Before striking out on her own, launching Kinzie Capital Partners, Suzanne Yoon was a managing director at Versa Capital Management. While she says she worked with talented group of people and learned a lot, there were things Versa just couldn't offer.
"The first reason is really the opportunity to control my own destiny, create essentially a firm that could execute on what I thought the next stage of development in lower-middle-market private equity, specifically focused on operations, technology," Yoon says. "And then the second reason was I just really wanted to build a firm with a culture that I could be proud of and that I could control."
While there was excitement around the opportunity, launching Kinzie, she says, was one of the scariest things she's ever done. She was leaving the financial stability of an established firm and starting from scratch, investing everything she had to get the firm going and then convincing people that they should invest with her. It also meant exposing her family to financial risk. Fortunately, she had many people who were supportive of the path she wanted to go down.
"It was scary, and it took a very long time to plan and think through and make sure it was the right thing to do," she says. "And I would say, if you did a comparison chart and you checked off pros and cons, there was probably a lot more cons than there were pros. But at the end of the day, it was a decision that I made with my family's support to do it because I think I knew if I didn't try, I would regret it."
Yoon spoke on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about launching Kinzie.