I love the entrepreneurial energy here. I’ve always liked working with a small team that’s excited about what they're doing. I like the prospects of the portfolio. And I think it's exactly the right time to bring in someone like me—for our companies and for Fort Point Capital. Once a company comes into the fold as a portfolio company, almost immediately that relationship requires real time and attention from the partners in the fund.
Fort Point Capital
David Logan was previously an Operating Partner at Fort Point Capital. In this capacity, he focused on value creation opportunities with our portfolio, and provided operating support for our companies. Dave’s experience spans a wide range of industries, including business and consumer services, education, transportation and logistics, healthcare, manufacturing, entertainment, and software.
Prior to joining Fort Point Capital in 2015, Dave was an Operating Partner with The Riverside Company’s Micro-Cap Fund for eight years, where he served as Chairman of multiple portfolio companies. His company OnCourse Learning won the 2014 Private Equity International Award for Operational Excellence after completing 6 add-on acquisitions in its hold period, leading to an 8x increase in revenue, a 15x increase in profits and a successful exit.
Prior to Riverside, Dave was Chief Executive Officer of Merit Entertainment, where he achieved a tenfold increase in shareholder value, while leading the company to the industry’s top award for five years in a row.
Prior to Merit, Dave was President of Wright Line, Inc., and held senior positions in operations, finance and general management at Avery Dennison Corporation. He was also a management consultant for McKinsey and Company.
Dave received a B.A. in political science summa cum laude from Whitman College and an MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Chicago. He enjoys bicycling, kayaking, Starbucks and travel.
How would you describe the role of Operating Partner to a potential client?
The typical role of an operating partner is to be an involved and supportive Chairman. Whereas most private equity investors have classic corporate finance backgrounds—which is to say they've worked in investment banks, private equity funds, hedge funds or similar organizations—your classic Operating Partner is someone who has run businesses. Someone who has run a company and then achieved a successful exit. Someone who, hopefully, has acquired some wisdom about how to do that via his or her own experiences. Before I became an Operating Partner on the investment side of the fence, that’s exactly what I did. I was the CEO of a portfolio company.
What makes an Operating Partner at Fort Point Capital unique?
As an Operating Partner at Fort Point Capital, I help support the growth and development of our portfolio companies—as well as supporting the development of our portfolio. Which means, when we’re considering deals, I focus on the operational aspects of the companies in due diligence. I help our management teams and the investors better understand each other and come to a common point of view about things. And then, when they’re ready, I help to ensure our portfolio companies are 100% prepared for exit.
What appealed to you the most regarding the opportunity here at Fort Point Capital?
I love the entrepreneurial energy here. I’ve always liked working with a small team that’s excited about what they're doing. I like the prospects of the portfolio. And I think it's exactly the right time to bring in someone like me—for our companies and for Fort Point Capital. See, once a company comes into the fold as a portfolio company, almost immediately that relationship requires real time and attention from the partners in the fund. It's very helpful to have someone like me who can devote that time and attention to the portfolio of companies so that the transacting partners have time to go out and develop new relationships and new deals.
Did you have an aha moment when you knew you wanted to get into private equity?
I’ve always been a generalist. I’ve always resisted specialization and, at least in my own opinion, felt that I’ve been at my best as a problem solver in situations requiring somebody to bring both generalist and integration skills to a situation. So, no, I never really specialized in a specific industry or function. I’m a business decathlete and private equity fits this skill set well.
You didn’t take the traditional business school/finance/Wall Street path?
Not exactly. I was actually a liberal arts major at Whitman College, in political science. From there I went to University of Chicago to get an MBA, which I did specifically to retain that sense of flexibility that I so valued, even back then. I got degrees in both finance and marketing so I’d be able to do either one. After business school, I joined McKinsey and Company so I could see lots of different industries and collect lots of different perspectives. Even when I went to Avery Dennison — I went there principally because it had 50 distinct business units and I thought I’d get a wide range of experiences there. Which I did. Then, much later, as an Operating Partner, I went on to be responsible for companies active across a wide range of industries—from weight loss to professional education to nursing home oxygen delivery to software and gaming. So I've always been a generalist problem solver. That’s really my sweet spot.
What do you intend to achieve at/with Fort Point Capital?
My goal in coming to Fort Point Capital is to help this fund grow into a very successful middle market private equity fund. Our plan is to raise another fund within the next year or so and begin to accelerate the growth after that. To do that, I hope to define a set of operating practices and principles, a way of doing things, regarding the operations of our portfolio companies. This will be very helpful to them and will add value for our investors.
Any single achievement that you’re especially proud to have been involved with?
The success we had with OnCourse Learning while I was an Operating Partner at The Riverside Company was memorable, definitely. For three reasons. First, we won the 2014 Private Equity International Award for Operational Excellence and delivered a 5.4x return—which was absolutely terrific news for everybody invested in that fund. Second, watching the CEO I recruited grow from a Chief Financial Officer (the role for which I initially recruited him) into a full-fledged CEO—someone who can truly run the business and carry the emotions of the entire organization—that was hugely meaningful to me. And third, the transition of that particular relationship from a mentor-mentee situation to both a personal friendship and an ongoing professional relationship has been gratifying. You put all three together and it's just a terrific experience.
What should current and potential Fort Point Capital portfolio companies know about David Logan?
I'm a guy who has actually been out there as a CEO. I’ve walked more than a few miles in the CEO’s shoes at more than a few companies. So I really do know what it’s like when you're trying to keep the customers happy, to not lose your employees, and to grow the profits and the image of the company all at the same time. I really do understand the job of a CEO. I know what it's like to be a CEO and to sell a company. And I know what it's like to be a CEO and to be bought out. And I can help. That’s the main thing, really. Just that I can help.
I’m very proud of my kids and my family. My Mom, at age 80, can process shorthand at 600 words a minute to this day. I’ve learned life is more fun when it’s an adventure, and I maintain a deep and abiding love for Starbucks coffee.