Return to search

David Adderley

David Adderley 2006-07-01 Staff Writer <bold>Career path:</bold> Received his Bachelor of Arts from Queen's University; Bachelor of Laws, University of Western Ontario. Was a lawyer at Gowling Lafleur Henderson, 1995-2000. While in law school, Adderley had interned at Ottawa-based Newbridge Netwo

Career path: Received his Bachelor of Arts from Queen's University; Bachelor of Laws, University of Western Ontario. Was a lawyer at Gowling Lafleur Henderson, 1995-2000. While in law school, Adderley had interned at Ottawa-based Newbridge Networks, founded by local entrepreneur Sir Terence Matthews and sold in 2000 to Alcatel for $7 billion. While at Gowling Lafleur, he represented Celtic House portfolio company Cambrian on its sale to Nortel Networks for $300 million. He joined Celtic House, then a firm funded solely by Matthews, in 2000. ?I was fascinated by the wealth creation process and what Terry and Celtic House had managed to do,? says Adderley.

Cyclical experience: Ottawa in 2000 was an epicenter of telecom wealth creation. ?Everything was booming in Ottawa,? says Adderley. ?It was an exciting time to join the firm. In the next nine months, we sold three companies and took four public.? The telecom sector entered a trough soon after, during which ?arguably legal skills are more important because you're dealing with a lot of workout situations, bankruptcies, insolvencies, fire sales,? says Adderley. ?One of the things we say here is you can't really be a venture investor unless you've seen a few cycles.?

True partner: Celtic House is among the largest Canadian investors in early stage information technology and networking, and Adderley has been involved in every aspect of the business, including negotiating and structuring every investment. He has also worked on 10 trade-sale and IPO transactions for the firm. He has sat on numerous portfolio company boards and was closely involved in raising each fund, including the most recent $225 million Fund III.

Fundraising pointman: In 2002, Celtic House bought itself out from Matthews and hit the road in search of third-party capital for the first time. The firm eventually raised $90 million for its first institutional fund, but not without a crucial education in fundraising. Adderley became the de facto investor relations pointman at the firm, along with managing partner Andrew Waitman. ?You can't just sit around and say, ?I'm a lawyer, I'm only going to do legal agreements,?? notes Adderley. ?The role naturally fell to the person who was around the office more. But it is a legal-driven and detail-oriented process.?

Communication skills: ?The fact that I had been at a law firm and dealt with both large and small clients really helped in communicating to LPs,? says Adderley. ?I'm also involved in the back office, in the day-to-day administration of the fund, and in negotiating every deal we do. So I think I'm an effective fundraiser. It's not like our firm just hands it off to some agent and outside counsel. Our whole team hits the road to market our fund. When I'm talking to LPs, they know I'm speaking as a partner.?