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It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.

— Benjamin Franklin

Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.

— Mark Twain

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

About Us

M2O was formed as a family investment office in 1992 with the acquisition of the National Lines Bureau, a ship mooring company operating in the combined ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Over the following decades, M2O’s investment activities extended into search funds, venture capital, private equity, and beyond. This strategy is reflected in a current portfolio of over 60 private companies operating in diverse industries around the world. From mobile handset insurance to vaccine management systems, the firm invests primarily in asset light, high-growth business.

History

M2O took a hands-on approach to its first investment, directly managing the National Lines Bureau for five years. During that period, the company’s operations were improved and streamlined, generating a 100% return on invested capital annually by the time of its sale in 1997.

History

M2O invested in its first search fund in 1992, the same year it was founded. At the time, a search fund was a novel and ambitious concept hatched by a small group of business school professors, students, and private investors. Over time, search funds became the foundation of M2O’s investment activities. We have invested in over 130 search funds around the world and now evaluate dozens of new search fund investments annually.

Our experiences with National Lines Bureau and search funds led to additional investments in small, high-growth private companies. Unlike traditional private equity or venture capital groups, our investment horizon is often 10 years or more. Consequently, we develop lasting relationships with the companies—and managers—in which we invest.

Investment Criteria

We invest solely from our own balance sheet. We have no limited partners and minimal demands on our capital, outside of investing. As a result, the firm looks for long-term investment opportunities.

M2O has the flexibility to invest in private companies through a range of structures, whether backing search fund entrepreneurs, co-investing with other investment managers, or leading direct investments.

Investment Criteria

M2O appreciates that great companies are run by talented, hard-working managers. The first step in diligence is better understanding the motivation and capability of the management team and/or sponsor.

We seek investments in companies with recurring revenues, predictable cash flows, and sustainable competitive positions in growing industries. We invest primarily in service-based businesses, especially those with modest capital intensity.

While M2O has the flexibility to invest in a broad range of situations, most companies have $5 to $50 million of revenue and $1 to $15 million of EBITDA when M2O first invests.

Partnering with Us

With over 25 years of experience, M2O quickly recognizes high-potential investments. We pride ourselves on accelerated due diligence of investment opportunities. We aim to respond to private placement memoranda quickly and, under most circumstances, will make a decision within one week. When the firm commits to a deal, funds are available immediately.

Experienced across the lifecycle of businesses, M2O can be a primary source of capital as companies launch, grow, and mature. Consistent with our investment horizon, we view our engagement with management through the lens of a long-term relationship. Indeed, M2O builds lasting partnerships with executives that span multiple companies and industries.

Investment Criteria

Since M2O partners with hardworking, motivated managers, we let the executive determine the best means of engagement. M2O strives to be responsive, not over-bearing.

Investment Strategies

M2O’s investment strategies span search funds, venture capital, private equity, and special situations. While investment structures vary, our strategies share a common approach to aligning our capital for the long-term with great businesses and talented management teams.

Search

M2O believes in the traditional approach to search fund investing, with a democratized capitalization table in which the entrepreneur has the opportunity to become the single largest shareholder. We believe entrepreneurs benefit from distilling the perspectives of many voices, thus making more informed decisions.

M2O partners with entrepreneurs interested in building long-term, sustainable value. We back individuals and teams that demonstrate the grit, determination and hard work required to be successful. We pitch in to help at whatever stage in the search cycle an entrepreneur requires.

Sample Investments

Venture

M2O maintains a concentrated portfolio of startup investments. The firm’s approach to venture investing differs from industry norms in that M2O prioritizes sustainable growth and capital efficiency over maximizing short-term growth (often at a high cost). We find our approach enables us to cultivate ideas from inception to commercial success (or failure, but we prefer the former).

Sample Investments

Venture


Camio

GroundWork

Hover

Recurve

Sunrun

Therapydia

TruMed

Xiltrix

Private Equity

M2O partners with independent sponsors and other long-term investors to acquire and manage privately held companies. We prefer investments in companies with sustainable competitive advantages and long-term growth potential that we can hold indefinitely. We also seek to build long-term relationships with the sponsors and managers we back.

Sample Investments

Private Equity


Frazil

Lineage

Prime AE Group

The Predictive Index

Special Situations

M2O’s ability to make quick decisions allows us to act on time-sensitive opportunities. Moreover, with a strong balance sheet and flexible approach, we can tailor investments to the needs of the business. Whether building a 450-bed student housing complex in Utah or reorganizing a holding company with diverse lines of business, M2O works with managers to understand the value-maximizing strategy.

