When partnering with management teams of his firm’s portfolio investments, Philip Smith thinks in the long term, drawing on a favorite Warren Buffett quote: “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” As part of the team at middle-market focused Endurance Partners, Philip gets to plant that tree, designing growth and financial strategies for companies that reach much farther into the future than the average PE firm provides. Endurance, as their name suggests, works with companies for the long haul. They hold their portfolio investments, which include business services and industrial companies, for 10 or more years, which is uncommon in the industry.
Philip has been with Endurance since its beginning six years ago as one of only a handful of firms in the nation with institutional capital holding for spans of 10-plus years. “If you’re a three to five-year buyer, there’s only so much growth you can implement during that time,” Philip explains. “There are benefits to holding for longer. We are afforded the ability to be patient and reinvest back into businesses, which makes us less reliant on financial engineering to drive value. As a result, we are completely aligned with the management team, who we always invite to reinvest alongside us, to enhance growth at the underlying business, not just the capital structure.” Thanks to the world class operating talent at Endurance Partners, who take active roles on the board of directors, Endurance’s strategies are extremely effective at the portfolio level. Alongside that talent is the dedication to taking a measured, patient, and partnership-based approach to investing. Philip and his team are happy to wait for the exactly right company to come along so that they can make the right investments with the right people and commit to following through on transformational and growth accelerating investment opportunities that create substantial value.
Wearing many hats and finding creative solutions is the perfect role for Philip, as is Endurance’s dedication to operational excellence. From the initial research to completing the transactions, from the operational strategies to the partnerships that broaden his perspective, Philip appreciates it all. “I love learning about businesses and seeing great operators at work, which makes Endurance a unique fit for my skill set and interests,” he says. “I am fortunate to be able to work with the world-renowned talent that exists at Endurance Partners, and seeing the results that this experience brings to bear in our partnerships.”
Philip is a graduate of Connecticut College and CFA charter holder.
Principal — Endurance Partners