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Counsel Views – Episode 8: GoldPoint Partners and private equity investing

Trusted relationships, strong partnerships, and deep-seated knowledge and experience, work together to deliver key access to and long-standing success in private equity

Counsel Views, hosted by Stu Morrow, Vice President and Head of Investments, RBC PH&N Investment Counsel, is an audio series aimed at bringing insights to clients from thought leaders and experts across Canada’s leading wealth management firm.

Episode guest: Charles (Chaz) Cocuzza and Scott Iorio, Managing Principles, GoldPoint Partners

In this episode of Counsel Views, Charles (Chaz) Cocuzza and Scott Iorio, Managing Principles at New York City-based GoldPoint Partners, and co-heads of the firm’s Select Manager Fund Program, provide important insights into the fast-growing private equity market. GoldPoint Partners is a trusted external manager who has been working with RBC since 2007, and they provide private equity solutions for RBC PH&N Investment Counsel clients.

Over the last decade, investors have been increasing allocations to private market assets, such as core real estate, infrastructure, commercial mortgages, private debt and private equity. These assets provide unique and important diversification benefits for investors, while increasing the yield and return potential of clients’ portfolios.

Chad Cocuzza joined GoldPoint in 2005 and is currently a Managing Principal of GoldPoint in the Investment Group. Prior to joining GoldPoint, Mr. Cocuzza worked at Northport Partnership Management, LLC where he provided accounting and systems consulting services to firms throughout the private equity industry. Mr. Cocuzza earned a BS in Finance in 2003 from the Rutgers University School of Business.

Scott Iorio joined GoldPoint in 2006 and is currently a Managing Principal in the Investment Group. Prior to joining GoldPoint, Mr. Iorio was an Analyst in Citigroup’s Global Banking Division where he analysed and executed debt financings, leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, mergers, and acquisitions on behalf of clients in the Technology, Media and Communications industries. Mr. Iorio earned a BS in Finance and a minor in Accounting in 2004 from Providence College.

View transcript

Stu Morrow (Host):

Hello to all of our listeners. Thank you for tuning in today. Over the last decade, there's been an increase in awareness of private market assets, such as core real estate, infrastructure, commercial mortgages, private debt, and private equity. Allocations to private markets have been increasing for different reasons, such as enhancing portfolio yields, diversifying public market securities, and also to potentially earn higher returns over time. Institutional investors like pension plans and endowment funds have been steadily increasing exposure to private market for a few decades.

During the last decade, we've seen more individual high-net-worth investors begin to look outside the traditional public market. At RBC PH&N Investment Counsel, our Investment Counsellors have access to a range of public and private market investment solutions to help meet the needs of our clients. For private equity, our solution is provided by GoldPoint Partners, an external manager who has been working with RBC since 2007.

And with me today to discuss the private equity market are two managing principals from GoldPoint Partners

Chaz Cocuzza, co-head of the Select Manager Fund (SMF) program who joined the firm in 2005. He oversees all aspects of fund management within portfolio construction, risk management, and limited partner relationships.

And my other guest, Scott Iorio, is co-head of the Select Manager Fund program who joined the firm in 2006. Scott also oversees all aspects of fund management, including portfolio construction, risk management, and limited partner relationships. Scott is also a member of both the firm's investment and management committees.

Gentlemen, welcome to Counsel Views.

Scott Iorio (Guest):

Thank you for having us today, Stu

Chaz Cocuzza (Guest):

Great to be here.

Stu Morrow (Host):

Great to have you. Gentlemen, before we get started into our discussion, can you take maybe a few moments and explain to some of our listeners who haven't heard of GoldPoint before, who you are and what you do for investors?

Scott Iorio (Guest):

Absolutely. And thanks again for having us on today, Stu. Maybe I'll kick off here and hand it to my partner Chaz after I start.

At GoldPoint Partners, we've been in business for 30 years. And over that last 30 years, really our goal and mission has been to create access to the middle market, private equity industry for our investors. Initially, we did that for New York Life Insurance Company, where we pioneered a number of creative ways to create symbiotic relationships with private equity sponsors, which are essentially private market money managers, where we help them create capital to invest into their businesses and into the industry. But we create differentiated returns for our investors and pioneered some different types of investing, like co-investing and direct lending.

