George Clark brings over twenty years of Private Equity experience to the Venture Lab. During his career, George has seen three major shifts within Private Equity and is keen to catalyze a fourth within the middle markets. In its first iteration, Private Equity funds primarily leveraged their economic power to buy companies in their moment of most dire need and made significant improvements and alterations before looking to sell. This “buy and sell” model gave way (in large part) to a kind of “buy and hold” approach, wherein the largest firms modeled themselves after traditional holding companies in order to be free to place significant resources into the businesses they purchased. While this model still exists, it has given way to a kind of Private Equity 3.0, captured under the phrase “Buy and Transform.” Here, firms are interested not only in holding companies for longer periods but also committing significant resources to pursuing innovation within those companies. This more entrepreneurial model of Private Equity not only seeks to enhance the value of a given business but ask the more basic design question of what should be done, what problem should be solved, etc.
George’s tenure in the Venture Lab is committed to discerning how to catalyze a further shift within the field of Private Equity, one we could characterize as a kind of “buy and bless” model. With his vast experience in operations and interest in the mechanics of Redemptive Entrepreneurship, George is committed to synthesizing a set of convictions about the nature of a good job, the responsibilities that come with financial and social capital, and the need for innovation and putting those convictions into practice in a kind of “Redemptive Private Equity.”