Ryan Caldbeck – Quant in Private Markets - [Invest Like the Best, EP.110]

10.30.2018 - By Invest Like the Best

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My guest this week is Ryan Caldbeck, a private equity investor who wants to bring quantitative rigor to the private markets. Ryan is the CEO of Circle Up, which uses a system it calls Helio to identify attractive investments in early stage consumer brands.  While I am of course a fan of quantitative investing, I also know from experience how much harder private markets are than public markets when it comes to the transactions themselves. We discuss this and many other potential roadblocks to bringing models to private markets. Using many individual companies as examples, Ryan explains some of the major predictive factors they’ve uncovered in their research. We also discuss which parts of the private markets might be infiltrated by quant processes first, and which may never be.  I expect many more to go on a journey similar to Ryan’s in the years to come. They serve as an interesting example for ambitious investors out there. Please enjoy our conversation. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes 1:39 - (First Question) – Formation of Helio 6:57 – How they handle the relationship building needed to make investments in private markets 10:26 – Why consumer and retail are interesting spaces to apply their quantitative approach in private markets 12:54 – Searching for new relevant data 16:14 – How do they stay ahead of the commoditization of uniqueness             16:21 – Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning             17:24 – Sam Hinkie Podcast Episode 18:00 – Dominant predictive factors in this world 21:05 – Which is more important, relative value or rate of change 21:48 – What does the data say about online sales vs offline (being in a store) 23:30 – Variable that consumer investors think matters but it doesn’t 24:53 – Valuing companies and accounting for mispricing’s             25:36 – Michael Recce Podcast Episode 26:41 – Goes through the process using Liquid Ivy as an example 28:46 – Most interesting sub-categories 29:33 – Future for this model             32:10 – Albert Wenger Podcast Episode 35:19 – Other categories outside consumer and retail interest Ryan 36:28 – Biggest challenges for CircleUp as a business 38:46 – Handicapping their earnings expectations 41:36 – Take on the VC/PE landscape 43:03 – The types of models that are most interesting to the team 45:05 – Quantitative elements of brand that are most interesting 47:30 – Most unique brand and distribution strategy he’s come across 53:27 – Who has influenced Ryan the most 54:37 – His personal values 55:51 – More people who had an influence on Ryan             56:05 – The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business 57:07 – Thoughts on goal setting at the company 59:29 – Unchangeable factors that shape their long-term vision 1:02:01 – Most interesting individual conversation as part of this journey 1:04:02 – If he could only keep one dataset, what would he keep 1:05:09 – kindest thing anyone has done for Ryan   Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag

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