Kata Capital Partners LLC is a search fund, headquartered in New York, NY, focused on acquiring, operating, and growing a great business anywhere in the continental US.
Diego Cuenca is the Principal and and founder of Kata Capital Partners LLC.
Prior to Kata, Diego worked in different operations, sales, and investment roles at ALPS Advisory and Bernstein Wealth Management- primarily working with families and foundations. Diego has also had experience in early-stage venture capital and founded a surfboard design company- Makara Surf. He spent his childhood working for his brother's fast food franchise and parent’s real estate companies.
Diego received his BA in Economics-Accounting from Claremont Mckenna College and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He is a retired professional MMA competitor and avid martial artist.
Managing Partner, WSC & Company
Badge Stone is a Managing Partner and co-founder of WSC & Company (www.wscandcompany.com). Mr. Stone is involved in all aspects of the firm’s search fund investing activities, inclusive of the search, acquisition and operation phases.
Prior to WSC, Mr. Stone co-founded a family office to invest in micro-cap private companies. While at the family office, he purchased, operated and exited a security business (Perimeter Security Systems). Previously, Mr. Stone searched for a company to purchase through the traditional search fund model; ultimately, he and one of his search fund investors acquired, operated, and exited an infrastructure equipment rental business, Stone Pump & Trench. Prior to business school, Mr. Stone’s background included investment banking (McColl Partners) and operations with a large apparel company (VF Corporation).
Mr. Stone serves on the Board of Directors for Microdea (transportation software) and Richmond Alarm Company (security).
Mr. Stone holds a Business Administration degree with Distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
General Manager, MHW Ltd.
Gabe leads MHW Ltd., a national beverage alcohol importer, distributor, and service platform, and is a former Entrepreneur-in-Residence at NextGen Growth Partners (NGP). He partnered with NGP for his search to find a business with which to partner for the next step in his career.
Prior to NGP, Gabe held various roles at Microsoft, Deloitte Consulting and Accenture, as well as holding leadership positions at two beverage alcohol companies - VinConnect, a start-up direct-to-consumer wine sales platform for top international wineries which he helped launch, and La Cave Warehouse, a wine retail and private storage firm based in Dallas, TX, where he led growth and operational improvements that increased EBITDA by 39% in two years.
Gabe received his BA from The University of Dallas and his MBA with Honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Partner, Anacapa Partners
Ashley Giesler is a Partner at Anacapa Partners, a private equity firm focused on supporting entrepreneurs in their acquisition of nano-cap companies through the search fund model. Ashley has over 20 years of experience advising, operating and investing in high growth private equity and venture backed companies. Immediately prior to joining Anacapa, Ashley was an executive at Sunrun, a residential solar company, where she led the project finance and legal teams responsible for equity, debt and project finance transactions and was instrumental in developing the strategy and infrastructure necessary to support the company’s rapid growth. From 2002 to 2011, Ashley was a member of the senior management team at Asurion Corporation, a global leader in technology solutions services. During this time, she led the execution of multiple transformative acquisitions and equity and debt recapitalizations of the company. In addition, Ashley co-led the development of Asurion’s 5 year strategic plan and advised on the Company’s international expansion in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Ashley graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Order of the Coif from UCLA Law School.
Chief Executive Officer, American Security
Sean has developed a strong track record over more than 15 years 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 his team to grow through the introduction of new products and services and operational improvements. In 2007, Sean took private one of North America’s largest security and life safety companies, where he oversaw the investment from the boardroom through to the field level, working alongside management to more than double the size of the company. Sean received a BA in Economics from Lehigh University and an MBA from INSEAD.
Co-Founder and CIO, Search Fund Accelerator
Jeremy Silverman is co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Search Fund Accelerator in Boston. SFA is the first-ever accelerator dedicated to helping highly-motivated entrepreneurs that seek to acquire businesses to run as CEOs. SFA offers unparalleled mentoring and support to entrepreneurs throughout the search, acquisition and post-acquisition phases, and provides all needed equity from a fund of committed capital. Prior to SFA, Jeremy was for nearly 20 years a partner at Frontenac Company, a Chicago private equity firm that invests in family- and founder-owned companies in the lower middle market. Previously, he was a consultant with Bain & Company and then EVP of Corporate Development for WellPoint Health Networks (now Anthem). He graduated from Cambridge University and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Moderator: Joshua Klatzkin
Josh Klatzkin is a partner in Goodwin's Private Equity Group and the Business Law Leader of the firm’s Washington D.C. office. He specializes in representing private equity sponsors and private companies in leveraged buyouts, growth equity investments, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged recapitalizations and joint ventures. Mr. Klatzkin has extensive experience with cross-border transactions, complex pass-through structures and representing senior executives in buyout and merger transactions and frequently serves as outside general counsel to middle market private companies. His industry expertise includes software and software enabled services, industrial services, energy technology, consumer products, transportation and logistics and financial services. He also co-heads the firm’s Search Fund Practice where he represents search fund entrepreneurs throughout the lifecycle of a search fund.
Mr. Klatzkin is also a member of the firm's Executive Committee.