John L. Pouschine
Co-Founder & Managing Member
John L. Pouschine brings 28 years of private equity investment experience, including roles in operations, extensive board of directors experience, and a very successful record making non-control investments, to Pouschine Cook, which he co-founded in 1997.
Prior to co-founding Pouschine Cook, John was a senior vice president and director of Electra Inc. where he focused on leading many private middle market expansion financings, recapitalizations and acquisitions. In his role as investor and director, John guided numerous companies through growth rates well in excess of the industry. These included Act III Cinemas, DeCrane Aircraft Holdings, Family Christian Stores, Oxford Health Plans, Regent Communications and Steinway Musical Properties. Prior to Electra, John was a vice president of Bradford Ventures, Ltd., where in addition to doing buyouts, he played a leading operating role turning around two portfolio companies. Prior to Bradford, John was an investment banker at Prudential Securities and a commercial banker at JP Morgan.
John graduated from Princeton University and from Harvard Business School. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Latex International, Griswold Home Care and Financial Health Services and former Chairman of the Board of MasterCraft, St. Clair Entertainment, Doe & Ingalls, World of Tile, Great Lakes Caring and International Graphics. He is a former Director of MedPay, Spring Air Partners, Ampac Packaging and The RoomPlace. John is also a board member of numerous not-for-profit organizations.
Personally Speaking with John Pouschine
Co-founding the Firm: As private equity investors become more experienced, they are likely to raise larger and larger funds. With more large funds investing in bigger companies, smaller, middle-market companies are underserved. I felt passionately about providing these companies with the same level of resources and expertise that the bigger companies were receiving. So, I decided to take my years of investment experience, link up with Everett Cook, and focus on the smaller, middle-market companies.
Business Values: Treat people the way you want to be treated. Our businesses are built through open discussion between our management teams and members of the board, sharing experience, insight, knowledge, while respecting different points view. My job is to be both a sounding board for new ideas coming from our management teams and our advisors, and a springboard for new ideas and opportunities based on our collective experience.
Biggest Challenge: In a crowded field of private equity firms, it’s sometimes tough to communicate what makes us stand apart. We work in very close partnership with management – that’s our real differentiator. Everett and I have extensive operating backgrounds. We know what it’s like to run an operating business, to make payroll when cash is tight, and we can talk to managers as peers who have been there, done that.
Biggest High: Results are our drug of choice. When we’ve been hard at work at one of our companies supporting a significant change effort, and then see significant increases in sales revenue, a spike in margins, greater operating efficiency, substantially better information-that’s what keeps us going!
Key Lesson Learned: Leadership is all about team performance. It’s about having the integrity, appropriate resources, good information, harnessing people’s hard work, brain power, and helping them to work together for the good of the business.