Founder, CEO, & CIO at Crown Capital

Can you please provide a little introduction about yourself

I am the Founder/CEO & CIO of Crown Capital (Crown), a lower middle market PE buyout fund based in Atlanta, Georgia.  I lead investment and capital-raising activities and provide strategic and operational support to management teams across the portfolio. 

What has your journey to your position been like? What path have you taken?

In undergrad, I focused on tax and accounting in Michigan and then attained a JD from Wake Forest. I then worked for Arthur Andersen for five years, focusing on family offices. Through that practice, I developed these close family office relationships and started to work in their businesses, sitting on their boards and solving business problems. I later went on to found the Private Client Law Group, which focused on business, tax, and asset protection for ultra-high-net-worth family offices. As a Family Office advisor, I engaged in operations consulting across a broad spectrum of privately held businesses, particularly focused on throughput optimization, revenue enhancement/expansion, and business culture. In 2012, we started to develop the Crown Capital platform based on investor or family office demand that I would source these opportunities for them. By 2017, we had really refined our investment thesis to this data-driven baby boomer and transition model. We developed our operating system based on my experience with these family offices in their companies to allow us to optimize the companies we acquired.

For over a decade, I was annually named to the Georgia Super Lawyers Listing and rated as a Five Star Wealth Manager.

Has it always been your vision to reach the position you’re at? Was your current role part of your vision to become a tech leader?

I've always been entrepreneurial, but I didn't see myself owning my own fund.  So, the biggest dream I could dream when I was young was to be a lawyer. But once I became a lawyer, I met these entrepreneurs who brought me into their business operations. I certainly saw myself in operations and in business management.

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Have you had a role model or mentor that has helped you on your journey?

Of course, I have had multiple mentors at different stages of my life, and am grateful for all that I learnt from them on my journey.

How do you see the role of the technology leader evolving over the next 5 years?

Technology is integral to human existence. Although at Crown, we do not particularly invest or focus on tech, I am a geek and a techy. I love to use AI in my day-to-day life and have automated solutions and responses to mundane tasks.

What skills do you think leaders of the future will need in order to thrive?

This is also the key mission that we state in everything we do at Crown-
All of us, All in, All the time. The biggest thing is the doer's mindset and one who has that can find his/her way through any challenge.

How do you keep current with new skills, technologies and personal development?

I believe in 'readers are the leaders' and I keep myself updated by reading and reading. I encourage my team and everyone around me to read a little, more each day.

"Stay curious and never stop learning."

If you were mentoring a leader of the future, what advice or guidance would you give to help them on their way?

Be best at something instead of being average at many.

Is there anything in particular that you would still like to achieve in your career or what is the next step on your journey?

Crown investment thesis has the potential to beat all other performance indices and I want the world to learn that. I am moving in the direction of expansion and growth towards making that happen.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Eradicate Poverty.

I come from a rather less privileged economic background. I am very successful today however I do realize that the majority of the world does not or could not create that change or break the family poverty cycle. 
'Great Companies create great communities and great communities create great nations'. 

I am on a mission to create economic empowerment by preserving the legacy of great companies that have a lasting impact on the lives of the people involved.

Other details that you'd like to add:

We have developed the Crown Capital Operating System (CCOS), which basically is the formulae to take the company to a new height through an operational improvement plan and that could be the cornerstone of success in many businesses. We love to share our success stories.

A big thank you to Christopher Graham from Crown Capital for sharing his journey to date.

If you would like to gain more perspective from Tech Leaders and CIOs you can read some of our other interviews here.

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The CIO Circle Editor
Post by The CIO Circle Editor
May 29, 2024