Jason Mironov, TA Associates
What drew you to the private equity industry. What do you like about it?
As a high school and college student, I was always drawn to entrepreneurship. Having started and run businesses of my own to help pay for college, I came to really appreciate the American ingenuity and the opportunities that our society provides to those who are aspiring for success.
When I was fortunate enough to be admitted to the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, I stumbled across a formal business education that helped me understand finance and accounting in a much more granular way. The curriculum became an outlet for me to touch thousands of businesses, to become a student of fantastic entrepreneurs and business models and to develop a more global perspective on business.
After a short stint in investment banking, I realized private equity offered me an incredible opportunity to be a part of a company in a very organic and emotional way. I developed a passion for partnering with entrepreneurs, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of growing, profitable companies that were exploring the next frontier of success. While at Harvard Business School, I worked closely with professors to customize my experience in the pursuit of growth equity. This included advising entrepreneurs, working closely on a case study to see how private equity impacts day-to-day operations and immersing myself in the myriad of activities that I had hoped could equip me to be a quality investor.
Frequently, the companies that TA invests in are outside of tier one cities such as New York and San Francisco. The experience of working with people from all walks of life towards a common goal gives me great hope for our democracy. I have the pleasure of working with a wide variety of entrepreneurs - all of whom are “self-made” and have seized on a unique opportunity to create their own success.
In my view, private equity is unique in the fact that it involves much more than simply picking and making quality investments; it’s about creating opportunities and deploying strategic thinking. From the industry research and due diligence, to the financial structuring and value creation, private equity requires a variety of steps and multiple skill sets in order to not only be successful, but also to learn from your mistakes, which all investors inevitably make along the way.
Having the ability to provide and implement both financial and operational resources to truly help drive impactful growth for privately-held companies is extremely rewarding. Importantly, private equity provides unique opportunities to form trust-based relationships with a number of professionals from companies, services providers, the limited partner community and even investors at competing firms. Similar to most of my TA team members, I have been fortunate to develop a network of contacts around the globe.
My career presents fresh challenges and opportunities each and every day that I step foot in the office or somewhere on the road, and the private equity space as a whole is one in which I feel very fortunate and honored to be a part.
What types of deals are you working on? What are the best parts of your job?
I help lead TA’s investments for the North America Business and Financial Services group, where I mainly focus my time on technology-enabled and other services companies in North America. While I cannot disclose any specific potential deals that I am currently working on or companies that we are looking at, I can share some background on the deals that I have been a part of during my tenure at TA.
DiscoverOrg – I originated and co-sponsored TA’s May 2014 investment in DiscoverOrg, a leading provider of B2B sales and marketing data and analytics. TA was the first institutional investor in DiscoverOrg, and the company’s revenues and profits have grown more than 6x since TA’s investment. TA has helped identify, source, finance and execute five acquisitions, including RainKing and Zoom Information, the company’s most recent acquisition in February 2019. I helped assist with the expansion and development of the DiscoverOrg management team, including sourcing and recruiting three independent board members and over five senior executives. Additionally, since TA’s investment, DiscoverOrg has conducted four debt recapitalizations and a debt-financed share repurchase, including a partial recapitalization by the Carlyle Group (Nasdaq :CG) and 22C Capital in March 2018.
Procare Software – I originated and led TA’s May 2015 majority investment in Procare Software, a leading provider of software, integrated payments and solutions to the childcare segment. TA was the first institutional investor in Procare. Since TA’s investment, the company has closed four strategic acquisitions, three of which TA originated, including KidReports in 2017 and SchoolLeader and Cirrus Group in 2018; and in May 2019, announced the signing of its fifth acquisition, Kinderlime. Additionally, I helped assist with the expansion and development of the Procare management team, including the addition of two independent directors and six senior executives. In August 2018, Warburg Pincus completed a strategic investment in Procare, with TA remaining a significant investor in the company.
Conservice – I helped originate and co-sponsored TA’s investment in Conservice, the nation’s largest independent provider of utility expense management software and solutions. I have helped the management team further capitalize on the company’s strong organic growth and business momentum. This year, I assisted with the origination and execution of Conservice’s acquisition of WaterWatch. Additionally, I helped assist with the expansion and development of the Conservice management team, including helping source and recruit two board members and two senior executives.
Working with founders and executives of high-growth, technology-enabled businesses has been extraordinarily rewarding. I endeavor to work alongside our executives, contributing in areas where we have some expertise, but also deeply respecting the independence of our partners. Working with seasoned executives at the board level also is incredibly rewarding, and gives me a new lens through which I can better see and understand business.
My favorite parts of the job all revolve around the people – Whether it’s during origination, execution or our investment hold period, I have been honored to be surrounded by thousands of highly-talented, dedicated and passionate people from all over the world. It’s part of what I believe differentiates TA and all of the amazing companies with which we are lucky enough to partner.
What deal-related accomplishments are you proud of?
Watching four founder-owned businesses, where I helped originate and execute an investment, fundamentally reshape their markets and create countless opportunities around the world has been extraordinarily rewarding. The lives of the employees of these companies (and in many cases, their partners and customers) are often irrevocably changed by the services or products that TA’s portfolio companies provide. Seeing and hearing about these impacts gives me tremendous satisfaction.
How are you contributing to your firm and the PE industry?
I have helped lead key aspects of the associate training program at TA, while also being a contributor to firm-wide global recruiting. I have made contributions to the firm’s marketing efforts, and currently serve on TA’s technology committee. I also have participated in the firm’s charitable activities, including participation on “Team TA” in the Pan-Mass Challenge. I have mentored past associates and provided support to the business school application process. Finally, I have helped coordinate and plan offsites and social events, helping promote the firm’s culture, and have represented TA on sector-specific panel discussions.
Outside of TA, I am a frequent contributor to the Venture Capital & Private Equity Club at the Harvard Business School, and spend time with numerous students at the University of Michigan and the Harvard Business School, providing guidance and mentorship to those looking to enter the industry. I also have hosted countless MBA treks visiting the Bay Area aiming to help inform students about the potential of a role in the industry. Additionally, I have been active with the Peninsula College Fund, which helps provide resources for low-income and first generation college students to graduate and obtain a job that aligns with their career goals.
How has your current PE firm nurtured your career?
I have been the beneficiary of extraordinary mentorship from colleagues and partners from all over the world. TA has made a deep investment in my success from a personal and professional standpoint. In particular, I have benefited from the guidance of many of my partners and colleagues, some of whom are listed below.
Todd Crockett, managing director (Menlo Park); Kurt Jaggers, senior advisor (Menlo Park); Michael Berk, managing director (Boston) Jason Werlin, managing director (Menlo Park); Ethan Liebermann, Director (Boston).
The mentorship and guidance I have received is far reaching. In addition to training on how to be a good investor, board member and partner, I’ve learned a great deal about life outside of the office. I’ve been lucky to obtain advice on parenting and how to take care of one’s family, and the myriad of other issues that spouses and parents face. TA has been my family, and for that I am eternally grateful.