Jack Rong ’20 followed a path different from the traditional job search during the second year of his Yale MBA program. Rong initiated a self-funded search fund named Suncordy Pacific. Suncordy aims to acquire a business with $3 to $20 million in revenue in which Rong can immediately become its CEO.
Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, Rong has always been interested in entrepreneurship. He discovered the search fund concept during his time at Yale and immediately took to its approach to entrepreneurship. After taking Entrepreneurship through Acquisition, a course that focuses on the concept of young MBAs purchasing a business to operate, he knew that this path was meant for him. “Before Yale, I worked at both large and small companies. While working in a larger firm was a great learning experience, I have always felt a calling in entrepreneurship. I want to be an entrepreneur and a leader. I like the idea of building and creating value for employees, myself, and my family. On a personal note, Suncordy is the name of my father’s first business that he founded in 1996, so I am thrilled to carry the entrepreneurial torch forward,” said Rong.
After evaluating several search fund models, Rong was most excited about a self-funded search. “Part of the draw of a search fund is greater control of your professional life upon acquisition. For me, the self-funded model is the most flexible way to enhance my control while maximizing potential benefits from the opportunity. I want to achieve a favorable risk-reward profile by seeking a structurally low-risk business, paying a fair price, and utilizing a healthy amount of leverage.”
Before Yale, Rong worked at Barclays and then mortgage startup Clara Lending. Both positions were finance oriented, skills that Rong hoped to utilize in order to structure a deal that will drive financial gains and organizational growth. “An ideal business for Suncordy Pacific has four key characteristics: located in British Colombia, Canada; consistent, with stable sales up to $20 million; has a diversified customer base with recurring revenue; and is a motivated seller looking to handoff operations. I believe these traits will allow me to comfortably transition into the CEO role and drive growth. I am really enthusiastic about the opportunity, and I cannot wait to get started,” said Rong.
Rong, who is recently married to fellow Yale SOM student Sonya Shen ‘20, has relocated from New Haven to Vancouver for his search period. After sourcing and acquiring a company, he will relocate again to the newly purchased business. During the search, Rong will forgo the typical post-MBA salary, opting instead for a large equity stake in the purchased entity.
When asked about his time at Yale, Rong reflected and offered, “Yale has been a fantastic experience. I won the lottery here—I left New Haven with a spouse and a career path I am excited about. Over these past two years, I have leaned into the opportunities available and developed both personally and professionally. Yale has exposed me to unique concepts, such as search funds, which altered my career trajectory. I am thankful for the connections made and the lifelong friends I have met. Yale has pushed and challenged me in more ways than I could have imagined. Also, Yale has a growing community of searchers that serves as a valuable source of support, and it has been a rewarding opportunity to extend learning beyond the classroom setting. I was sad to leave New Haven; embarking on this new chapter, however, excites me. I am looking forward to the opportunity to buy, build, and lead an enterprise.”