Today we’d like to introduce you to Bill Durham.
Bill, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I graduated from Colorado State University with a BS in Computer Information Systems. Following I moved to LA and unintentionally ended up working as a production assistant on a feature film, Big Momma’s House. One thing led to another, and I worked in production on 4 more movies before deciding I needed to revert back to my passion, in lieu of the love of the challenges film making brought. I attended Pepperdine University for my MBA after completing X-Men II. Following I got a job as a land acquisition analyst and market strategist for a public home builder, Ryland Homes, in Phoenix Arizona. I rode a great wave there – up and then down with the housing market (06-09). After about 85% of my office got laid off, my wife and I decided to move to Dallas where I got a job in Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group. I advised high net worth families. I stayed with Merrill until the culture shock of their acquisition by BofA set in.
From there I joined a boutique wealth management firm, View Capital Advisors. I was with them for 7 years, and loved the alternative investment side of their business. I left View Capital in 2015 to start my own business, Birnam Wood Capital, and firm focused on nontraditional investments. My goal, and I feel like I’ve done well achieving it, is achieving market-like returns with much less risk and volatility in assets such as first-lien loans, real estate, oil and gas, and private equity. I work with about a dozen families and manage a little over $100mm in assets. Last year I also helped seed and launch a hedge fund, Scalar Gauge Fund. I also act as their Chief Operating Officer. The fund has done phenomenally well and I am very proud of it.
On a personal level, I have 2 daughters. We live near White Rock Lake in Dallas. We have three Great Danes, three guinea pigs, and a cat. I started and am chairman of a nonprofit, Friends of Solar Prep, that supports my daughters school, Solar Preparatory School for Girls. Solar Prep is an all-girls school, economically diversified, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) focused. It’s amazing and a template of what public education needs to look like. I also am very active with Best Buddies, a nonprofit helping individuals with developmental disabilities (IDD). I cohost a gala annually and we raise about $1mm per year for the cause.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being an entrepreneur is never a smooth road. There are always bumps and I’m in work mode all the time. It has been very rewarding though. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Bumps include having hired the wrong people, and implementing insufficient or the wrong systems/software platforms.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Birnam Wood Capital – what should we know?
I invest in nontraditional assets. Investors trade some liquidity for market like returns with much less risk and volatility. I only work a small group of families, and provide a high touch level of service. I am known for great communication, a strong investment platform, and a great diligence process. I am different than others because I’m not selling a commoditized product (i.e. stocks and bonds). I have a truly unique value proposition.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Honesty – whether the news is good or bad, and good communication always.
- Address: 3963 Maple Ave., Suite 300
- Website: www.birnamwood-capital.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org