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Memoirs of a Financial Warrior – About Blackhawk Partners and the way we conduct business

By : Ziad K. Abdelnour| 11 November 2019
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I have frequently been asked the question over the years as to What Blackhawk Partners is all about and how we conduct business.

For all those of you who don’t know

Blackhawk Partners Inc. is a New York based private “family office” that is in the business of originating, structuring and acting as equity investor in management-led buyouts, strategic minority equity investments, equity private placements, consolidations and buildups, and growth capital financing, and trading key physical commodities

Our mission is to leverage the insight and expertise of its team of advisory, investment and trading professionals to generate superior returns across a range of asset classes, while maintaining our good name and the good name of our investors.

While open to opportunities wherever they can be found, we focus on sectors in which we have access to intelligence second to none and a stellar group of operators.

At its most fundamental level, we at Blackhawk Partners believe that risk management is a corporate culture issue. To manage risks effectively over time, employees must put the firm’s welfare and the preservation of important client relationships ahead of everything else. Risk is risk, and you can’t be perfect at managing it.

Consequently, we believe that the three absolutely indispensable ingredients of our success in managing risk are: Escalation, Accountability and Culture.

  1. Escalation means communicating risk concerns to higher levels of management, getting more fingerprints on potential problem risks and challenging the notion that a business group leader ought to make independent decisions on risks that affect the entire firm.
  2. Accountability, of course, means acknowledging that people are responsible for what their business groups do, and, equally important, holding senior management responsible for evaluating all aspects of risk, including the quality of the people with whom the firm chooses to do business with.
  3. Culture. Our greatest risk protection, however, comes from ascribing as much status, prestige and compensation to those partners engaged in control functions as to those running businesses — and in constantly rotating partners back and forth between risk control and business operations.

Our deal makers are:

  1. Companies run by owners who have significant skin in the game, i.e. cash of their own rather than “sweat equity”.
  2. Companies that are growing rapidly, and with expectations that their growth will continue for at least the next three years; we aim for a minimum of 20% sales growth and 20% EBITDA growth per year.
  3. Companies generating at least $10 million in revenue for the year in which they’re seeking funding and minimum free cash flow (EBITDA) of $2 million per annum at the point of our investment. No limit on the upside.
  4. Roll-up Opportunities.

As to our dealbreakers, they are:

  1. Capital raising for Funds.
  2. Pre-revenue start-ups – we invest in businesses, not business ideas.
  3. Films and motion pictures.
  4. Public companies.

Results

Everything we do is guided by a set of principles that define the firm’s character and culture; they have been at the core of Blackhawk Partners since its inception. These enduring qualities are the shared convictions that we as partners bring to our professional and personal conduct; they are a fundamental strength of our business.

 

By: Ziad K Abdelnour

Ziad Abdelnour is also the author of the best selling book Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics (Wiley, 2011) and of the upcoming book  Startup Saboteurs: How Incompetence, Ego, and Small Thinking Prevent True Wealth Creation coming out in May 2020.

Mr. Ziad Abdelnour continues to be featured in hundreds of media channels and publications every year and is widely seen as one of the top business leaders by millions around the world.

He was also featured as one of the 500 Most Influential CEOs in the World.

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