Lead Left Interview – Phil Seefried

This week we chat with Phil Seefried, founder and CEO of Headwaters MB, which recently announced a strategic transaction with Capstone Partners in which Capstone was the acquirer.  The new firm is called Capstone Headwaters. Both Headwaters and Capstone were founded in 2002.  Capstone Headwaters provides investment banking services to entrepreneurs, owner/operators and business-owning families in the middle market. Now with dual headquarters in Boston, MA and Denver, CO, the firm is comprised of over 150 investment bankers and has 16 US offices, 2 international offices, and partnerships with 18 firms covering 30 countries.   

The Lead Left: Phil, thanks for making time for us today. First of all, congratulations on your just-announced merger with Capstone Partners.  

Phil Seefried:  Thanks, Randy. John Ferrara [Capstone’s founder and now CEO of Capstone Headwaters] and I have been talking about doing this for a while. He’s a business builder and very strategic about our industry. He’s also all about building the right culture internally. I like to think that I’m the same way. You know, there are a lot of mergers in our industry. Most unfortunately end up weakening internal cultures due to institutional differences with the firms.  Not here.  We feel that these two teams are kindred spirits.

TLL: And it’s truly a people business.

PS: Yes, the people are everything but what is most important is how they work together and how their platform supports them.  It is the responsibility of leaders to create a platform that people love being a part of and can achieve great success together.  John has done that at Capstone and we are very proud of our culture at Headwaters too.  This is the key driver of the combination.