AltEquity was founded by Sean O'Neill and is backed by a diverse group of successful and dedicated business leaders who are seasoned investors, operators, and entrepreneurs. At AltEquity, we strive for the highest levels of integrity and motivation, and channel the strengths of our individuals to generate attractive returns to all of our key stakeholders.
Founder and Principal
Sean has a strong track record of investing in and growing businesses in North America. He has acquired, successfully grown, and integrated multiple businesses over his career by forging long-term relationships with the management teams to grow profitability through the introduction of new products and services, identification and execution of add-on acquisitions, and improvements in operations.
Most recently, Sean was with Alinda Capital Partners, a leading U.S.-based private investment firm, where he focused on security services, field services, energy, and infrastructure investments.
Sean received his MBA from INSEAD and a BA in Economics from Lehigh University.
Sean's favorite activities include spending quality time with his wife and daughters, cooking for family and friends, cycling, and automobiles.
Jeff Stevens has 20 years of experience structuring, operating and investing in search fund companies. Jeff has managed three funded searches during the period from 1990-2005, each one culminating in the acquisition of a lower middle market company. Jeff understands the elements of the search fund model that drive success. In addition, Jeff’s relationships with other experienced, successful search fund investors and current search fund principals allows Anacapa Partners access to invest in concert with a group that has been participating in this business model for over 20 years.
Prior to founding Anacapa Partners, Jeff was the CEO of three venture-backed buyouts – Balkin Cable Holdings (cable television system operator), Ancora Capital (mail presort), and Liberty Fitness (women’s fitness centers). Following these three buyouts, Jeff founded Deeelish! (manufacturer/retailer of ready-to-cook gourmet meals). In each of Jeff’s four ventures he has maintained responsibility for all aspects of sourcing acquisition/start-up opportunities, including identifying potential targets, industry analysis, company specific due diligence, and fundraising (debt and equity) to complete the transaction. Following the completion of each acquisition Jeff became the senior executive of the acquired company with direct reporting responsibility to a shareholder group and Board of Directors. Prior to beginning his entrepreneurial path Jeff was an Associate Consultant at Bain & Company.
Jeff received his Bachelor of Arts and MBA from Stanford University, and remains actively involved in the Stanford community. He participates in classroom case discussion for entrepreneurship courses at the Graduate School of Business, serves as a mentor for students participating in a two-quarter business planning course, and volunteers in numerous capacities for the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. Jeff is a member of the Board of Directors of Midwest Supplies.
Richard Augustyn is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the NIP Group Inc., one of the top 100 largest U.S. insurance intermediaries.
Mr. Augustyn has been a successful entrepreneur and innovative commercial insurance executive for more than 20 years. In addition to founding NIP Group, Mr. Augustyn has founded and directs a portfolio of several highly successful ventures in the commercial insurance and financial services industries. His business success led to being named in 2003 to NJBIZ’s Forty Under 40, a program that honors young men and women who have made outstanding contributions to their fields.
Mr. Augustyn is a nationally recognized commercial insurance expert. His television appearances include interviews on CNN/FN, WABC, and public television’s PBS and NJN. He has been quoted in publications such as the New York Times and the Newark Star-Ledger and speaks on insurance-related topics throughout the country.
Bret serves as the Chairman of Asurion overseeing the growth and success of Asurion’s strategies and business operations. He brings more than thirty years of proven leadership, business management and consulting experience to Asurion’s executive team.
Bret’s prior business experience includes CEO, COO and General Manager positions at companies such as Excite@Home, Kendara, Risk Management Solutions and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He also worked at McKinsey & Company, consulting to Fortune 500 companies on strategic, operational and organizational issues.
Bret graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelor of Science in engineering and earned an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He serves as an officer of the Board of Directors for CTIA – The Wireless Association.
He sits on the Board of Directors of Stanford Hospital and Clinics, as well as serves on the Stanford Business School Management Board.
Mr. Dahl is currently a private investor, focusing on the healthcare industry. Previously, he was the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Arrowhawk Capital Partners, an investment company and the Vice President of Strategic Business Development and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Golden Pond Healthcare, Inc. From April 1999 until June 2006, Mr. Dahl served as the head of Global Healthcare for the Carlyle Group, a leading private equity firm, where he was responsible for the firm's investments in the healthcare field. Prior to Carlyle, Mr. Dahl served as co-head of healthcare investment banking in North America at Credit Suisse First Boston.
Mr. Dahl is a director of several private companies. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cancer Research Institute.
Mr. Dahl received a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Matt is CEO and Co-Founder of Alloy Digital, one of the most important millennial-focused media and marketing companies of the past two decades.