We've taken that model that we built for New York Life, and fast forward 30 years to today, we continue to manage their private equity program. They continue to be our parent company and anchor investor in each of our funds. But together with their partnership, we've been able to take these private equity solutions out to the institutional market. So we now manage capital for New York Life plus over 100 other institutional investors. And thanks to the partnership that we enjoy with RBC, we now have the opportunity to offer our private equity solutions to the high-net-worth channel as well. And maybe Chaz, you can give a little history around our relationship with RBC.

Chaz Cocuzza (Guest):

Sure. Happy to. Thanks Scott. And thanks Stu for having us. Pleasure to be with everyone today. So in terms of the relationship between GoldPoint and RBC, as Stu alluded to before, it dates back to 2007. At the time, GoldPoint was in the process of offering our private equity fund advisory capabilities to outside investors for the first time. And as Scott said, we had built a very successful program on behalf of New York Life, our parent company, over the course of, at the time, I guess, preceding 20 years, now 30. That program dated back to the early 90s where New York Life was the first mover in private equity and private assets.

We were somewhat fortuitous because at the time, kind of unbeknownst to us, RBC was in a position where they were receiving significant inbound interest for private equity and private assets from their clients, and had no such product available at the time. And we'll talk a little bit more about the evolution of private equity in a bit, but the long and short of it is it's become a mainstream asset class. Wealth advisors are continuing to see substantial increases in interest on behalf of the both high-net-worth families and individuals.

So RBC was seeking a very collaborative partner to build out a program that was really bespoke to meet the needs of their clients at the time. And as I said, GoldPoint was really fortuitous to be in a position to participate in that search. And we were ultimately selected as the private equity manager for this program. Fast forward to today, from GoldPoint's perspective, it's been a tremendously successful partnership. In aggregate, we've raised over $300 million of capital across the RBC Wealth Management platform. That includes $145 million from our prior fund. That was Fund IV, which closed at the end of last year. And we're in the market currently with Fund V, which there's been $50 million raised to date.

We continue to see a tremendous amount of demand from the RBC channel. And I would say that's in part due to the longevity of our relationships and strong results over time. We're 13 years in today, gotten to know many of the Counsellors and advisors through the platform quite well. And so we're seeing incremental demand from folks who know us well, as well as interest from those who are just starting to think about private equity (PE) for their clients. We're surely benefiting from the evolution of PE as an asset class, where Counsellors are seeking these non-correlated alternatives to traditional assets. And we'll talk more about this in detail, but PE has been a nice way for Counsellors to diversify away from these more traditional assets. And through our program, we're seeking to build a diversified program for private equity for clients within RBC. We're targeting a 15% net return on behalf of clients. And we certainly believe that that opportunity persists going forward. So we're very excited about the prospects for the relationship.

Stu Morrow (Host):

That's great guys. Thank you for the firm overview. That's great.

I was wondering if we could just take a quick moment, and for some of our listeners who may be new to private equity or PE, what it means in a non-technical explanation, how it's really different from more traditional than the familiar public market investments that people know inside of their portfolio span, and how that benefits the addition of PE, or private equity, how it benefits investor portfolios.

Scott Iorio (Guest):

Sure, Stu. Happy to offer some thoughts on that, and Chaz, feel free to jump in.

Maybe first I'll touch on the fund-of-fund structure that we use. So within private equity, you can think of the Select Manager Fund-to-fund structure as a really a one-stop shop for accessing the private equity industry. There's a variety of ways you could approach investing in the private equity asset class. But I think for the typical high-net-worth investor, it's not like the public markets where there's an index fund that you can buy into. I think frankly, if there was an index fund, you wouldn't want to buy into the asset class through that because the median returns are good, but not great.

Really what you want to do is kind of pick the best-of-the-best managers in the marketplace to create diversified access to the private equity asset class. And really through what we built in the GoldPoint Select Managers Fund (SMF) program is access. Each fund offers about 300 different middle-market companies, primarily in the US, that you're buying access to. These are managed in a very active governance model by about 30 of the top private-equity sponsors in the marketplace by our measure. So really creating that one-stop-shop solution.

