Andy grew up in the Hartford, CT area where by age 8 he was widely known within the neighborhood as an avid Red Sox and Celtics fan. “I loved looking at the newspaper and calculating all the records and statistics for my favorite players.” A passion for football developed next when Andy found himself sharing an elevator with the Rams’ “Fearsome Foursome” while on vacation with his parents in Florida. Tracking the records for all these teams helped Andy realize that math had a higher purpose.
Andy used his new math prowess in his first introduction to the world of finance and investing-- a 5th grade investment contest. “I won first place in the class with stock picks Coleco and Milton Bradley – obviously sticking to what I knew at the time. Interestingly, my portfolio was up only about 5% but it was in a down market – my first exposure to relative performance.”
One of Andy’s first brushes with technology was less productive. “I remember playing with my father’s handheld Bowmar calculator – about the size of brick (and about as fast) and I figured out that by punching the keys in a certain order and holding multiple keys down I could get it to count. Unfortunately I ruined that calculator and my father ruined my plans for that afternoon.”
Andy stuck to the pursuit of finance and investment knowledge while attending the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “I majored in accounting and minored in finance because I was good at it and accounting gives you great exposure to lots of different industries. Plus there was a nasty recession going on and I knew I could get a job.” While in college, Andy dabbled in a number of different jobs but ultimately settled on real estate, doing accounting for his landlord.
After Wharton, Andy moved to Boston where he could follow the Red Sox and Celtics more closely and join the auditing team at Coopers and Lybrand. Andy gravitated to financial services clients with his favorites being Harvard’s endowment, and a real estate development, management and construction company. “Harvard was doing some very interesting things in arbitrage, private equity, and commodities, which was exciting. At the same time, there was a real estate boom and my real estate clients were growing significantly.” Although his clients’ business and growth strategies fascinated him, Andy found auditing and working in a billing environment too limiting.
Looking to deepen his knowledge of one industry, Andy joined Corcoran Jennison, his former real estate client, as Controller of their development company. “My timing couldn’t have been worse – there was a real estate crash shortly after I joined and my two years there were spent primarily focusing on reducing costs and managing debt and working capital. There were few new development opportunities. However, I learned some very valuable skills, including the downside of financial leverage, and got my first real exposure to private equity.”
In 1989, Andy was recruited by Thomas H. Lee Partners, a leveraged buyout group, where he set up the back office and investor reporting for their first institutional fund. Andy worked closely with the investing partners on deal closings, fund structuring and fundraising, and managed all financial reporting for five THL funds totaling $6 billion of assets under management. “I saw different market cycles during my years at THL, including the S&L crisis, strong credit and IPO markets, and the overall growth and institutionalization of the private equity industry.” It also motivated him to earn his Masters in Finance at Boston College, work that broadened his knowledge of finance and better positioned him for his next move in the industry.
In 2000, Andy joined Fidelity Ventures as its Chief Financial Officer. "I wanted to complement what I’d done in private equity at THL ." Andy’s role quickly grew to encompass more than finance and reporting, expanding to include coordinating legal, compliance, human resources and IT responsibilities. His insights and contributions had an impact, and Andy was promoted to Partner.
Andy joins Volition Capital as a founder, Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer. “The Volition team is strong, and is as passionate as I am about creating value for our portfolio companies, the firm and its investors. Like the companies we invest in, we’re ready and looking forward to the next stage of our development.”
Andy is married and lives with his wife, two children, and dog Chico, who are all devoted sports fans.