Paul grew up in Milwaukee before earning his BA in Finance from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from Columbia Business School. After a two-year stint at Duff & Phelps in Chicago providing valuation and M&A services to middle market companies, he realized that he wanted more than just the next deal. This was also 1999, and that whole Internet thing was really ramping up so he joined a startup and moved to San Francisco right before the bubble popped.
Despite the comical timing, it was a fantastic experience. Instead of going public and rolling up the industry as part of the M&A team, he held sales and strategy roles with the company, learning valuable lessons about building a company during a changing economic cycle with little access to outside capital. Using that experience, he co-founded BlackBag Technologies a data forensics company and with his two partners bootstrapped the company to nearly $10MM in sales and 50 people before stepping down from his role as CFO.
Paul has also spent time outside the private sector, as the 2nd employee at BUILD, laying the foundation for what has grown into a national non-profit for youth in under-resourced communities. He also spent significant time in East Africa, first as a consultant to the micro-finance agency FINCA, and later working with the East African Development Bank to assess the opportunity for a venture capital fund in the region.
With experience as an operator and angel investor, FreeGulliver’s entrepreneurial culture was a natural fit. At FreeGulliver, Paul oversees all alternative assets, sourcing and structuring unique opportunities for our clients. Paul remains on the board of BlackBag Technologies and also serves on the board of Lighthouse Louisiana. He lives in New Orleans with his wife and two boys.
“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” Lin Yutang