In terms of, I think part of your question there, Stu, is too, is why private equity? I would probably point to that last comment I made around active governance. In private equity, really what we think is the magic of why the industry has produced such phenomenal returns over a very long period of time has a lot to do with alignment. In the public markets, the criticism is that public market investment boards and management teams tend to manage more to the short term than for long-term value creation. I think many folks listening into this have probably seen the surveys that would suggest that a management team would scrap a capital project that produced attractive long term ROI, if it just allowed them to meet near-term quarterly earnings. Which is obviously not fundamentally a good business decision. It's really being driven by other market forces.

In the private markets and in private equity, really the alignment is found in the fact that the private-equity sponsors, the money manager that's selecting the businesses that they invest in, is really incented by creating long-term value. There is no trading of these positions based on paper profits in any meaningful way. The private-equity manager earns their return by selling that business, either to what they call a strategic buyer, another corporation that will bring that in as a division of its business, or to another private-equity manager, or to selling it to a public company. So you have to actually generate long-term value for your investors.

And as a result, private equity sponsors are very, very focused on not only being good asset pickers and selecting the best businesses out there, but more fundamentally, creating value. So taking active board governance roles. These aren't independent boards like you find in the public markets with less alignment. These are highly motivated boards comprised of the members of the private-equity sponsor, who are bringing their toolkits for value creation and their playbooks to support the management teams to create value over time.

Stu Morrow (Host):

So Scott, besides the diversification benefit from the fund-of-fund structure that GoldPoint offers through the Select Manager Fund program, what other sort of benefits are there to the fund-of-fund structure for accessing private equity for clients and investors?

Scott Iorio (Guest):

So in addition to diversification, for example, through the Select Manager Fund, you get access to over 300 companies in terms of exposure, there's also this element of access which exists within the private equity market and particularly the middle market. The traditional investor would not necessarily have the scale in terms of their capital commitments or necessarily the ability to wade into the private-equity market and get access to the best private-equity managers. Part of the reason is that private-equity managers tend to be oversubscribed when they raise their new pool of capital to invest into the middle market.

Which is a phenomenon that exists because, in the middle market, there's a limited pool of capital that you can invest to target middle-market companies. If you raise too much capital, you'll start investing in the area of the private markets that's more efficient and competes with the public markets. By investing through a fund-of-funds like GoldPoint, you benefit from the relationships that we've built for over 30 years with the private-equity community, and the access that we have to many of these oversubscribed funds. In addition, another point I'd call out is co-investment. Larger investors in private equity funds have the ability sometimes to co-invest alongside the manager if they need additional capital to get the deal done. That comes at very advantageous terms, which means there's no fee.

Stu Morrow (Host):

So Scott, 2020, a tough year. Bifurcated periods of return from mid-year till now. Very different set of returns from public equity markets from the beginning of the year to the March bottom, and then thereafter. How have private equity funds performed year-to-date? So looking through 2020, and I know there's various differences between public and private equity, but can you give us a sense of performance to date of private equity in general, and maybe touch on GoldPoint as well?

Scott Iorio (Guest):

Sure. Happy to. So I would say at a high level, what we've seen is exactly what we've built the Select Manager Fund for in terms of our own performance. And I think this is generally been true as well to most degrees to the private-equity industry is we've seen a period of lower volatility, certainly. And then you would contrast with what the public markets have experienced, but also stronger returns. And that's really what the program has been built to provide for its investors.

So in terms of the lower volatility to put some numbers around that, at least what we've seen through the Select Manager Fund program, is through the first quarter, at the trough, the public markets were down about a third, depending on which index you point to. Close to around 20% at the end of Q1. Our Select Manager Fund was down 6%, which we think is quite strong performance all things considered given the market environment we were looking at the end of March.

And as the year has progressed, our sponsors have really had the opportunity to pivot from playing defense and preserving capital to playing offense and creating capital and creating value for our investments. And when you look forward to Q2, we were actually up meaningfully for the year, up 7% through our Select Manager Fund through Q2 while the public markets were still clawing their way back to break even for the year. And then if you look at Q3, while we don't have all the numbers put together yet, we're tracking towards being up 20% through September. Which it was quite remarkable when you look at the environment that we've been living through for the last nine months.

