Big bets, safe bets or own the horse?

We were pleased to welcome two of Valhalla’s favorite deal junkies, Ziad Moukheiber CEO Boston Harbor Angels and Randy Thompson CEO Valhalla Private Capital.  Valhalla Angels’ members enjoyed an entertaining discussion on whether big bets, safe bets or owning the horse is their investment of choice?

So many stories and nuggets of insight to capture in one quick recap, but here are some of the highlights …

Sprinkle and Sprout vs Big Dog. If we compare number of deals done, Randy appears to have a Sprinkle and Sprout tendency vs Ziad who tends to place fewer but bigger “bets”. 

How does a founder engage these deal junkies? “I am a dreamer, make me dream with you”, captures the essence but you still better have a great deal associated with the dream!

Speaking of deal structure … both Randy and Ziad commented that there is no one “golden deal structure”. They advise that buyer beware, a deal structure does not predict the outcome of the investment. The exit is the goal, reverse engineer the sale price keeping in mind that multiples are more important than the actual sale price. Most important thing to recognize is that once you sign you are in it for the duration. A bad deal is much harder and more painful to get out of than a bad marriage.

Investing in a company depends a lot on the relationship you have with the founder. Both Ziad and Randy thrive on getting to know a founder. Ziad loves to invite a founder to a lunch meeting and observe.  How does the founder treat the servers? Do they order the cheapest or most expensive item on the menu? Who do they expect to pay for the meal? Would you pass the Ziad lunch test? I have shared several meals with him, I wonder how I did?  Randy’s litmus test is more conversation over a scotch… I am slowly learning to like scotch, but he will pick out a nice bourbon for me, so I am safe so far.

In addition to relationship, #InvestingForABetterWorld is Ziad’s #. Randy also has a similar philosophy having both invested and shared his knowledge through Valhalla’s education programs in 20+countries across the globe over the last several years.

In the end, both of our deal junkies are passionate about this asset class. Their parting comment, before you start investing, define what your investment thesis is. It can evolve but you should have a foundational belief before you start placing your “bets”.

On behalf of the Valhalla Angels membership, we wish to thank Ziad and Randy for joining us for our members only session.

Want more Ziad? Follow him @moukheiber or tune into his podcast, The Zidd and Fizz Show- Angel Talk

Want more Randy? Follow him @VAangelsCEO