A protege of Warren Buffett fends for herself
“He loved when people didn’t put him on a pedestal,” she said.
In 2013, when Ms. Britt Cool married Scott Cool, a corporate lawyer, Mr. Buffett walked her down the aisle, knowing she had lost her father. When she told him in late 2019 that she planned to start her own business, Mr. Buffett backed him up. He told her, Ms Britt Cool said, that it reminded him of when he parted ways with his mentor Benjamin Graham – the famous value investor – in the 1950s to pursue his own career.
Drew Van Pelt, former chief executive of Larson-Juhl, a Berkshire-owned frame maker, said Ms Britt Cool had cleverly positioned Kanbrick as the antithesis of private equity, just as Mr Buffett did with Berkshire .
“The #1 reason people don’t want to sell to PE is: Who are these jerks? said Mr. Van Pelt, a business school classmate of Ms. Britt Cool whom she recruited from Larson-Juhl. “It’s the complete opposite of his style.”
In 2020, the company took a majority stake in Thirty-One Gifts, a company that sells bags and household items through a network of sales advisors. Cindy Monroe, the company’s founder, had been following Ms. Britt Cool’s turnaround at Pampered Chef and was hoping for something similar.
In June, Kanbrick closed its second deal by buying a majority stake in Marine Concepts, which has patented a system that simplifies the process of covering boats.
Ms. Britt Cool, a firm believer in the power of relationships, also builds connections – and perhaps a pipeline of future acquisition targets – with entrepreneurs by hosting training programs and events. In 2020, his company launched an acceleration program called Build With Kanbrick, inviting midsize business leaders to apply for a three-month business expansion course.