Private Equity Fast Pitch Podcast: Brandon Knapp – Evercap Advisors

The podcast can be listened to at:

A summary of their discussion is below:

Jeff Henningsen (CEO and President of Lockton Texas) discusses with Brandon Knapp (Founder and Managing Director of Evercap Advisors) about various topics including Evercap’s founding, buy-side vs. sell-side investment banks, Gen Z entering the workforce, and a few stories about persistence and delayed gratification. 

Buy-side vs. Sell-side Representation:

Sell-side investment banking is the traditional approach where an investment banker represents the seller of a business. The investment banker helps the seller prepare marketing materials and identify potential buyers. They also help the seller negotiate and close the deal. This process can be competitive, with many potential buyers involved. The seller pays the investment banker a fee for their services.

Buy-side investment banking is a different approach where the investment banker represents the buyer of a business. The investment banker helps the buyer identify potential targets that fit their investment criteria. They then reach out to these targets proactively to set up discussions. This process can be more streamlined and minimize the business disruption caused by the many conversations ensuing from a sell-side process. Lastly, the buyer pays the fee in these situations, not the seller.

Evercap Advisors Background

Evercap Advisors is a buy-side investment banking firm focused on sourcing proprietary deals for private equity firms and strategic acquirers. The firm was founded by Brandon Knapp, who was a prior Managing Director at Crutchfield Capital where he led buy-side engagements.

What things were shocking about founding Evercap, and what went as planned?

Maybe not shocking, but Brandon was uplifted by the support he continued to receive from Eric Roddiger, his former partner at Crutchfield Capital. M&A is a small world where reputation is important as are relationships.

You shared how impressed you are with the interns you hired. Can you expand on that?

  • Brandon has been impressed with the M&A and technology knowledge of interns, which is at a much higher level than prior years.
  • Interns have had a significant impact on Evercap, like implementing a CRM system.
  • Many interns return for a second internship due to the valuable experience gained.

What do you see college students looking for in regards to internships?

  • At Evercap, we’ve noticed Gen Z appreciates flexibility in terms of in-person vs. remote, but also when they complete their work (some opting for starting later in the day and working later into the evening).
  • Our interns seem to want it all. They want to not only do the basic work, but go one level deeper in the project to see its true impact. 

In-Office vs. Hybrid

  • One of the downsides to working remotely, especially for new hires, is the lack of unintentional learning opportunities you get in an office setting. In a physical office, you can pick up on valuable insights by simply overhearing snippets of conversations, catching quick chats by the water cooler, or even just hearing discussions happening in nearby rooms. This informal knowledge sharing can be a great way to learn the ropes and see how more experienced colleagues handle their work. Unfortunately, remote work makes it much harder to stumble upon these learning moments, which can be a disadvantage for new hires trying to establish themselves and develop their careers.
  • However, at Evercap, we understand this challenge. Since our interns work remotely, we actively try to replicate these informal learning experiences. We strategically include them on many calls, allowing them to absorb valuable insights and gain a better understanding of how the team functions. By integrating them into these conversations, we hope to bridge the gap created by physical distance and foster the same kind of informal knowledge sharing that would happen organically in an office setting.

Advice from Brandon

  • Finance grads hit the ground running with strong financial knowledge and tech skills, some even boasting combined degrees in data analysis. But here’s the kicker: communicating their findings clearly and persuasively is just as important. The ability to translate complex data into compelling stories is key to getting buy-in and making their financial expertise truly valuable.
  • When reaching out to potential employers try to be clear, succinct, and add value (ex: offering a website improvement, link to an article, short list of potential acquisition targets, etc.)

Favorite Quote

 “The man who loves walking will walk further than the man who loves the destination.”

  • Lao Tzu

“If you want something, ask for it. If they don’t want to give it to you, they’ll tell you no.”

  • General Van Alstyne

Mentor and Marshmallow Test

Listen to 22:46 to hear a fun story about delayed gratification!

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