David B. Hackett, Partner & Co-President, White Oak Global Advisors, LLC
By Jonathan Setiabrata, Senior Associate, Investor Relations, White Oak Global Advisors, LLC
Tell us about your career background. How did you get your start in the industry?
I have worked at several firms throughout my career, including Alpine Global, Inc. where I previously worked with Andre Hakkak and North Point Investors, a real estate investment company, where I served as a Portfolio Co-Manager before joining White Oak. In 2008, Andre Hakkak, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of White Oak Global Advisors, LLC, recruited me to join the White Oak team. At White Oak, my primary responsibility is managing the underwriting department and its underlying process. I received my B.S. in finance from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.
One of the key lessons I’ve learned over the course of my career is to under promise and over deliver.
How have you seen the industry evolve from when you started to now?
When I started at White Oak there were a handful of companies similar to White Oak and as we have grown so have the number of investment companies and investors. One of the many changes I have observed is the growth of investor knowledge and expectations. Our focus on non-sponsored deals combined with our financing solutions specifically developed to support middle-market companies are often recognized as what differentiates us from our peers.
What are your goals and priorities in your new role at White Oak Global Advisors?
I have several goals, starting with White Oak’s expansion of its credit platform to offer both investors and potential borrowers solutions that match their respective needs. The firm wants to wisely invest in good companies and to provide good returns to our investors. Additionally, but equally as important, I want our firm to invest in its people and in our culture. This is what helps to set White Oak apart.
Can you tell us about your membership with the firm’s Investment and Operation Committees?
I have been an Investment Committee member since 2011. White Oak’s investment committee is responsible for all decisions related to individual credits and the portfolio. I also sit on White Oak’s Operating Committee which is responsible for operational decisions of the investment manager. As an IC member I am tasked with approving credit opportunities that fit our investment mandate, follow our underwriting process and standards and provide our investors with an acceptable yield. On the Operations Committee, we strive to maintain an environment that ensures that we’re all working together to put capital to good use.
You seem to work hand in hand with Darius M. Can you tell us more about this? How do you work together to ensure new transaction opportunities are of value to the organization?
We have been partners since 2008 and work very well together and compliment one another’s skill sets. Darius and I have a great deal of respect for one another and value each other’s viewpoints.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I am the father of two little girls, ages seven and five. I really enjoy watching them take on new experiences that challenge them. I just took them on a beach vacation and while my oldest was afraid of the ocean, she tried paddle boarding. In no time, she got used to the water and I enjoyed watching her overcome a challenge.