Investing in Sustainability with Snow Phipps’ Sean Epps

July 31, 2015

John Shegerian: Welcome to another edition of Green Is Good. This is the Houlihan Lokey edition of Green Is Good. We are here in beautiful New York City, New York, and we’re so honored to have with us today Sean Epps. He is a partner a Snow Phipps. Welcome to Green Is Good, Sean.

Sean Epps: Thank you, John. Thank you for having me.

John Shegerian: Great. Sean, what are you doing today? What are you so excited about at the Houlihan Lokey Conference, and why did you come here today?

Sean Epps: Houlihan has been a great partner of Snow Phipps for a very long time. We’re a middle market private equity firm that overlaps well with Houlihan’s capabilities, and we recently bought a business during a Houlihan process. The business that we bought is called “Cascade,” and it’s in the environmental services space. Aside from the specifics of Cascade, we have been coming here to the Houlihan Conference for years now. It’s one of the best conferences in the industrial space, particularly in the lower to middle market, and we’re happy to be here.

John Shegerian: That’s great. Talk a little bit about your company – Snow Phipps. And for our audience that wants to learn more about Snow Phipps, you can do to www.snowphipps.com. What’s the premise of Snow Phipps? And talk a little bit about the history and your investment strategy.

Sean Epps: Sure. Happy to do that. We are a middle market private equity firm that’s focused on completing transactions that work well with our operating model. Our operating model is one where we bring very senior operating partners to the table to help us evaluate companies and areas that we want to invest in, and then, once we buy businesses, we work with our operating partners to enhance the businesses that we buy.

John Shegerian: So you just recently invested in Cascade. What was the business proposition? What business is Cascade, in and why were you excited about investing in Cascade?

Sean Epps: Cascade is one of the leading environmental services businesses in North America. They have a heritage across a number of decades as an industry leader in several services that you would see on a brownfield environmental site. They have site assessment capabilities, they have drilling capabilities and they have a segment of remediation capabilities that we are excited about driving in the future.

John Shegerian: Got you. And is this your first environmental investment, or you have other investments in the sustainability space prior to Cascade?

Sean Epps: Snow Phipps is a veteran in the environmental space. We have had a portfolio company in the space for quite some time and we think this is a space that we know well, which is always important in investing but we also think the environmental segment is an area that has very strong growth prospects over a very long time horizon.

John Shegerian: In terms of a social trend, sustainability is here to stay, socially speaking, in America, and the revolution is both underway and growing as a trend and that’s why your company – Snow Phipps – likes to look at potential investments in this area.

Sean Epps: Absolutely. And we see a number of reasons for its viability on an economic basis as well. We know from other investment themes that we’ve worked over the history of our firm where – for instance – natural resources, very expensive. And if natural resources are very expensive that means that amongst a variety of different things that means recycling and environmental sustainability is an important potential of that trend.

John Shegerian: So that’s why you like to come to this conference? Because you spend one day here and you get exposure to a lot of great new and upcoming businesses that you can potentially invest in?

Sean Epps: That is correct. And we stay in front of the trends and the themes in what people are thinking, so this is very helpful to be here at the Houlihan Conference.

John Shegerian: That’s great. Well, that’s great. For our audience members out there, to learn more about Sean’s great company, you can go to www.snowphipps.com. Sean, we’re so happy that great people like you are investing in the future of sustainability and making the world a better place. You are truly living proof that Green Is Good.

Sean Epps: And thanks for your spokesmanship, John.

John Shegerian: Thank you.