Colin Welch is responsible for generating new investment opportunities and diligencing new business opportunities, structuring transactions and working with our partner companies. He is also a member of the Investment Committee.
Colin has 25 years of experience identifying investment opportunities and advising companies in the consumer and retail sectors, both domestically and internationally. Prior to joining TSG, Colin served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Financo LLC and CEO of Financo Europe, where he focused on growth capital raising and strategic advisory across a wide range of sub-sectors in the consumer industry, including fashion apparel, footwear and accessories, luxury goods, beauty and personal care, specialty retail, food retail and direct-to-consumer. Prior to Financo, Colin held a variety of investment banking roles at Credit Suisse Europe, Lehman Brothers Europe, J.P. Morgan, and Montgomery Securities. In addition, Colin worked at The Neiman Marcus Group in both merchandising and management roles. Colin received his M.B.A. from Harvard University and a B.B.A., with distinction, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Colin is a Board Member of the Parsons School of Design and a Member of the Dean’s Advisory Board of the University of Wisconsin, Madison School of Business.
What was the first job you had?
The first full-time job I had post undergrad was as an assistant buyer of women’s footwear at Neiman Marcus Group as a trainee in the company’s Executive Development Program. I bought Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta, and the entire evening shoe category, including brands such as Stuart Weitzman.
What attracted you to TSG?
What attracted me to TSG was a combination of the firm’s reputation and track record, the people, and the organization’s passion for working with and building brands. The opportunity to continue to build on the firm’s success by expanding into new consumer verticals, geographies, and investment asset classes was also extremely interesting to me.
What do you enjoy about the business of brand building?
I really enjoy working with entrepreneurs and brand owners. The work allows me to employ a combination of both left and right brain functions and draws on my passion for both the creative and commercial sides of business. Furthermore, I really enjoy the global aspect of brand building and believe the digital world we live in today helps make the market virtually borderless and opens up significant opportunities. Finally, I like to be a part of building organizations and businesses and really enjoy drawing upon my own operational experience and advisory background to assist brand owners in the execution of their strategic visions.
What brings you the most joy in your job?
Working with people who I respect and enjoy being around and helping them to achieve their objectives.
What are the keys to building a successful brand?
There are many keys to success, including a bit of luck and good timing. For those elements within one’s control, I think the keys are determining your brand’s DNA and maintaining an unwavering commitment to it, listening to and ensuring you exceed your customer’s expectations, and investing in talent to ensure the organization has the capabilities and the processes to grow, innovate, and take calculated risks.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur who is trying to take their business to the next level?
Surround yourself with great people who can allow you to spend time in areas where you can make the most impact on your business.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t shy away from difficult situations or problems. They are never as hard as you think they are going to be and they are often the difference between a good and great outcome in life.
What are your greatest sources of inspiration?
My late father. He was a world-renowned radio pharmaceutical chemist and nuclear physicist who helped develop Positron Emission Tomography (“PET”), which contributed to aiding cancer, Alzheimer’s, and coronary disease sufferers and has helped chart research into the potential cures for all three. His work and his life’s legacy has always inspired me to try to make a difference in the lives of those I come across and to do so in my own way.