Grey Owl Differentiation
Grey Owl’s value proposition leverages its founder’s operational, financial and transactional background. Grey Owl is uniquely positioned to create shareholder value both as an investor in businesses (through Grey Owl Capital) and as a strategic partner and advisor to business owners (through Grey Owl Advisors). It is rare for investors in businesses (public or private) to have meaningful, hands-on operational experience actually running companies and dealing with the inherent day-to-day challenges. Additionally, most operationally-focused business consultants lack meaningful private equity industry, financial or transactional experience (either as a principal or as an advisor). Grey Owl was intentionally formed and funded to fill these identified voids in the market by leveraging the diverse background and demonstrated historical successes of its founder. Through Grey Owl, as his most recent platform, Mr. Zylman is pursuing the same business interests on which he has successfully focused throughout his entire career.
Prior to forming and funding Grey Owl in 2019, Mr. Zylman served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sunland Capital, a private holding company investing in energy, industrial and infrastructure service companies, which he co-founded in 2009. For over a decade, Mr. Zylman actively managed multiple businesses (each of which he was solely responsible for acquiring) in different industries and geographies through several economic and industry cycles. His hands-on approach included driving profitable revenue growth (organically and through add-on acquisitions), implementing and enforcing aggressive cost cutting initiatives during downturns and addressing human resource and safety incidents at all hours of the day and night. This operational experience allows Grey Owl to provide active, hands-on oversight and experienced guidance to the day-to-day managers of businesses.
Prior to co-founding Sunland Capital, Mr. Zylman worked in private equity at SCF Partners, a firm focused on the energy service and equipment manufacturing industry. During his time in private equity, Mr. Zylman honed his skills evaluating and acquiring businesses, providing strategic direction and management oversight at a board level and accessing various forms of financing to facilitate growth and/or improve a company’s capital structure. His time in private equity also provided Mr. Zylman with an in-depth working knowledge of private equity fund dynamics and the structural requirements (and limitations) of dedicated private equity funds. This financial experience and private equity industry insight positions Grey Owl as an advisor of choice to private equity fund managers and their portfolio companies across a broad spectrum of industry sectors.
Early in his career, Mr. Zylman was an investment banking professional in Merrill Lynch’s Global Energy & Power Group, executing over $30 billion of M&A and nearly $10 billion of financing transactions. The transactional and financial experience gained over those years further enhances the breadth and depth of Grey Owl’s value proposition as an advisor and as an investor.