After serving as a consultant in the United Arab Emirates for the past year, I was drawn to the search fund asset class. Not unlike the military, I want to continue leading teams in the pursuit of something noble. Following World War II, 49% of veterans started small businesses. Following Korea, 40% of veterans did the same. Without question, these individuals played a significant role in transforming our lives. Veterans founded Walmart, FEDEX, USAA, NIKE and countless others. Unfortunately, momentum is shifting. Today, less than one percent of Americans serve in uniform. Of those who serve, only 4.5% pursue entrepreneurial ventures.
Search funds offer a unique opportunity. Not unlike transitions in the military, search funds are built on principles of long term stewardship and improvement. High performing teams never stop learning, they never stop growing. As a leader, I’ve spent 30 years transforming organizations and teams. I’ve experienced the transformative power brought about by passion, drive and creativity. I’ve forged a strong work ethic built on honesty and integrity. I now want to apply my experience to preserve and grow an existing American legacy.
Small business drives our economy. I want my sons to live in a world better than it is today. I want them to experience the American dream and remain optimistic about the future. Our strength comes not from our weapons but the power of our creativity. Without strong entrepreneurial spirit, we’re vulnerable to economic complacency. As a father, this mission may be the most important of my life. As in the past, I believe veterans are uniquely qualified to lead change, drive creativity and harness the power of strong teams.