People often look towards senior executives in large companies for inspiration. One company they often look towards is Sun Capital Partners, and particularly its co-CEO Mark J Leder. He offers a true story of inspiration, giving people the hope that they, too, can make it to the top if they want to. So who is Mark Leder, and what makes him so special?
A Short Background
Leder, born in 1962, is a native of Long Island, NY. He earned his BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, having had an interest in business from a young age. After graduation, he took on a job at Lehman Brothers in New York as an analyst in their staff. He remained with the Lehman Brothers for nine years, eventually growing to the position of Senior Vice President. When he felt he had achieved all he could at the company, him and colleague, as well as college friend, Rodger Krouse, started Sun Capital Partners, Inc. together.
Sun Capital Partners
Leder and Krouse founded Sun Capital Partners in 1995, after nine and 11 years respectively at the Lehman Brothers. They effectively started from scratch. While they both had a huge amount of active private equity engagement, they took a huge risk by starting a brand-new company, in an area where very few other companies of its kind were found. Operating out of Florida, they instantly aimed to set themselves up as a global private equity firm. Accustomed to doing things differently through their time at Lehman Brothers, Sun Capital Partners also aimed to think outside of the box. As such, they focused mainly on struggling companies, using their expertise and financial resources in order to pull those companies around. Interestingly, the first struggling company that they had to turn around was their own, and it took five years of hard work for them to achieve that.
Today, however, Sun Capital Partners is one of the best known companies of its kind, trusted for its expertise by management teams and investors the world over. They are respected for their vast experience, particularly in sectors such as retail and restaurant, automotive, building products, chemical, packaging, industrial, food and beverage, and consumer services and products. Since the company was founded in 1995, they have grown to a huge player with investments in over 330 global companies, spanning a variety of industries, and using a range of transaction structures.
Leder has struggled to get to where he is now, and he couldn’t have made it without help from others. As such, now that he is in a position to do so, he engages in a great deal of philanthropy as well. He is a board of directors member for the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation and the Berlin Berggruen Museum. Through the Sun Capital Partners Foundation, he has also provided financial support to some 275 different charities, fighting against poverty and helping young people to take charge of their own future.