Archive for Month: June 2024

Case Study: Dave McDonough’s Journey into Private Equity with BlackmoreConnects a framwork towards actionability.

Case Study: Dave McDonough's Journey into Private Equity with BlackmoreConnects a framwork towards actionability.

Written By: Gerald O’Dwyer III 

The PE Guru — Blackmore Partners, Inc | June 22, 2024

Dave McDonough, a seasoned medical device executive, exemplifies the transformative power of private equity (PE) and the strategic role of BlackmoreConnects in facilitating executive transitions into the PE space. Over five years, Dave successfully turned around a company, growing its revenue from $7 million to $20 million and achieving a $3 million EBITDA. Despite his accomplishments, Dave realized that he was not reaping the financial rewards commensurate with his contributions. This case study explores how Dave leveraged BlackmoreConnects to transition from a W2 executive role to a PE-backed position, ultimately aiming for significant equity gains and long-term wealth creation.

Identifying the Opportunity

Dave’s thesis focused on acquiring medical device and supply companies within the $10-$30 million range, accelerating their growth, and exiting through strategic sales or mergers with larger medical device companies. His journey began with a stark realization: despite his successes, he had no equity stake in his company and no previous exits. This drove him to seek opportunities where his efforts would translate into substantial financial rewards.

Engaging with BlackmoreConnects

Dave’s journey into PE was facilitated by Gerald O’Dwyer of BlackmoreConnects. Gerald emphasized the importance of continuous learning and building relationships within the PE community. BlackmoreConnects provided Dave with the resources and networking opportunities to engage with PE firms and potential acquisition targets effectively.

Key Strategies Employed:

Building Credibility and Knowledge:
Dave immersed himself in understanding the layers of private equity, improving his ability to lead conversations with potential investors and sellers. Gerald stressed that demonstrating knowledge and credibility is crucial for gaining the confidence of PE firms.
Developing a Robust Investment Thesis:
Dave’s investment thesis centered around identifying underperforming medical device companies, implementing growth strategies, and preparing for strategic exits. This clear and compelling thesis made him an attractive partner for PE firms.
Networking and Relationship Building:
Through BlackmoreConnects, Dave joined calls with PE firms and potential sellers, positioning himself as an independent executive worth investing in. These interactions highlighted the value he could bring to potential acquisitions.

Understanding the Buy-Build-Grow Strategy:

Dave learned to build and qualify his acquisition funnel, a critical skill for successful PE investments. Starting relationships early and nurturing them over time proved essential for accelerating returns.
Achieving Success
Dave’s engagement with BlackmoreConnects allowed him to transition from a W2 executive role to an independent PE-backed executive. By continuously learning and leveraging his network, Dave positioned himself as a valuable asset in the eyes of PE firms. His efforts culminated in meaningful conversations and potential deals, setting the stage for future wealth creation.

Lessons Learned —¬†Importance of Equity

Dave’s journey underscores the importance of equity ownership in achieving substantial financial rewards. Moving away from a traditional W2 role to a PE-backed position allowed him to align his efforts with potential equity gains.
Continuous Learning:
Staying engaged and continuously learning about the PE landscape enabled Dave to lead conversations with confidence and credibility.
Strategic Networking:
Building relationships with PE firms and potential acquisition targets was crucial for Dave’s success. BlackmoreConnects provided the platform to establish and nurture these connections.
Long-Term Vision:
Embracing a long-term vision and understanding the buy-build-grow strategy helped Dave prepare for successful exits and maximize returns for all parties involved.


