A Client’s Perspective: Sunny Vanderbeck

When Texas-based multi-strategy investment firm Satori Capital enlisted mid-market consultants Maven Associates to undertake due diligence projects concerning potential investments, Co-Founder and Managing Partner Sunny Vanderbeck found immediate value in Maven’s unique approach.

“Sometimes, what clients want to buy is a paper to reinforce their existing beliefs,” said Vanderbeck. “I don’t have any use for that.”

Instead this investor, entrepreneur, former military leader, and best-selling author craved novel insights into the companies Satori was evaluating: an outsider’s perspective that challenged his set of beliefs. According to Vanderbeck, business leaders tend to underestimate their competitors and overestimate or misunderstand how customers perceive the value of their own products or services. This lack of information can overflow into decision-making and have far-reaching ramifications.

Satori found that Maven’s Founder, Mark Hess, is prepared to challenge the status quo and shed light on bias.

“Mark and his team are not afraid to disagree,” said Vanderbeck.

Company leaders may make sweeping assumptions about the fundamentals of their business. Novel insights that disrupt these assumptions demand quality data. Customer interviews, for example, are gold mines for untapped perspective and a route Hess and the Maven team often explore. Vanderbeck recalls one business that believed its clients were buying on value, only to discover following an interview that they were buying on price.

When consultants draw out these types of revelations, it can be transformative. But there’s a significant difference between raw data and actionable data. The former is good to know. The latter drives leaders to consider different strategic decisions.

“Maven offers new critical thinking and actionable information that I can do something with that creates value for the enterprise,” said Vanderbeck. “They’re often in sync. But there are nuances there that change decisions.”

Satori Capital’s approach:

Satori Capital’s data-backed approach to private equity is founded on three pillars:

  1. Time horizon: They are not attached to a pre-determined time horizon. Instead, they adopt an owner mindset. Vanderbeck explained their attitude as that of someone building a family home – rather than a property flipper.
  2. Operator’s Advantage: Because Satori’s principals have hands-on experience as business founders, CEOs and COOs, they empathize with the reality of running a business. They understand the challenges and opportunities and know what questions to ask, and can often make a difference based on their personal experiences.
  3. Conscious Capitalism:  A philosophy in which profit is not a reflection of what can be extracted but instead how much value can be created.  “This is enlightened self-interest,” said Vanderbeck. “I expect conscious businesses to make, in the short-term, at least as much as an unconscious business and, over the long-term, a lot more. And to do it in a way that benefits all stakeholders.” Vanderbeck explores this in the context of selling a business in his book, Selling Without Selling Out.

Aligned in their values, Satori chose Maven to  conduct diligence projects on several mid-market companies. Maven’s expertise is fine-tuned for the mid-market, a differentiator more important in the post-pandemic climate than ever.

“The way Maven goes about consulting work is really well-calibrated to the needs of the middle and lower-middle market – on the side of both companies and investors,” said Vanderbeck

Find out more about Satori Capital by visiting www.satoricapital.com.

Find out more about Maven Associates by visiting maven-associates.com.

Find out more about Sunny Vanderbeck including his book, “Selling Without Selling Out,”  by visiting SunnyVanderbeck.com.