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Providing an exit opportunity for business owners who wish to preserve their legacy and bring new energy into their business

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Who We Are

Birch Heritage is not a private equity fund or a buy-out shop.  We are two individuals looking to acquire and operate one single business and will devote all of our time, energy, expertise, and resources to its long-term growth and success.

About Us

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Birch Heritage is managed by Michael Simms and Richard Si. Michael and Richard met while pursuing their M.B.A. degrees at the Kellogg School of Management, and recently decided to pursue their entrepreneurial passion as business partners in a search fund.

Michael has spent several years working in consulting and Richard has several years of experience working in investment banking and private equity. Additionally, Michael and Richard both come from entrepreneurial families and have experience serving in operational roles. Michael and Richard are excited to bring their complementary skillsets and work experience into a business looking to find new avenues for growth and profitability.

Michael Simms

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Michael is an individual who finds energy and drive by uncovering improvement opportunities within products and operations and helping to make these discoveries a reality.

 

Michael was born in a suburb of Chicago where he lived for 14 years before moving to southern Wisconsin. Michael attended boarding school at Lake Forest Academy where he was surrounded by a broad mix of nationalities and backgrounds which showed itself in Michael having roommates from Bulgaria, Korea, and Taiwan across his years there. It was during high school where Michael’s entrepreneurial spirit first arose when he worked to get two classes added to the available curriculum, one of which, ceramics, is still taught today and one of the more popular art classes available he is told.

 

Michael currently lives in Chicago, but still travels up to southern Wisconsin on weekends to see his family and take part in some of his preferred free time activities of sailing, waterskiing, golf, cooking/smoking, snow skiing, and scuba diving (though there is very little to see in the lake)

 

Before founding Birch Heritage Partners, Michael worked in management & strategy consulting for 7+ years with Kearney (previously A.T. Kearney). While at Kearney, Michael worked across a range of industries with a specific focus on consumer goods and healthcare. Within these industries, he worked on broad projects from strategy and new product entry to operational overhauls and post-merger integrations. No two projects were similar and Michael appreciates the broad scope he was exposed to and the large toolbox he built along the way. A toolbox that, along with Richard, they will apply to their upcoming venture.

 

Michael earned his undergraduate degrees in Industrial Engineering and Design Engineering from Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and his MBA and Master of Design Innovation from Kellogg School of Management and McCormick School of Engineering respectively.

Richard Si

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Richard is a driven problem solver who takes great pride in his work product and finds fulfillment in building something with his own hands.

 

He was born in Canada and was raised there for eight years prior to his family moving back to China for his father’s diplomatic career. In Beijing, Richard attended the International School of Beijing, where he studied alongside students representing over 50 nationalities and grew up speaking English, Chinese, and Quebec French. Richard first came across his passion for running small businesses in December of 2014, when his family purchased a small winery & vineyard in the Okanagan (Canada’s Napa, albeit a little colder…). Since that time, Richard has played an active role in building out the business’ finance and accounting function, guiding strategic decision-making, and (slowly) depleting the company’s inventory stock.

 

He currently resides in Chicago with his partner, Caroline, and their 2-year old golden retriever, Guinness. During his free time, Richard enjoys playing golf, snowboarding, cooking Chinese dishes, and playing board games.

Prior to Birch Heritage Partners, Richard gained valuable experience working in investment banking (Deutsche Bank), private equity (Madison Dearborn Partners), and strategic finance (Lou Malnati’s, Record Connect). After his latest role as CFO at Record Connect, Richard became eager to work on something that he could call his own and founded Birch Heritage Partners with his business school classmate, Michael. Going forward, Richard is extremely excited to apply his experience in both operational and transactional finance into an entrepreneurial setting and help spur a business’ long-term growth and profitability.

 

Richard earned his undergraduate degree (with a concentration in Finance) from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and his MBA (with concentrations in Strategy, Marketing, and Economics) from the Kellogg School of Management.

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Sellers

Birch Heritage is not a private equity firm. Birch Heritage is a privately-held partnership focused on creating lasting value in one single business. We are backed by a wide-reaching network of experienced/tenured advisors and investors who will be with us every step of the way.

 

Our approach to driving growth and profitability for your business will focus on three key elements:

People

Businesses are only as strong as the people working for them. We believe that culture, talent, and alignment are critical to a successful team environment. We will focus on calibrating all of these to ensure that everyone in the organization is fulfilled by their work and aligned with the company’s long-term strategic mission

Operations

If product is the face of a business, operations are the vital organs that work tirelessly to support it. Procurement, production, distribution, and customer service are just a few of the many facets that give a business life. We will review each of these areas in fine detail to ensure that everything is done in a thoughtful and efficient way

Product

Nothing is more critical to a business than the product or service it is selling. We will establish strong product-market fits to create long-lasting, strategic relationships with our customers. We will listen attentively to understand our customers’ needs and ensure that all solutions we put forth are relevant and valuable

How We Are Different

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Private Equity

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Competitor

Post-Transaction

Focus

100% of our time, energy, and resources

Your business is just one among a large portfolio

One small piece of a larger whole

Goal

Build on the existing legacy and grow the business

Cut costs, add debt, and position for a quick flip

Priority one is improving the parent company

Funding

Committed capital from serial entrepreneurs, executives, and investors

Debt and equity from institutions with mandates to quickly return capital

Company cashflow or unknown outside investors

Deal Terms

Flexible to meet the needs of the seller

Rigid terms to limit risks and maximize return for the private equity firm

Must meet terms of parent company

Investor Time Horizon

5 years - long term

3-5 years on average

Undetermined and varied

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Advisors / Investors

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Contact us if you're interested in investing, selling, or learning more

1158 W Armitage Ave, Suite 203, Chicago IL, 60614

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