Q: Why did you decide to become an independent sponsor?
Maury Bradsher: Having spent several years in
the national defense and security industry, I saw a unique
opportunity to leverage my expertise and connections to identify
promising investments and facilitate their growth. As an
independent sponsor, I could be more hands-on with these
investments and make decisions more flexibly and swiftly, which is
often critical in our fast-paced industry.
In addition, being an independent sponsor requires you to be
proactive in identifying and addressing problems. I have to be
prepared to wear many hats, from deal-sourcing and due diligence to
capital-raising and problem-solving. These skills and experiences
are invaluable when working alongside private equity firms and
Q: How long have you been operating as an independent sponsor,
and how long did it take you to close your first deal?
MB: I’ve been operating as an independent
sponsor for the better part of two decades now, since 2006. It took
around a year and a half to close my first deal. The initial stage
brought with it a learning curve. I needed to gain a better
understanding of the nuances of sourcing capital, carry out due
diligence and negotiate deals without the backing of a large
Q: What are some of the most impactful reasons you think the
independent sponsor model has grown so robustly, and what changes
do you envision in the future?
MB: I think people have come to greatly
appreciate working with sponsors who have domain expertise in a
particular vertical as well as sponsors who have built-in
credibility and relationships, flexibility in dealmaking and
proprietary deal flow. These qualities, along with the potential
for high returns, have all contributed to the growth of the sponsor
model. The independent sponsor model allows us to tailor each deal
based on its unique requirements and market dynamics.
For the future, I envision more structure and standardization in
terms of deal terms and processes. We might also see more
collaboration between independent sponsors as this model continues
Q: What are the most common misperceptions about the
independent sponsor model?
MB: One common misperception is that
independent sponsors are just “brokers in disguise.” In
reality, we are deeply involved in managing and guiding the
companies we invest in. Another misperception is that being an
independent sponsor is riskier due to the lack of committed
capital. While there are challenges in raising funds deal by deal,
the model also allows us to be more selective and focused on our
investments. Additionally, as you successfully close deals with
certain capital partners, trust develops. This allows the sponsor
to collaborate with these trusted partners on multiple deals.
Another misperception is that being an independent sponsor is
riskier due to the lack of committed capital. While there are
challenges in raising funds deal by deal, the model also allows us
to be more selective and focused on our investments.
Q: Recognizing every deal is different, what are some of the
most important considerations for you when choosing a capital
partner for a deal?
MB: Each deal does indeed come with its own set
of considerations. Generally, when choosing a capital partner,
it’s essential they understand and align with our investment
thesis. I’ve had challenges working with new capital providers
trying to get up to speed in national security, so it’s
important that they recognize the intricacies of the national
defense and security industry. Beyond just capital, I value
partners who can provide industry expertise, connections or
About Maury Bradsher
Maury Bradsher currently serves as the chairman and CEO of District
Equity (DE), the manager and holding company for a series of
private equity investments across defense, healthcare,
cybersecurity, real estate and entertainment. Through DE, Bradsher
has successfully restructured and recapitalized multiple businesses
into award-winning enterprises. He is a highly successful and
unique entrepreneur with broad experience gained as a corporate
financier, operator and adviser.
Bradsher has advised some of the world’s most sophisticated
organizations and family offices. He has executed transactions in
the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Germany, Spain and
the Netherlands, totaling more than $67 billion in value. Bradsher
has decades of experience serving on corporate boards across
various assignments, including finance, audit, risk, compensation
and board nomination committees.
Bradsher serves on the board of The MITRE Corp., MICA Biosystems
(chair), WWC Global (vice chair), Verijet Holdings Co. and Toffler
Associates. He serves as senior adviser to Star Mountain Capital
and as a trustee for the Center for the Study of the Presidency and
Congress, where he is the benefactor for the Vernon E. Jordan Jr.
Presidential Fellowship. Bradsher earned his B.S. degree from North
Carolina A&T State University and his MBA from New York
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