by Andrea Heisinger
December 9, 2014

Baird’s New Products Operating Partner

Privcap speaks to Scott Hoffman about why he joined the private equity firm after a 28-year career in industrial products

After spending nearly three decades at an industrial products company, including running four global businesses, Scott Hoffman made the leap to private equity operating partner.

It was an easy decision for him to move to Baird Capital, as part of the firm’s products team. Hoffman spoke with Privcap during

Scott Hoffman, Baird Capital
Scott Hoffman, Baird Capital

his first week on the job, about why he wanted to become an operating partner, and why Baird stood out from other firms he spoke to.

He came from 28 years at Brady Corp., the Milwaukee-based international manufacturer and marketer of safety-related products.

“I met with a number of PE firms in the Midwest and a few in the New York-area,” Hoffman says, “looking for the right strategic fit, an operating culture and philosophy that was positioned well for future growth, along with a proven track record of results and a high-caliber team.”

He settled on Baird, which will make use of his time working in different capacities at Brady, and adding his expertise in value-creation to their global portfolio. “They’re looking to rely on my years of experience to assist the team with strategy development and execution,” Hoffman says.

Although it’s early in his new career as an operating partner, Hoffman says he will have several responsibilities at Baird, including working with the investment team to develop strategies in mutually agreed-upon industry sectors, assisting in sourcing potential transactions, and working with the team to drive value within existing global portfolio companies.

So why make the switch to private equity operations, working with portfolio companies? “It’s the most efficient model in the business,” Hoffman says. “You know the end game, and the exit comes in four, five, six years. I like to keep score, and will create value within strategic areas I will help develop. And I like the entrepreneurial focus in the private equity world and gravitated towards it.”

Hoffman adds that his experience in industrial products cuts across many different industries, channels, geographies and value-creation drivers. “I was looking for an opportunity that would capitalize on this.”