Interview with Clint Peterson, managing partner, Peterson Partners

This article is part of a series featuring business executives who choose to live and work in Utah. If you know of an executive we should interview, please contact us.

Every entrepreneur has a dream, and Peterson Partners is in the business of making those dreams come true.

Clint Peterson is the managing partner at Peterson Partners, an independent investment firm based in Salt Lake City.

Before joining Peterson Partners, he was a senior principal with TowerBrook Capital Partners, a London and New York-based investment management firm with approximately $8 billion assets under management. Before working with TowerBrook, Peterson was an associate at Soros Private Equity in London. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Stanford University.

Peterson Partners is comprised of private equity, venture and search funds that help fund entrepreneurs’ dreams by providing much sought-after capital. For over 15 years, and across 200 companies, Peterson Partners has teamed up with exceptional entrepreneurs. The firm backs leadership teams who have grit and passion for building enduring enterprises that make a difference. 

How did you get started in the industry? 
It was a combination of lots of hard work and serendipity. While studying at Oxford, I decided I would try to get a job in London working in finance, despite not knowing anything about the industry. With a lot of perseverance and luck, I landed an incredible internship with an investment firm. I enjoyed my job so much; I worked long and late hours to earn my way into a full-time position. Since then, I’ve had the good fortune to apprentice under world-class investors in London and New York. About a decade later, my dad, Joel Peterson, asked me to move to Utah and help lead the investment firm he founded.

What professional accomplishments are you most proud of? 
We are proud to play a small part in helping grow several great businesses. This includes a few notable Utah-based companies, like Packsize and In-Moment. It also includes our organization, Peterson Partners.

Building a business is hard, and it requires a tremendous amount of dedication and teamwork. It just does not happen without exceptional people, and we are proud to have partnered with some extraordinary human beings. 

What drew you to Utah? 
I visited Utah on vacations as a tourist. I knew Utah was a great place to enjoy the outdoors, but I didn’t know it’s also a great place to live, raise a family and build a business. Our whole family has fallen in love with Utah and enjoys the great outdoors. Utah is tough to beat.

What do you like most about living in Utah? 
Utah has an abundance of high-quality human capital and a business-friendly environment. The state has a vibrant and entrepreneurial community, and that matters to us when creating partnerships. People in Utah are willing to help others in their community. Utahns are givers. That is not always common in other parts of the country, and we shouldn’t take it for granted. 

What is your business philosophy? 
It’s all about humans. Everything starts with people, and nothing is more fun or meaningful than helping great people build great businesses. We believe in paying it forward, and that winning is defined in the long run, not the short term. Life is too short to have partners you can’t trust. 

Why do you enjoy helping entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurial leaders are different from other leaders. They’re the people creating the future, the people so determined to get things done they make magic. They are change-makers. 

What advice do you give entrepreneurs?
Find an investor that will work with you, teach you and help you through hard times. We’re not the right investor for certain entrepreneurs, and we are for others. Entrepreneurs should interview investors as much as investors interview them.

Tell me a fun fact about yourself. 
I attended three different high schools and three different colleges.

Clint Peterson is the managing partner at Peterson Partners, an independent investment firm based in Salt Lake City. The firm helps make entrepreneurs’ dreams by providing much sought-after capital.
Connect with him on LinkedIn.