Stu Morrow (Host):

That's great. Wow. Maybe the next question that comes to mind, we hear from people, you hear the return structure, you hear also the amount of money flowing into private-equity markets, private markets in general from institutional, and now private clients, high-net-worth, that there was talk about more of a crowded market. You hear that term there's “dry powder on the sidelines”. I'd like to get some thoughts on that. And how do potential investors think about forward returns from this point in the space and private markets? We talked about a very exceptional year this year, but maybe contrast that too in terms of money flowing in, and how do we expect forward returns to look like relative to the past?

Chaz Cocuzza (Guest):

Yeah, it's a good question, and something that we certainly, at GoldPoint, give a lot of thought to. Before maybe diving into that, I'll just maybe define the term for benefit of the group, but the “dry powder on the sidelines” refers to the amount of capital available to private equity sponsors, both equity- and credit-oriented, that they can call on to make new investments. And to your point Stu, I would have to agree with the notion that there's been a lot, and it ties into my remarks earlier, but a ton of interest in private equity. And I would say interest despite the pandemic remains at an all-time high. COVID certainly put a pause on fundraising into the second and third quarter. But we're seeing limited partners, those seeking to make commitments to private equity, really regain steam and momentum heading into the fourth quarter, and that certainly is our expectation into 2021.

So to an extent, as I alluded to before, this is an institutional phenomenon, but we're also seeing proliferation of offerings allowing high-net-worth investors to access the asset class. And the reasons for this, I think most are familiar with. Certainly the low-interest-rate environment has been good for valuations on risk assets. Going forward, I think that the consensus among investors is that there's kind of a lower for longer, low-rate environment that we're all going to be dealing with, which certainly enhances demand. And private equity, historically, the key investors in these segments have been public pension plans, insurance companies, investors who are seeking to offset long-term liabilities with higher risk return assets, and certainly could withstand the liquidity premium associated with private equity.

More recently, that's certainly expanded. So you're seeing a lot of new entrants into this space. Sovereign wealth funds, family offices, endowments have all increased their allocations and the outlook remains strong. So by our estimation, just to put some figures around it, the private-equity market is probably three or four times as large as it was coming out of the Great Financial Crisis. So to your point Stu, with increased competition and capital flows, undoubtedly, that has an impact on return. That's true across many asset classes, not just private equity.

But as we often say, we've got to respect the macro, and know where we are in cycle. And certainly capital flows matter. But when we invest, it's really about the micro. And what I mean by that, one of the things that Scott and I often point out to Counsellors, is you think about private equity, you can't buy an index the way you can in public markets. And there is benchmark data that we can look to that does suggest that there's the opportunity for out-performance in private equity, but you can't buy the index. And frankly, if you look at those returns, they're only substantially better than what you might get in public markets. And certainly doesn't justify some of the risk premium.

So when we think about accessing private equity, and what we're trying to do a GoldPoint is really leverage the 30-year program that we've discussed that we built on behalf of New York Life and is now expanded into the SMF program to identify the top quartile managers. And those are managers that are often able to find unique assets, add value to those companies, and generate returns that are substantially higher than what the index would suggest. So from GoldPoint's perspective, whenever we're underwriting a manager or a direct deal for that matter, we are not seeing that return erosion. But I think that's fundamentally because we're in the right place in the market. And we're able to access managers that are vulnerable to that level of competition, but have the toolkit to offset it with real value add.

And what I mean by that is it's not to say that valuation doesn't matter. Of course, what you pay for something has an impact on returns long term. But the reality of it is in this market a deal that hasn't been shopped, we would call a proprietary deal, is really a thing of the past. The market is very robust. Sellers are sophisticated. So in our view, while price is important, what really matters is what you do with that asset. And that's in contrast to public markets where really the only input is what you pay for the asset, and ultimately obviously where you sell it.

Our managers, by contrast, we talk about repeatable value creation playbooks. These are playbooks that are being applied to specific sectors and types of companies to really create equity versus identify equity value. And so our sponsors, and we have 30 or 40 of them in the portfolio, what they're trying to do is leverage their expertise and their networks to build out the human capital elements of companies, the manager and management matters. This is a people business. So we're often seeing our sponsors enhance kind of C-level positions and invest in people behind these businesses. They're implementing financial systems to make operating improvements to business, to enhance the top line of growth trajectory, as well as the margin profile. And as well, we often talk about this, particularly in these markets, they're consolidating industries by using platform companies to then make acquisitions to really accelerate growth beyond the organic profile. Ultimately seeking to monetize these businesses for profits.

