Search Fund Center

2nd International Search Funds Conference

3rd International Search Fund Conference

Barcelona, October 4-5, 2018

Search Funds

Search funds are a niche asset class that have historically been focused on the US market. These investment vehicles enable high potential and entrepreneurially spirited individuals or partnerships to locate, acquire, manage and grow a privately held company. For many prospective entrepreneurs search funds offer a rare opportunity: the possibility of becoming an equity owning manager of a business early in their career.

IESE International Search Fund Center is committed to supporting entrepreneurs and investors from around the world who are engaged in search funds. Through our research, events, and network, we try to understand the specific challenges of search funds and provide resources to help entrepreneurs and investors make their decisions and successfully engage in this form of entrepreneurship.




IESE - International Search Funds - 2016: Selected Observations
IESE - International Search Funds - 2013: Selected Observations
IESE - International Search Funds - 2011: Selected Observations
This note is a biannual study completed by IESE Business School on search funds that were formed outside the United States and Canada. It was undertaken in partnership with Stanford Graduate School of Business.

IESE Re-Thinking Search Fund Incentive Structures
This study analyzes several components of the typical search fund acquisition structure, with the aim of strengthening the alignment between the searcher and investors.

IESE - Search Funds - What Has Made Them Work?
This note highlights the key success factors of search funds based on interviews with past searchers and serial search fund investors.

IESE - The First 10 Questions for Would-be Searchers
This note answers ten of the most common questions asked by people who are relatively new to the Search Fund model, or have never heard of a Search Fund before.

IESE - Considerations for Entrepreneurial Acquisitions
This note synthesizes interviews with entrepreneurial acquirers and financiers from across the globe and summarizes the considerations any would-be entrepreneur should address as they embark on the journey of acquiring an entrepreneurial opportunity.

VIDEO - IESE Introductory Session on Search Funds
IESE, October 20, 2014: Simon Webster, Rob Johnson, Marc Bartomeus

E-conferences: Search Funds
IESE, November 18, 2013: Rob Johnson, Sandro Mina, Simon Webster

E-conferences: An innovative entrepreneurial acquisition model: the Search Fund
IESE, February 11, 2013: Marc Bartomeus, Pep Casas, Rob Johnson, Will Thorndike, Simon Webster

VIDEO - Global Entrepreneurship Week: Simon Webster, Mark Egan
A video introducing Search Funds and the Search Fund experience.


Stanford Search Fund Primer
For those contemplating the pursuit of a search fund, the CES has created a practical guide to answer the most frequently asked questions. The Primer aims to provide an unbiased view of the benefits and challenges, explains the model from the entrepreneurs' and investors' perspective, and gives many operational and execution tips from previous search fund entrepreneurs.

Stanford Search Fund Page (including historical studies)
Stanford’s Search Fund Page provides links to their Search Fund Primer and Search Fund Studies.

VIDEO - Search Fund Videos from Stanford GSB
A series of videos from classes and panels focused on Search Funds.

What it Takes to be a Search Fund Entrepreneur
The search fund model explained by experienced investor Coley Andrews.


Intern Training Manual & Director's Training Manual
These two manuals were developed by a US-based search fund and have since been used by numerous searchers. They provide a step-by-step guide for training interns and the intern manager.

Search Fund Guide to Internships
The purpose of this guide is to provide a ready reference for the use of interns in search funds. It provides searchers with resources describing how to recruit, train, and manage interns, along with checklists, forms, templates, and samples that searchers need for managing internship programs.

Harvard Search Fund Page
Harvard’s Search Fund page provides an overview of the model and several good videos that cover topics relating to Search Funds.

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth - Note on Search Funds
This note provides an abbreviated overview of the Search Fund model and is a good place to start for those who are new to Search Funds.

Search Fund Model in Germany
Platform created by Search Fund investor Jürgen Rilling to spread the Search Fund model to German speaking countries.

Blog - Jim Sharpe, HBS
Jim Sharpe is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Arthur Rock Center in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at the Harvard Business School. His interests are in the area of search acquisitions.

Search Fund model in France
A platform created by the searcher Bruno Lea to explain and spread the search fund model in France.

3rd International Search Fund Conference

October 4-5, 2018


IESE Business School
Av. Pearson, 21
08034 Barcelona


Eddy Zakes 
IESE Search Fund Center