As CEO of Alloy, Inc., Matt was instrumental in the establishment of the company’s multi-discipline marketing unit, Alloy Media + Marketing, and lead key expansions, including the acquisition of Alloy Entertainment (formerly 17th Street Productions), the youth media behemoth behind pop culture phenomenon’s “Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Pretty Little Liars, among others, which was sold to Warner Bros. Television Group earlier this year; Channel One, the award-winning premiere television news network for teens; and Alloy Education, a leader in student recruitment solutions for higher education.
Prior to founding Alloy, Inc., Matt held positions in the Finance and Operations groups at the General Electric Company, including two years at the company’s offices in Tokyo.
Matt also serves on the board of Do Something, Inc. and, in 2009, the youth focused non-profit organization honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Alloy’s considerable contributions. He has also supported youth education initiatives in New York City, dedicating his time to the Bronx Academy of Letters—awarded a rare A in both the Department of Education’s 2006-07 and 2007-08 progress reports—and as a member the PENCIL program pairing business leaders with public schools. Alloy supports other charitable organizations such as the Ad Council and the Lagrant Foundation.
Matt graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in International Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1991 and received his MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business in 1996
Mr. Ellis is a Lecturer in Management at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He is currently teaching two strategic management courses that center around the early stages of the entrepreneurial process. These courses include Formation of New Ventures (S353), and Managing Growing Enterprises (S355). Jim takes a personal interest and enjoys participating in and contributing to the learning process faced by each of his students.
Prior to coming to Stanford, Jim held a number of positions with both large and small companies. In 1995, Jim cofounded Asurion with Kevin Taweel to provide value-added solutions for the wireless communications industry. Previously responsible for Asurion's sales and marketing efforts, Jim is an active member of the company's board of directors. Jim has also held positions as a research associate at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and as a consultant with IMG and Cresap, McCormick, and Paget. He is a member of a number of Boards of Directors including BUILD, Asurion, Service Source Inc., Memento Press, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, and Southern California Risk Management Associates.
Mr. Ellis holds an MBA from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree with high honors in economics from Dartmouth College. He is also a recipient of Ernst and Young's prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Jim is Co-Founder and COO of Alloy Digital, one of the most important millennial-focused media and marketing companies of the past two decades.
As COO of Alloy, Inc., Jim led operational management and guided many of the company’s growth initiatives. Until 2005, Alloy, Inc. included the youth merchandise brands Alloy, CCS and dEliA*s. Under Jim’s direction, these businesses grew to be among the largest direct marketers (e-commerce and catalog) to teens and young-adults in the U.S. and were divested via a public to public spinoff. He was instrumental during key expansions, including the acquisition of Alloy Entertainment (formerly 17th Street Productions), the youth media behemoth behind pop culture phenomenon’s “Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Pretty Little Liars”, among others, which was sold to WBTVG earlier this year.
Prior to founding Alloy, Jim was a member of GE Company’s Corporate Audit Staff and a graduate of its Financial Management Program. He held a variety of financial, operational and business development positions within GE, most significantly in GE Japan and GE Brasil. Jim received his B.A. in History from Hamilton College in 1989.
Mr. Kelly was Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Pulmonary Services (PPS), a home respiratory services provider, until mid-2010. He also previously served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, and was co-founder of the search fund that acquired the predecessor to PPS. Peter has prior experience investing at TA Associates, a private equity firm where he originated investments in technology companies.
Mr. Kelly is a director of ResponseLink, LLC and eCompliance Management Solutions, Inc., and is a former director of PPS; Guardian Home Care Holdings, Inc.; the Council for Quality Respiratory Care (Chairman); the American Association for Homecare; Medical Equipment Distributors, Inc.; and The Governance Institute, LLC.
Mr. Kelly received a Bachelor of Arts in Science, Technology and Social Theory, a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering, and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University. He resides in Marin County, California with his family.
Pacific Lake Partners
Mr. Southern is a founding director of Pacific Lake Partners, a $90 million private equity fund investing in small-cap buyouts using the search fund model. Pacific Lake backs promising entrepreneurs searching for established, profitable service companies in high growth industries. In addition, Mr. Southern manages a portfolio of private equity investments in small to medium sized companies. His portfolio includes more than 50 search funds. Search fund investing consists of providing search and acquisition capital to promising entrepreneurs whose intent is to acquire a small, established company with revenues of $10 million to $30 million. Previously, Mr. Southern was himself a beneficiary of search fund investors early in his career. His first search resulted in the acquisition of Uniform Printing, a $43 million printer of specialty insurance documents, where he served as its CEO and chairman for 10 years. Investor returns from distributions and exit exceeded 30x the acquisition capital.
