Tom Cassutt and Dave Lazier are two entrepreneurs and search fund investors who are passionate about building great businesses. Together, they have spent the last 40 years owning and operating enduring enterprises.
Tom and Dave have been best friends since middle school. When they were in their early twenties, they bought a business called Nelson Nameplate, a manufacturing business making membrane switches and product identification plates. Over the last 40 years they have also operated two multi-generational family businesses, both of which have been held for 50+ years.
Tom and Dave started investing the cash flowing from the businesses in search funds in 1992 and the first deal they did was Asurion. While operating has been and always will be their first love, they quickly became captivated by the process of identifying promising young entrepreneurs and helping them buy and run businesses. Since then, they've invested in over 180 search funds, over 55 of which are currently active, operating companies.
Tom has made investments in more than 180 private companies. He currently serves as CFO of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. From 1984 to 2011, Tom was Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of membrane switches and product identification plates, based in Los Angeles, California. Prior to joining Nelson, Tom was the Controller of Bristol Corporation, the parent company of ten manufacturing companies, from 1978-1984. He has served on the boards of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, Dynamic Growth Dental, EZ Shipper Racks, Nelson Nameplate Company, Nutrishare, SafeLogic, Scottish American Insurance Services, and Positive Coaching Alliance. Tom received his Bachelors degree in Physics in 1982 from the University of California, Irvine where he was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate. Tom received an MBA in 1986 from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller scholar and the recipient of the Alexander A. Robichek Award, given to the top student each year in finance.
For fun, Captain Tom likes to cruise around the Newport harbor in his boat with his family and his dog.
Dave has made more than 180 investments in search funds. He currently serves as CEO of American Security Products, a leading manufacturer of high-security safes. From 1984 to 2011, Dave served as Controller, Vice President of Sales and then Co-President of Nelson Nameplate Company, a manufacturer of membrane switches and product identification plates, based in Los Angeles, California. From 1982 to 1984, he worked as an engineer for IBM Corporation. Dave currently sits on the boards of American Security Products, Columbia Sanitary Products, Gogotech, DSD Partners and PalCare. He has previously served as the Secretary of the Glendale Memorial Hospital Foundation and as the Treasurer of the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity. For the past 25 years, he has served as the Treasurer of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale. Dave received his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University.
Dave has been a recreational pilot since the age of 15, and when he's not in the office, he's typically out flying his Cirrus.
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