So our process at GoldPoint, we often talk about with Counsellors is to identify these managers early. We have a process that's been set up and refined over our history and experience to add value to these managers, to develop really great relationships with them over time. That provides us with unique insights. We've been doing this for 30 years. And as Scott mentioned before, access to the best ones is critical. And so we've got a stable of managers that we've known for, on average, better than a decade. We've invested alongside of them directly into their portfolio companies. And it's this portfolio approach and these relationships that we built that really creates the foundation for successful returns on a go forward basis.

And so one of the things that we're most proud of in our track record, when we raised SMF funds, we had generated close to a 20% return for New York Life over the proceeding few decades. And since that time, despite all the competition that we've seen in the market, when you look at the return profile, the funds in the SMF series, we've been able to replicate that pretty consistently. And so it's not to say we're going to be able to do that going forward, but we do have assets that still to kind of look through the noise and the increased competition, as you suggest, which is definitely there. But we think we've got a process built to withstand that competition to generate good returns going forward.

Stu Morrow (Host):

That's great, Chaz. Thanks. That was a great overview of the process. And I picked up a couple of things. One was maybe around the liquidity premium or illiquidity premium that that's associated with private markets, private-equity investment, is that capital is typically committed for a period as long as 10 to 15 years. Can you maybe talk about that? There's obviously some benefits and risks to that, to tying up capital for a period of time to allow managers to realize that value. And maybe touch on too, if in that period, what happens if an investor suddenly does need a return of capital? Is there a function or is there an ability to get that money back, so to speak?

Scott Iorio (Guest):

Sure. I'm happy to take that one, Stu. So maybe just to touch on the reason for the illiquidity. So obviously these are investments in private market companies. These are businesses and securities that are not tradable. When a sponsor buys into a private company, they're buying a controlling equity interest. So to sell a piece of that equity, there's no real market for that. These businesses are held for generally five years, and then that control equity position is sold all in one shot at the end of the exit period.

So the way a typical private-equity fund will be structured is with a 10-year term, the first five years are called the investment period. And over those five years, the private-equity manager's out sourcing and finding new investment opportunities. And as they find those investments, they will call that capital commitment or the portion for that deal as they find those investments. Once they make an investment, as I mentioned, they typically hold that for five years while they're working through their value creation plan. And then once they've achieved the returns that they're targeting, they will sell that investment. And so the second five-years of that 10-year term are really considered the harvesting period.

So as a result, investments in the private-equity asset class are illiquid in nature. So that's something that investors should think carefully about before they invest in the asset class. Some of the benefits of that, illiquidity is obviously a challenge to manage, but if you have long-term savings, there is some luxury that comes with not having the opportunity to sell, in that in the public markets, investor psychology obviously is a challenge that people deal with. And those moments of fear in the markets, those tend to be when our psychology, our natural intuition tells us that it's a time to sell.

In private equity, that really isn't an option. Even if the private-equity sponsor itself wanted to sell a company, that would take months, typically at least three months, to put together the appropriate auction process to sell the business. So again, it all lends itself to more of a long-term orientation when you invest in the asset class. Now that said, what has been growing over the last few years is really the evolution of the secondary market within private equity, which is creating some ability to trade and sell your interests within a private-equity fund.

For the purposes of this audience, thinking about a high-net-worth investor, it's not going to be necessarily individually big enough positions to access that market in a meaningful way. Although if an investor in our funds needed to create secondary liquidity for unexpected reasons, the secondary market is there, and it's something we can help them facilitate an exit in, if that makes sense. But generally I would say it's an asset class where you should feel comfortable with the illiquidity. And there are a lot of benefits that come with that, not only in terms of the investment approach, but also the returns that have resulted from that long-term orientation.

Chaz Cocuzza (Guest):

If it's all right, I'd love to hop in here and maybe just add a little bit of context. Because everything that Scott said is true are with respect to suitability for clients, of course, and the underlying assets that you're investing in. That's important to understand. But a little bit of context with respect to the Select Manager Fund.