Mr. Southern holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and resides in Wolfeboro, NH and Boston, MA.
Coley Andrews is a founding partner of Pacific Lake Partners, a $90 million private equity fund focused on small cap buyouts exclusively through the search fund model. Search fund investing consists of providing search and acquisition capital to promising entrepreneurs who are recent graduates of top MBA programs. The entrepreneurs' intent is to acquire a small, established company with revenues of $10 million to $30 million and a history of profits and growth. Since co-founding Pacific Lake, Mr. Andrews has invested in over 25 search funds. He is currently a director of Out of Home America and a board visitor at Vector Disease Control, Alphacredit, Yoforia, Yates & Associates, Arizona College and Raptor Technologies.
Mr. Andrews holds an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and a BA from Dartmouth College. He and his wife Alisa along with their three children live outside of Washington, DC.
Gerald Risk is Vice-Chairman of Asurion, the world’s largest provider of technology protection services, partnering with the world’s top companies and brands to serve over 200 million customers globally. Prior to serving as Vice-Chairman, Gerald served as Asurion’s President from 2009 to 2013 and Asurion’s Chief Financial Officer for the 10 years prior to that.
Gerald is an active investor and mentor of entrepreneurial leaders in the for-profit and non-profit worlds. In this capacity, Mr. Risk currently serves on the Board of Directors of Carillon Assisted Living (provider of assisted living services in the Southeast), HealthCPA (provider of medical expense management services for consumers), and QMC Telecom (cell tower operator in Brazil).
Prior to joining Asurion, Gerald worked as an investment banker with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in San Francisco, Hong Kong and New York. Mr. Risk has also worked for Hambrecht and Quist and the private investment arm of Toronto Dominion Capital.
Mr. Risk holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar and where he served as a case writer for Jack McDonald, the Stanford Investors Professor of Finance. Mr. Risk also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce with honors from Queen’s University in Canada where he was on the Dean’s List.
Mr. Risk lives in the Bay Area with his wife and two sons.
Jim Sharpe has been affiliated with Harvard Business School as both a lecturer and Entrepreneur in Residence concentrating in the area of turnarounds, entrepreneurship and running small businesses. His interests are in the areas of business acquisitions, manufacturing, B2B niche marketing, pricing, leadership, family balance, large/small company differences, ethics, exit strategies and employee empowerment.
Extrusion Technology, an aluminum extrusion fabricator owned by Jim, was sold to a private equity firm in December 2008. The company, purchased in 1987, after an 11 month unfunded search, grew from $4MM to $32MM developing a value added products niche in the Datacomm/Telecom electronics markets and a supplemental factory in Xiamen, China. After taking on substantial debt, Jim transformed the second generation, family owned business. A focus on quality led to early qualification for ISO-9000 in 1992 and emphasis on lead time reduction and lean manufacturing techniques resulted in a Bronze Shingo award in 2008.
Jim has a BS degree from Babson College and after graduating from Harvard Business School in 1976, joined General Electric and moved on to Product General Manager positions within the GE materials businesses. After 5 years, he left GE to run 3 turn-around situations which prepared him to strike off on his own in 1987.
Mr. Taweel is Chief Executive Officer of Asurion, the largest provider of technology protection services, serving many of the world’s leading companies. Since its founding in 1994, the company has grown from a 40 person operation and now employs more than 10,000 people, serving over 200 million customers worldwide. Prior to co-founding Asurion, Kevin served as chairman and president of Mill River Corporation, an investment company. He also worked in mergers and acquisitions for Salomon Brothers.
Kevin serves on the advisory council of the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he also teaches a course in entrepreneurship. He is on the board of ResponseLink. He received a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University and an MBA from Stanford.
Mr. Thorndike founded Housatonic Partners in 1994. Prior to that, Mr. Thorndike worked with the Walker Publishing Company and T. Rowe Price Associates.
Mr. Thorndike is a graduate of Harvard College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a Director of Access Information Management; Alta Colleges; Continental Fire & Safety Services, LLC; Carillon Assisted Living, LLC; Rapid Communications, LLC; White Flower Farm, Inc. and a Trustee of the Groton School, the Boston Athenaeum, and the College of the Atlantic. He is the author of The Outsiders.
Timothy is founder and former President of CPI S.A., Europe’s leading book manufacturer with €500 million in sales and 4000 employees in plants across Europe. Following an initial acquisition in 1996, the group grew over 12 years with 20 add-on acquisitions, many of which were turnarounds. In 2005, Timothy led the management buy-out of CPI backed by private equity funds before leaving in 2008 to focus on other investments, consulting and teaching.