Lead Left Interview – David Petrucco, Ed Cerny, and Mark Gudis

This week we chat with David Petrucco, Ed Cerny, and Mark Gudis – founding partners of Backcast Partners Management. Backcast is a recently formed venture that focuses on providing direct debt and equity capital to middle market companies across industries.

The Lead Left: Gentlemen, congratulations on your new gig. What’s your thesis for Backcast?

David Petrucco: For starters, we’re staying in our marketplace.  Our market is a personal one, and the three of us have developed hundreds of relationships over the years that we enjoy and who trust us, and that makes a difference. We enjoy delivering impactful value to our portfolio companies and have always tried to bring something differentiated to the market. We loathe commoditized financing. At Backcast, with our large operating partner network and affiliation with Centre Partners – people we’ve known personally and professionally for over 25 years – we feel better positioned than ever to bring unique value to our market.

TLL: They’re a great firm. What’s their role here?

Ed Cerny: They provide all our infrastructure: back office support, finance, accounting, payroll, IT, HR etc. That takes away all the day-to-day administrative headaches from our business so we can focus on investing.

DP: It’s also about the expansion of our collective relationship networks, and most particularly, our corporate operating partner network, or our “COPs”. With Centre, we now share more than 50 corporate execs, most of whom are expected to invest in our fund, and who will receive preferred economics and therefore share an alignment of interest with us. They help with sourcing, due diligence and an ability to deliver value that extends beyond just financial capital. These professionals have enjoyed successes in virtually every sector we have invested in and share an owner/operator perspective with us. There isn’t much they haven’t seen before and there aren’t many businesses where they can’t point out the paths to success and the pitfalls to avoid. This enables us to compete more effectively than simply trying to shave 25 basis points off a term sheet in order to win mandates. We really try to find places where we can make a difference. The testimonials on our website provide some context on this incredible resource. They cover a history of transactions we’ve done at Kayne Anderson, SAC, and Blackstone.