At Our Core, We Are A Rigorous Blend Of Science,
Ampersand was founded as a spinout from PaineWebber in the late 1980s, and began investing in healthcare in 1994. Today, Ampersand is focused exclusively on growth equity investments in lower middle market healthcare companies. We are typically the first institutional investor in founder-owned businesses, where we work with the entrepreneur to help take the company to the next level.
Technology And Operations.
From inception, we've developed our investment focus purposely.
Ampersand still follows the same set of core values that were established more than 25 years ago when the firm was founded. These include:
Pursuit of ExcellenceWe are driven to improve continually on our individual and our partnership performance. We cannot allow ourselves to accept the complacency of acceptable performance. To meet these aspirations, we must be willing to lead, to create and to innovate, rather than being satisfied to follow and to imitate. Our standards for our investments must be as high as our standards for measuring ourselves.
Respect for the EntrepreneurAt its root, we are investing in management teams, not just business plans. Without entrepreneurs there would be no private equity investors. Therefore, we build a supportive working relationship with our management teams. While we don’t shrink from making tough decisions and taking firm positions, we never forget that management teams, not investors, manage companies. Our role is to suggest and advise, not to dictate or demand.
Teamwork and Consensus Decision-makingA private equity partnership, like an entrepreneurial company, can only succeed on the strength of a balanced, integrated management team. Therefore, we make consensus investment decisions; every investment must be endorsed by the entire Ampersand team. We also take a team approach to portfolio company development, which encourages dialogue, brings different skill sets to bear and builds our shared experience. Our compensation strategy mirrors this teamwork approach.
Straight TalkWe pride ourselves on direct, clear communication both inside and outside the firm. In an industry where spin all too frequently overshadows substance, Ampersand has a reputation for "just the facts" objectivity. What we lose in the short run due to our lack of promotional flair, we make up for in the long run through enhanced credibility. Decades of experience teach us that the integrity underpinning this process works and saves time.
Constructive ImpatienceWe exist to create, not to criticize, and to make things happen, not to obstruct. Therefore, we encourage new ideas and when in doubt, we are biased towards action. We embody this approach to problem solving and organization in our standardized planning process, called the Top Tens, that we use to manage ourselves and that many of our portfolio management teams use to manage our companies.
Our TeamOur unusual combination of skills, including deep industry, technical, financial, operating, and transactional capabilities, make us a preferred partner for entrepreneurs because we can contribute to their success on multiple levels.
At our roots, we are company-builders, not investment managers. Our experience gives us empathy for our CEOs and helps us understand the challenges they face. This ability to identify, and contribute to, problem resolution makes us very effective in our companies.