And let's just use an example with some nice round numbers. Let's just say a client is interested in committing a million dollars to the Fund. While the underlying assets are illiquid, as Scott said, the cash-flow profile of the Fund is also important to understand. And so what ends up happening is that as we start building a portfolio, we're going to make capital calls for the first few years of the Fund to fund those initial investments. We're going to drawdown the commitment at a pace of about 5% per quarter until the point at which we reach about 70% to 75% of the committed capital that's been invested in GoldPoint's Fund. That's usually, call it year four or year five, based on historical kind of pacing.

And at that point, some of the earlier investments are harvested or realized by our private-equity sponsors. And we start to return capital to investors. So this is a little bit distinct from some mutual funds or potentially other alternative structures that you might be invested in, say, a hedge fund where you commit all of that capital, that same million dollars would be given to the manager Day One. They would invest it. And at some point, you would sell your position. You would have a redemption.

The cash-flow profile of our Fund is a little bit different. So whereas it is, as Scott described, illiquid, there's a little bit more of a give and take with respect to cash flows. So for the first four or five years, you're investing, and then thereafter, we're going to be returning capital to you. Historical experience would suggest that your entire commitment is returned by year seven or eight. And then, the Fund would wind down over the course of kind of the 13 year life. So it's a dynamic fund, but it's not one in which you kind of commit that whole amount Day One, you invest it Day One. It's really invested over time, over the course of a 10- to 12-year period.

Stu Morrow (Host):

Thanks for that. That's a great, great overview of that capital commitment. I wondering if you could spend a few moments and give our listeners maybe an overview of the GoldPoint Select Manager Fund by programming, and we'll do some overviews, some of the key upcoming dates as we're into 2021. That would be great.

Chaz Cocuzza (Guest):

Yeah. Perfect. Why don't I kick off, Scott, and feel free to jump in as well. I think we've covered a lot of it in our remarks over our time together. So at the risk of sounding redundant, what we've done here with the Select Manager Fund is really trying to replicate the program that we built for New York Life. It ends up being a one-stop shop for RBC clients. We're building a highly diversified private-equity program. We're investing in the U.S. mid-market, which historically speaking, has been one of the best segments or one of the outperforming segments of private equity. And given our heritage and our sweet spot of where we invest is where we built some really great relationships.

So a commitment to this Fund means you're investing in what we think to be one of the best segments of private equity alongside some of the folks that we think are the best sponsors in the space. These are managers that we've gotten to know well, as we've described, through our long-standing history, as well as our direct activities. So this is a very carefully curated portfolio of managers. One that is a group that we're very familiar with and have a high degree of confidence. And to Scott's point earlier around our experience, over the past year, in times of dislocation is really when these managers shine. And they've proven their worth over the last nine months.

With respect to RBC investors, we can get into more specifics on this if anyone has interest. But we've built a program here that's really customized and bespoke for RBC. Clients are able to access the program for a commitment of just $250,000. Whereas on an institutional basis, you would need a minimum of at least $5 million to invest in any one of these funds. And in the most difficult to access funds, some cases, $10 million or higher. On a management fee basis, we think we've structured a fee program that is attractive as well. RBC clients pay a 38 basis points management fee. And that's actually more favorable than some of our institutional LPs (i.e., Limited Partnerships). We've applied kind of the scale discount that we've gotten through the success of the RBC program over time to provide clients with a very attractive manager fee structure.

And in terms of just the cash flows, which I mentioned a little while ago, it again is unique relative to some other offerings that you may have for your clients. But having done this for 13 years, we've got an efficient process for managing all of the cash flows of the program. We're fully integrated from a reporting standpoint, both in terms of quarterly financials and capital account statements, as well as tax into the RBC system. And so a particularly interesting program for RBC clients. And I think it's demonstrated in the fact that we've had so much success over the years. And we think that momentum is only building. Scott, I don't know. Maybe you have some other things to add there.