Sample Investments

Special Situations


Powder Mountain

RCM Technologies

The Village

Meadowbrook

Portfolio

Search

Sample Investments

Anaqua

Asurion

Chronus

Datacor

DCI

IRESA

List Engage

Little Sprouts

NFCDD

ORIGO

Paragon Legal

Raptor

ServiceSource

Stealth Monitoring

Veri-Tax

Venture

Sample Investments

Camio

GroundWork

Hover

Recurve

Sunrun

Therapydia

TruMed

Xiltrix

Private Equity

Sample Investments

Frazil

Lineage

Prime AE Group

The Predictive Index

Special Situations

Sample Investments

Powder Mountain

RCM Technologies

The Village

Meadowbrook

Team

Michael F. O'Connell

Michael F. O'Connell

Managing Partner

Michael F. O’Connell is the Senior Managing Director at M2O, Inc. He oversees the assessment of investment opportunities and reviews the ongoing performance of portfolio companies. For most of his career, Michael was President and Managing Director of Anhalt, O’Connell & Steffanci Inc., a Los Angeles-based investment management firm with almost $1 billion under management.

In 1992, Michael purchased the National Lines Bureau, a ship mooring company operating at the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors, the largest commercial port in America. This direct investment prompted many more and Michael soon shifted his focus from investment management to private equity and venture capital. Today, he leads M2O with a portfolio of more than 60 companies and sits on the boards of Veri-Tax, TruMed and Xiltrix.

Michael holds a B.A., with high honors, from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

M-K O'Connell

M-K O'Connell

Managing Director

Michael-Kevin (M-K) O’Connell joined M2O, Inc. as a Managing Director in 2009. He is responsible for sourcing and reviewing new investment opportunities as well as monitoring the performance of portfolio companies. M-K currently serves on the board of four search fund companies (Origo Commodities Management, OLMO, ListEngage and Veri-Tax) and two venture businesses (GroundWork and Recurve). M-K also promotes the traditional partnership approach to search fund investing through his work on the board of the Search Fund Alliance.

Prior to joining M2O, M-K was a Manager with L.E.K. Consulting. During his tenure there, M-K led project teams across a diverse range of industries and business issues. Before L.E.K., M-K helped develop an industry-leading CRM and data management solution for commercial real estate as the Director of Research for CB Richard Ellis in New England.

M-K received his B.S, magna cum laude, from Boston College and his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he was the recipient of the Thomas P. Gerrity Leadership Award.

Shaun Rader

Shaun Rader

Managing Director

Shaun Rader joined M2O, Inc. as a Managing Director in 2019. He sources and executes new investments and collaborates with portfolio company management teams.

Prior to joining M2O, Shaun was a Managing Director at Sagard Holdings, an alternative asset management division of Power Corporation of Canada. At Sagard, Shaun screened, researched, and managed investments totaling $250 million of invested capital across 12 companies, primarily in the business services and healthcare services sectors. In between stints at Sagard, Shaun served as a Partner in a related family office where he led an investment in a national network of veterinary practices and spent two years as CFO and board member of the company, now branded Lakefield Veterinary. Shaun started his career at Bain & Company where he advised private equity and corporate clients on investment decisions and growth strategy.

Shaun earned a B.A. with distinction from the University of Virginia and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he was a Palmer Scholar.

Sarah Zepkowski

Sarah Zepkowski

Controller

Sarah Zepkowski serves as the Controller of M2O, Inc. and has been with the company since 2012. In her current position, Sarah is responsible for overseeing the accounting and financial operations of the firm. Her role includes the management of accounting systems, budget and financial statement development, internal and external reporting, as well as tax and regulatory compliance.

Prior to joining M2O, Inc., Sarah was the Communications Director of JNCIMC, a full service marketing and media production company.

A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, Sarah holds a B.A. in English Literature with honors. She is a licensed notary public in the state of California and is currently pursuing the final requirements for licensure as a CPA in the state of California.

Rebecca Krause

Rebecca Krause

Office Manager

Rebecca Krause joined M2O as the Office Manager in 2019. She is responsible for ensuring the efficiency of daily operations, supporting the executive team in all administrative matters, and assisting the company’s business development efforts.

Rebecca brings over 10 years of managerial and administrative experience in the financial services industry. She most recently served as Commercial Client Officer at City National Bank where she supported a team of Senior Relationship Managers with a large portfolio of commercial clients.

Additionally, Rebecca has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer for children in LA County and is licensed to provide notarial services in the State of California.

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