Silver Steep Partners, a Seattle, Wash.-based, investment banking firm that caters exclusively to companies in the outdoor and active lifestyle industry has established an advisory board chaired by founding partner Sally McCoy, now the CEO and president of CamelBak.
Jack Gilbert, founder and former CEO of Mountain Hardwear, and Peter Metcalf, founder and current CEO of Black Diamond Equipment, are the first two outdoor industry leaders named to the Silver Steep advisory board. They will both work alongside McCoy.
Nate Pund, founding partner of Silver Steep, told SNEWS® that establishing an advisory board was something the company had been discussing for some time and had put into place as of Sept. 30.
"When Sally and I co-founded Silver Steep two years ago, we both knew that we wanted to be much more than just a company that dealt with mergers and acquisitions," Pund said. "We want to be in a position to not only be a critical component in the successful buying and selling process of companies, but also a vital option for companies seeking investment support and guidance to help them grow and succeed."
To do that, Pund said, both he and McCoy knew early on that an advisory board would be critical to guiding the firm as it offers financial and strategic advice to its clients.
Pund told SNEWS® that Silver Steep will be working to expand the board to include expertise from other industries the firm serves, including the bike and snowsports industries. Daniel Blatt will join the board this week with a strong background as an investment banker on Wall Street specializing in European deals, and now as a private equity investment expert.
"Ideally, we are looking to carefully expand and build on the foundation of the board with individuals who represent industry icons who have played central roles in the development of the business category they conducted business in and are well respected for their business acumen," Pund said.
The board's role will not be one of intimate involvement with individual deals and investments, Pund told us. Instead, the board will provide broad answers to trends and industry direction questions that the firm or the firm's clients ask of them.
"The board will be presented with questions and challenges from us to provide answers that will reveal an insider's perspective on how the industry is changing or will be changing," said Pund. "We will be able to use that perspective and insight when we are positioning and selling companies to ensure we are conducting the process of every deal in an optimum manner that exceeds what any buyer or seller of a company has come to expect."
SNEWS® View: Silver Steep Partners has been on quite a run since it was launched. It was involved in the sale of Montrail to Columbia Sportswear -- though whether that turns out to be a good thing for the venerable Montrail brand in the long term certainly remains to be seen as Columbia appears to be tripping over its own feet right now. It helped broker the sale of Overland Equipment to Rory Fuerst, also the owner of Keen. As you might have heard, the company is involved in the ongoing sale of Helly Hansen. And, for the last year, it has held a strategic advisory role to CamelBak and Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, resulting in Sally McCoy agreeing to be named as CEO and president at the CamelBak board's and Stearns' request.
While it might seem McCoy is leaving Silver Steep, nothing could be further from the truth. We suspect that McCoy, who as long as we have known her hates to leave any job unfinished, will provide an active role as a leader of the firm's board. Pund, who is a wiz at the financial modeling and legal side of mergers and acquisitions, has an A-team of advisors to turn to now, making Silver Steep an even more powerful ally for any company contemplating investment or selling needs.