Brady Lipp has been on a winning streak since his days as a basketball star at North Dakota State University. After graduating with a master’s degree—and landing a coveted spot in the campus’s Hall of Fame—he used his talent, work ethic, and competitive drive to make a name for himself in the private equity and asset management industry. In 1994, Brady joined Warburg Pincus Asset Management, one of the premier private equity and asset management firms in the world. As partner and managing director, he grew the institutional sales and market assets from $2 billion to $14 billion in less than five years. Later, when the firm was purchased by Credit Suisse, Brady led the new Global Post Venture Capital division and grew its assets to $650 million within 18 months. Still, his winning streak did not stop there. In 2004, he founded Akros Capital, LLC, and served as portfolio manager for the Quaker Akros Absolute Return Fund. After generating positive alpha in 92% of rolling three-year periods, the fund was ranked first in its category by Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine in 2008. Brady then went on to co-found MarketGrader Capital—a registered investment advisor and subsidiary of MarketGrader.com—which serves some of the largest financial institutions in the world. Last year, he co-founded OneAlphaNorth Capital, a private investment holding company based in New York. The Top 100 Magazine had the pleasure of speaking with Brady to learn more about his current role as OneAlphaNorth’s managing director and the company’s plans for the future.
Tell us more about OneAlphaNorth and how the company came about.
OneAlphaNorth is a U.S. registered and headquartered technology holding company that I co-founded with Sai Narayan Subramanian—who also holds experience in private equity. We designed the company to identify and invest in mostly private, early-stage medical technology, investment technology, and even fintech businesses. We view ourselves as an extension of our portfolio companies’ management teams and contribute to their growth via board representation and consulting. This is accomplished through our experience as well as our extensive contact list from around the world. Most of the companies we invest in have products or services with a global market, or they are global in nature. If not, our mission is to help turn them into global businesses.
What is your process for selecting companies to invest in?
We start with a comprehensive analysis of the overall market and are prepared to make a substantive investment into underserved sub industries or categories through incubation, acquisition, or roll up—whichever strategy gives us the best risk adjusted value position. Our intent is to be a dominant player in the category, so we start as a major player in a small but rapidly growing market with the goal of becoming a significant market share participant in the future large market of the category. Therefore, we make bold, substantive, and across the value chain bets early in the categories we choose.
What are your plans for OneAlphaNorth’s future?
We’re currently working toward investing globally and have invested in a medtech company that specializes in digital prenatal monitoring. This is the type of company that has the potential to enter the global market because pregnancy happens all over the world, and women are underserved in many places. In fact, the ability to monitor vital statistics has been an issue for a very long time and is only now being addressed. There are even counties within the U.S. that don’t have OB-GYNs, which is serious because the vital statistics of mothers and babies are not being monitored as their pregnancies advance. This leads to more C-sections being performed and premature births globally, resulting in more expense and risk for the mother and baby. Fortunately, numbers can be reduced with the right technology, which is why we’re working so hard to get it into those underserved areas.
What are your investment goals?
We’re looking for companies that have the opportunity to grow 20 to 100 times from when we invest our money. However, to get those types of return profiles, we must be extremely selective in the companies we get involved in. We foresee ourselves investing in three or four companies per year, but we look at a lot of companies before making a decision. That’s why an experienced managing and marketing team is essential. We also try to take a meaningful position within the companies we select—with 25% to 30% ownership.
Do you still work with MarketGrader Capital as well?
Yes, I am still actively involved with MarketGrader as managing director. I’ve been responsible for the firm’s business development efforts with institutional investors and the insurance segment since 2013 when I teamed up with my friend, Carlos Diez. The team has created an incredible global research platform: www.marketgrader.com. There, we rank over 39,000 stocks globally on a scale from 0 to 100 based on 24 different fundamental indicators.
The other part of the business is developing smart data indexes. We license them out to larger financial institutions that use the indexes to create an exchange traded fund (ETF). One well-known financial institution in particular, really likes what we’re doing and utilizes our quantitative methodology for several ETFs around the world. One fund is a Chinese stock ETF and another is an India stock ETF. Both trade on U.S. stock exchanges and are available to U.S. investors.
What is your most recent index?
We developed a global healthcare index made up of healthcare companies around the world. We use our propriety ranking system to rank the desirability of the stocks. The index includes 100 stocks from around the world and no more than 20% in emerging market countries. We invest in what we believe will be the best 100 stocks. Every six months we reconstitute the index. Anyone who visits marketgrader.com can see the various indexes we have.
Now that we’ve discussed business, you must tell us a bit about your glory days as a basketball player.
My dad was a Hall of Fame basketball coach, so I enjoyed following in his footsteps. I have a lot of great memories from those days but winning a three-point shooting contest in New York City and hitting 266 free throws in a row at a contest in the Final Four for fans remain at the top of my list. Today, I use that same passion to score growth for the businesses we invest in.