Scott Iorio (Guest):

No. I mean, again, one-stop-shop to access the U.S. middle market where GoldPoint, we believe over our 30 years, we refined our process in a way that the investors in this Fund really benefit from that. And we've talked a lot over this conversation around alignment. I think that is worth calling out that this is something that we carried through to the GoldPoint team. So everyone, Chaz and myself, and everyone on the GoldPoint team makes a meaningful commitment to this Select Manager Fund. So we're not only just having the benefits of this program, but we “eat our own cooking” as well. This is a way that, for our own personal portfolios, we create meaningful exposure to the private-equity middle market, which we think a very attractive sector to have exposure to within a portfolio context.

Stu Morrow (Host):

That's great. Good to hear the alignment there. That's something we like to see in our managers. So we end these Counsel View sessions, and I ask guests for what they're reading, what they're listening to, podcasts or streaming, that may be of interest to our listeners who perhaps maybe want to learn a bit more about private markets, private equity, or investing in general. So I'll put it out to you guys. What sort of recommendations could you offer up? That'd be great to hear.

Scott Iorio (Guest):

Stu, I'm glad you do this. I'm quite a fan of the podcast format. I think for one, I prefer to learn by listening as opposed to reading. And at least in normal times, I have quite a long commute. So podcasts kind of lend themselves to my commute in the car, or on the train on the way to work. Not necessarily private equity, but more just sort of interesting to me, Tim Ferriss, I think pioneered the podcasting segment in many ways, and interviews some really fascinating guests within the world of finance, but also just across all industries. So I always find his material interesting. Naval Ravikant, he's the founder of AngelList. He also has some great, very short form, podcast content that I've enjoyed. It's one of my go-tos. I know Chaz, with your new arrival, I don't know if you've had much time for books or for podcasts these days.

Chaz Cocuzza (Guest):

Yeah, it's a good point. So you know this, my wife and I welcomed a newborn earlier this year. So we've got a six-month-old at home.

Stu Morrow (Host):

Congrats again. That's great.

Chaz Cocuzza (Guest):

He's just starting to get into books. And for anyone on the call who's in a similar spot, I would highly recommend, really enjoying right now, Birthday Monsters. Wendy and I, my daughter read together. It's a short read. I don't think it'll take folks a very long time to get through it at all, but that one’s keeping us busy. I read that at least a few times a day.

But no, on a more serious note, one of the books that I read earlier this year during COVID was called Legacy by James Kerr. It's also a short read, not quite as short as Birthday Monsters. But the subject matter is building a high-performance culture. It's a deep dive on the All Blacks, arguably one of the most successful sports franchises of all time. I'm not a huge rugby fan, or at least historically I haven't really followed rugby closely, but I do like books that combine sports and business, which are two of my personal passions.

And this book was recommended at one of our annual meetings by one of the sponsors who you think very highly of just in terms of how they built their firm, and think winning on culture, obviously, private equity is a people business, and we're very focused on the numbers all the time. But this firm in particular spends a whole lot of time thinking about the organization and the development thereof. So the long and short of it is this one caught my eye and was a great read. It's a deep dive on what makes the All Blacks great and successful year in and year out. Which, spoiler alert, is all about accountability and putting oneself before the team, and kind of having a mindset of leaving every situation that you find yourself in better than you found it, hence the title Legacy.

So this is actually near and dear to both Scott and me, we spend a whole lot of time together, we're really good friends. We're fortunate to work together, but just creating a best-in-class culture is something that we spend a lot of time talking about with respect to GoldPoint and SMF and things like that. This is one was a great read with lessons that could be applied in business, but also life. So it killed two birds with one stone. So I highly recommend that one for everybody.

Stu Morrow (Host):

That's great. And maybe the next time we're together, we'll start off by chanting the “haka” before we get going.

Chaz Cocuzza (Guest):

You know it. There you go.

Stu Morrow (Host):

I know it really well. I'm a former rugby star, excluding the star at the end of that. But I do want to thank you both for taking the time to join me today, discussing private-equity markets and GoldPoint Partners’ Select Manager Fund program. It's been a pleasure as always guys, and I'll hope you'll come back and join us for another update in 2021 and see how the Select Manager Fund program's doing.

Chaz Cocuzza (Guest):

We hope you have us back.

Scott Iorio (Guest):

That would be great, Stu. Thanks.

Stu Morrow (Host):

That's what we'll do. Thank you both. Take care guys.


This session was recorded on December 14, 2020.

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