Episode no.5

Dive into the World of Private Equity with Jay Coughlon

Hosted by Bryan Taylor and Pat Linden

Podcast details

In the realm of private equity, triumph isn’t just about raking in cash—it’s a calculated tango of plotting, alliances, and an unwavering focus on clientele. Enter Jay, a seasoned capo in the private equity underworld, whose saga unfolds as a crucial roadmap for both entrepreneurs and investors.

Jay Coughlon, the co-founder of Fruition Partners, a private equity firm based in Denver, Colorado, joins the BizMafia family in this episode. Often hailed as a “middle market don” in the private equity circuit, Jay boasts a legacy of over two decades, marked by orchestrating more than 50 private equity deals through Fruition Partners alone.

In our conversation with Jay, we discussed his career journey, how his private equity firm decides to invest (or not), how it operates, and the crucial role of strategic planning for entrepreneurs before and after they accept private equity investment. From his days in the ranks of Bank of America, to his tenure with PE titan KRG Capital, and his co-founding of middle-market PE investor Fruition Partners, Jay unfolds a narrative rich in calculated moves. Jay emphasized the importance of building a strong leadership team and warned about the inevitable discomfort and disruptions that come with business growth.

Jay’s revelations spotlighted the intricacies of the private equity underworld, emphasizing the indispensability of improving scale and the role of a trusted confidant in enhancing the efficiency of operations. His seasoned counsel unveils the intricacies of what creates private equity success, exposing the fine art of blending strategic acumen, unbreakable alliances, and a commitment to customer value—just as Jay’s saga illuminates.

What We Discuss

  • [00:00:42] – Meet Jay Coughlon
  • [00:03:19] – Jay on starting Fruition Partners
  • [00:09:39] – Typical deal characteristics
  • [00:09:48] – Consolidation opportunities in fragmented industries
  • [00:10:41] – Real-world example of fragmentation
  • [00:19:19] – The uncomfortable process of change
  • [00:22:19] – The impact of private equity on business growth
  • [00:31:40] – Cash flow and financial metrics in private equity
  • [00:39:12] – The importance of employee and customer satisfaction
  • [00:46:07] – Trust issues with private equity firms
  • [00:47:39] – Different components of a private equity deal
  • [00:48:51] – The importance of considering long-term happiness and satisfaction
  • [00:56:24] – What to look for in an ideal private equity partner

Notable Quotes

  • [00:24:44] “A good entrepreneur can change things so fast inside of a company that the macro environment is much, much less of a factor.” – Jay Coughlon
  • [00:48:51] “It’s about that drive, it’s about growing something, it’s about building something, it’s about being satisfied when you go to the office every day.” – Jay Coughlon

Our Guest

Jay Coughlon, co-founder and managing partner at Fruition Partners, boasts 23+ years in private equity and platform leadership. A former co-founder of Lariat Partners, he played a pivotal role since its 2013 inception. Before that, Jay served as a managing director at KRG Capital, managing over $3 billion in capital. He initiated his career at Bank of America Securities, specializing in middle-market Financial Sponsor Leveraged Finance. A Marquette University graduate in accounting and international business, Jay is recognized for his extensive experience and expertise in navigating the complexities of private equity investing.

Resources and Links

Jay Coughlon

By Jay Coughlon, the co-founder of Fruition Partners, a private equity firm based in Denver, Colorado

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Jay Coughlon

By Jay Coughlon, the co-founder of Fruition Partners, a private equity firm based in Denver, Colorado

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