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Jason Colodne Ideamensch Interview

Read the full interview here:

Jason Colodne

Co-Founder of Colbeck Capital Management

Stefan Junge • October 7, 2020

Jason Colodne is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Colbeck Capital Management. Colbeck is a private credit asset manager focused on providing strategic capital to companies going through periods of transition. Colbeck has offices in New York and Los Angles. In his role as Managing Partner, Mr. Colodne leverages his 26 years of professional investing experience and oversees all aspects of the business. He is also the senior transaction partner and supervises all aspects of investment execution, including portfolio management, documentation, and due diligence. Colbeck has underwritten over $2.5 billion of investments ranging in size from $20 million to $400 million in a broad array of industries and geographies.

Before co-founding Colbeck, Mr. Colodne was a Managing Director and Founder of the Strategic Finance Division for Morgan Stanley. While Mr. Colodne was at Morgan Stanley, the Strategic Finance Division expanded to become a joint venture with Fixed Income and Investment Banking and underwrote over $19 billion in loan volume. Before Morgan Stanley, Mr. Colodne worked at Goldman Sachs on the Bank Loan Sales and Trading Desk in the Fixed Income Currency, and Commodities Division. He was Head of the Distressed Research and Investing Desk as well as Head of the Hybrid Lending Business. Prior to working at Goldman Sachs, he worked in the Proprietary Distressed Securities Investing Group at UBS and in the Leverage Finance and Financial Sponsors Group in Investment Banking at Bear Stearns.

Mr. Colodne has held board seats on multiple portfolio companies and participated in numerous restructuring steering committees. Mr. Colodne is a member of the Young Professionals Organization-Metro New York (YPO), is a Board member of the Centurion Foundation, and a Committee member at the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Mr. Colodne is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Where did the idea for Colbeck Capital Management come from?

Jason Beckman and I worked together at Goldman Sachs on the Bank Loan Sales and Trading Desk in the Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities Division of the firm. We based the Colbeck business model on the strategy we deployed together at Goldman and combining our respective experiences running credit investing and sourcing. I was the Head of the Distressed Research and Investing as well as the Head of the Hybrid Lending Business and Jason Beckman was head of Bank Sourcing.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

A typical day starts with a 20-minute meditation, reading the news, reviewing emails, and then daily conference calls with the investment team. The calls are structured in a progression each day of the week, covering priorities, pipeline, portfolio, investment committee, and ad hoc topics respectively. The balance of the day is focused on business development, investment diligence, and analysis as well as operations and management topics. Towards the end of the day, I will meditate again, read a book, play tennis, surf, or go for a run.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I spend a lot of time thinking and then interacting with my colleagues and partners to refine and further develop ideas for implementation.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Meditating, which helps to reduce distraction, enhancing creativity, critical thought and focus.

What advice would you give your younger self?

To be more present and to always rely on yourself and your potential. Read as much as you can, learn from others, and teach what you have learned. Always look for ways to increase your knowledge, experiences, and consciousness. Learn to speed read, play the guitar, and surf every chance you get.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I believe “the glass” is neither half-full nor half-empty – it is simply a glass of water. See things for what they are, without judgement that may induce bias.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Look back at past decisions to understand the drivers behind them and their outcomes applying what I’ve learned to similar or new situations.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Very early on in my career, I identified mentors who had excelled in their professional careers. I spent time working with them to understand exactly what three qualities made them exceptional at what they do. I made a deliberate effort to emulate those qualities. I also surrounded myself by others who have outstanding and complementary skills and qualities to those that I have developed.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

The investments that we’re involved with often entail finding strategic financing solutions for borrowers that are going through periods of transition. I spend a lot of time thinking about the structure of our transactions and how to maximize our upside while protecting the original capital. One example of this structuring is how we define an exit fee. We will often structure our loans with exit fees that economically act like equity in that they are aligned with the enterprise value of the business but are senior and secured in the company’s capital structure. This tends to be less dilutive to the company’s shareholders than an equity grant and at the same time provides for upside potential in the loan.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A Wednesday night spaghetti and meatballs dinner with my daughter.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

An HP 12c calculator app. I first used that calculator when I started in the business over twenty-five years ago. As an analyst, we were trained to carry it with us at all times, and though it uses RPN which may seem counter-intuitive, it can actually allow for much quicker calculations with practice… They have subsequently made an app that emulates the calculator (so I guess I am still carrying the calculator will me all the times).

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Grit by Angela Duckworth. The book details the significance of passion and perseverance in achieving success in any endeavor.

What is your favorite quote?

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity – Einstein

Key Learnings:

  • Always strive to see things for what they are, in both business and life.

  • Emulate the qualities of successful people that inspire you in your field.

  • Read as much as you can, always take the opportunity to learn from others


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