Dave McDonough’s case illustrates the pivotal role BlackmoreConnects can play in helping executives transition into the private equity space. By providing the necessary resources, networking opportunities, and strategic guidance, BlackmoreConnects empowered Dave to leverage his operational expertise and achieve significant financial success through equity ownership. This case study serves as an inspirational example for executives seeking to enter the PE field and highlights the importance of strategic partnerships, continuous learning, and a clear investment thesis.
To analyze Dave McDonough’s journey into private equity with BlackmoreConnects, we can use the following framework:

PE Transition Success Framework

  1. Identifying the Opportunity
  2. Engaging with Facilitators
  3. Implementing Key Strategies
  4. Achieving Success
  5. Learning and Applying Lessons

1. Identifying the Opportunity
  • Recognition of Personal Value:¬†Understand the disconnect between contributions and financial rewards in the current role.
  • Strategic Thesis Development:¬†Define a focused investment thesis (e.g., acquiring and growing medical device companies).
2. Engaging with Facilitators
  • Role of BlackmoreConnects:¬†Leverage the expertise of Gerald O’Dwyer and the resources provided by BlackmoreConnects.
  • Learning and Networking:¬†Emphasize the importance of continuous learning and building relationships within the PE community.
3. Implementing Key Strategies
  • Building Credibility and Knowledge:¬†Immerse in PE knowledge to gain credibility with investors and sellers.
  • Developing a Robust Investment Thesis:¬†Formulate a clear and compelling investment strategy.
  • Networking and Relationship Building:¬†Use BlackmoreConnects’ platform for effective networking with PE firms and acquisition targets.
  • Understanding the Buy-Build-Grow Strategy:¬†Learn and apply the buy-build-grow approach to manage acquisition funnels and accelerate returns.
4. Achieving Success
  • Transition to PE-Backed Role:¬†Successfully shift from a W2 executive role to a PE-backed executive.
  • Positioning and Credibility:¬†Position oneself as a valuable asset for PE firms through continuous learning and leveraging networks.
  • Meaningful Conversations and Deals:¬†Engage in significant discussions leading to potential deals and future wealth creation.
5. Learning and Applying Lessons
  • Importance of Equity:¬†Realize the value of equity ownership for substantial financial rewards.
  • Continuous Learning:¬†Stay updated with the PE landscape for confident and credible interactions.
  • Strategic Networking:¬†Build and nurture relationships with PE firms and acquisition targets.
  • Long-Term Vision:¬†Maintain a long-term perspective for successful exits and maximized returns.

Applying the Framework to Dave’s Case Study

1. Identifying the Opportunity
  • Personal Value Recognition:¬†Dave identified that despite his successes, he lacked equity ownership and sought better financial rewards.
  • Thesis Development:¬†Focused on acquiring and growing medical device companies within the $10-$30 million range.
2. Engaging with Facilitators
  • BlackmoreConnects’ Role:¬†Dave engaged with Gerald O’Dwyer and used BlackmoreConnects’ resources for learning and networking.
3. Implementing Key Strategies
  • Credibility and Knowledge:¬†Dave immersed himself in the PE landscape to lead credible conversations with investors and sellers.
  • Investment Thesis:¬†Dave’s clear investment strategy attracted PE firms.
  • Networking:¬†Utilized BlackmoreConnects to build relationships with PE firms and potential acquisition targets.
  • Buy-Build-Grow:¬†Learned to build and manage an acquisition funnel for successful PE investments.
4. Achieving Success
  • Transition:¬†Dave transitioned from a W2 executive to an independent PE-backed executive.
  • Positioning:¬†Leveraged continuous learning and networking to position himself as an attractive asset to PE firms.
  • Deals:¬†Engaged in meaningful conversations leading to potential deals.
5. Learning and Applying Lessons
  • Equity Ownership:¬†Understood the importance of equity for financial rewards.
  • Continuous Learning:¬†Kept up with the PE landscape for effective interactions.
  • Networking:¬†Built strategic relationships through BlackmoreConnects.
  • Long-Term Vision:¬†Embraced a long-term vision for successful exits and maximized returns.
By applying this framework, executives like Dave can strategically navigate their transition into the private equity space, leveraging the right opportunities, resources, and strategies for long-term success.
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