From Walmart To Wall Street: Frank Song’s Eight-Figure Business Journey
“Theory, concepts, and pontification doesn’t feed you, only being cunning, clever and making correct decisions. My business training was very simple. If you make good decisions, you eat today. You make wrong ones, you don’t eat. Being resourceful is one of the largest competitive advantages in life and business, and it’s the most valuable in my opinion because no one can take it from you.” Frank Song
Frank Song’s life is a classic American rags to riches success story
From being a homeless teenager sleeping at Walmart and bus stops, to earning a spot in Wall Street’s most exclusive investment banks and private equity firms, presently owning his private equity firm, eight-figure companies, and spotlighted in Forbes three times – Frank Song is a concrete example of how hard work, determination, and street smarts can change the hand one’s been dealt in life.
Throughout his career, he has completed over $1 billion of leverage buyouts, corporate takeovers, mergers/acquisitions, and investments. He has also bootstrapped and built numerous eight-figure companies without the help of investors or corporate debt. He is also a confidential advisor to many high net-worth individuals, companies, and politicians.
Additionally, Frank was ranked as #1 lecturer for three years at the University of California, Berkeley Alumni Association, where his practical and unique advice on strategy, negotiation, psychology, investments, and critical thinking were made available to their 450,000+ alumni base.
However, life wasn’t always so positive, as he came from difficult beginnings, and spent his life as an underdog, forced to win against all odds.
From being born to a mother with a lifelong acute mental disorder and a father who struggled with alcohol, he was left to fend for himself from a young age.
His experiences with sleeping at bus stops and Walmart was a turning point where he understood that he couldn’t control his past, but that he was in full control of his future.
SO, HE GOT TO WORK
He began working in real estate 50 hours a week at the age of 17 while still attending high school full time and taking their most rigorous, advanced course load.
He was 18 when he received his California Real Estate License and received his Series 7 Stockbroker License and California Life and Disability Insurance License a year later. By the age of 22, he received his California Real Estate Brokers License and raised a $10 million real estate fund.
In the end, Frank self-financed his own University of California education by working full-time and graduating within 4 years.
However, Frank’s sights were set high to join Wall Street in its most exclusive and prestigious investment banks and venture capital/private equity firms, which has a notoriously selective process of hiring only 2% of the most talented candidates from around the world.
He understood he needed to earn his place through sheer hard work and resourcefulness.
At the age of 18, Frank bought the same textbooks used at the Stanford Graduate School of Business used in their MBA program, so that he could learn the same information needed. After full days at university and completing real estate deals, he constantly pushed himself past midnight to self-teach himself financial and valuation modeling, corporate finance, and advanced accounting.
AFTER 2 YEARS OF GRINDING, HIS INVESTMENT FINALLY STARTED TO PAY OFF
At the age of 20, he began his investment banking experience at a boutique technology investment bank just 2 miles away from Stanford University, located in the legendary Menlo Park area, where during the summer he worked on an $800 million take-private transaction of a publicly traded technology company.
At the age of 21, Frank leveraged this investment banking experience to secure a position at one of the largest investment management companies, Kayne Anderson, which today managed $30 billion in assets. He spent his summer working in the growth private equity group where he helped invest the $1 billion fund and began his venture capital/private equity experience.
After completing university, he continued his investment banking experience by working at one of the largest and oldest investment banks, Stifel Nicolaus Wiesel (NYSE: SF), where he worked as an investment banker executing mergers/acquisitions, leverage buyouts, IPOs, and corporate takeover defense. Within 2 years he was ranked as a top investment banking analyst and completed over $500 million in transaction value.
After Stifel, Frank went on to join one of the best performing private equity firms in history, Accel-KKR, where he managed the $4 billion fund by focusing on building relationships with founders, chief executives, and directors of $20 – $500 million technology companies, in addition to analyzing and structuring buyouts, and growth equity investments.
Today, Frank focuses his time on managing and expanding his $20 million in committed capital where he pursues buyouts or partnerships with building highly profitable businesses in unsexy markets. The team of 200+ now spans across America and Europe.
Frank increases enterprise value by implementing large, sustainable, and competitive advantages into the businesses by increasing operating sophistication, pursuing strategic acquisitions or partnerships to build strategic strengths, implementing technology advantages, and increasing performance marketing returns.
His charitable passions are focused on contributing to animal shelters and orphanages.