Grant is the Managing Director for Benevolent Capital with many diverse investments that include the Orua Ring, Best Day Brewing, and professional soccer. Learn why Grant and his twin brother Brett engineered their private equity firm to be radically different than most and why he left Greenwich, Connecticut for Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Grant is a graduate of Brown University and is finishing his executive program at Harvard Business School. He is a Young President’s Organization (YPO) Member. He is the managing director of Benevolent Capital.
- Montgomery Securities – Institutional sales program
- First non-MBA member to be hired in the program.
- “Sometimes it is about timing. Sometimes it is about who you know more than anything else!”
- Venture Capital is for very early-stage companies to help them get off the ground.
- Private Equity is generally for later-stage companies looking to grow or transition.
- Grant became a “Sherpa” at Montgomery Securities
- (9:00) One of his first tests early in his career was to see if he had the ability to tell people that he didn’t know the answer. Always tell the truth and be honest.
- Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs where you don’t have all the skills. Skills can be taught. Hiring managers are looking for character, integrity, honesty, interpersonal skills, and communication skills.
- (12:45) Grant highlights a learning experience as the captain of his crew team when he lost a position in the first boat.
- “Sometimes out of the bad comes the great!”
- You really learn about yourself and life when things go wrong.
- Covid presented a learning and growing opportunity for us all.
- (17:45) Why is tenacity so important?
- Why did Montgomery Securities start by only hiring Athletes?
- (24:00) When Warren Buffet is wrong he is barely wrong but when he is right BIG and for a long time.
- Why did Grant leave Greenwich, Connecticut, and New York City?
- Wanted a state with no state income tax
- A friend told him to check out Baylor School in Chattanooga, TN
- Chattanooga was voted “Best small town” in America twice.
- (34:45) Grant’s advice to his daughters “Free to be you, free to be me.”
- (40:00) “Our country needs the ability to have more debate.”
- (43:10) “You feel like we are fighting and arguing and I feel like we are finally communicating.” Grant uses a quote from the movie Jerry McGuire to help demonstrate a point on modern-day politics.
- Do we believe in free speech and diversity and inclusion or do we not? Today many only believe in this as long as you agree with them.
- (54:00) How to build a company with a billion in revenue?
- The importance of a robust board
- Your customers are raving evangelists for your product or service
- “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast.” – Peter Drucker
- (55:00) How is Grant training his daughters to have success in life?
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Best Day Brewing – Non-Alcoholic Beer and Athletic Brewing – Are two of the companies that Grant’s firm has invested in.
- An SPV – Special Purpose Vehicle for each investment in Benevolent Capital
- They charge NO management fees for the investments in their fund. (The Traditional "2 and 20")...
- Plus they give all investors a 100% preferred return before they get paid.
- This is very different from most investment firms.
- For us to make an investment in a company we need to believe in the company and we have to want to be an evangelist for the product or service.
- Brett Johnson was running the family business (Targus Computer Accessory Company) and during that time frame after working with PE firms they decided when it was time for them to start their own investment firm they would do it differently.
- “We don’t need the management fees to be motivated to be successful.”
- Why did they invest in Orua Ring?
- How do they do due diligence in companies they invest in?
- Believe in the product – Great Products
- Teams when championships. Who is the management team?
- Is this in an A or C industry?
- What is the exit? How so you exit the investment?
- Either a big company needs to buy the product or they are buying it so it doesn’t fall into the hands of their competitor.
- Many times the price they will pay to prevent their competitor from getting it is higher than if they just want it for themselves.
- (1:26:30) How did Grant and Brett Johnson get involved in Professional Soccer in the United States and Great Britain?
- How has the Ted Lasso show helped Professional Soccer?
- Best Day Brewing is an official sponsor of Professional Pickle Ball!
- (1:38:00) Grant Johnson’s State of the Union Address to the American People
- “Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest until your good is your better and your better is your best!”
- Book Recommendation
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What is Taking the Leap?
Taking the Leap Podcast hosted by Robert Dickie III discusses changes in our global economy impacting the way we work and live. For young professionals starting their careers, mid-career professionals navigating changes and late-career professionals thinking about starting an encore career, Robert and his guests discuss the global economy, technology, workplace developments, and all the latest changes impacting our professional lives.