners Inc. boasts a varied portfolio containing companies across a wide range of industries like paper and packaging, retail, industry and restaurant.
Sun Capital Partners Inc. Wants to Buy You Out
Marc Leder is adamant that corporate culture is one of the first things that a global equity firm should check out in any possible target companies. He insists that a lot of cultural studies have confirmed that good corporate culture is one of the most reliable predictors whether or not the possible target company would be successful. Far from being just a theory, Marc Leder said corporate culture could be measured by four factors: adaptability, mission, involvement and consistency. Sun Capital Partners Inc. is also looking for companies that are in the lower middle and middle market with unrealized potential, with $ 50 million to $ 1.5 billion in revenue, coupled with having strong market position and the possibility of becoming a franchise. If this sounds like your company, you might want to give Marc Leder a call.
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