This podcast is for informational purposes only. Views expressed are those of the individuals and not necessarily the views of Thoma Bravo or its affiliates. Thoma Bravo Funds generally hold interest in the company's discussed. This podcast should not be construed as an offer to solicit the purchase of any interest in any Thoma Bravo Fund.
A.J. speaks with Syntellis CEO Flint Brenton, a five-time successful software CEO, about how Flint ultimately became the leader of Syntellis after a breakfast meetup in a small Californian diner, and how their shared Midwestern sensibility has led to a successful partnership, ultimately selling Syntellis to Roper Technologies in 2023. This episode underlines the significance of forming strategic partnerships, fostering a robust company culture, and even picking the right headquarters in the middle of the Covid pandemic.
I told A.J. when we were talking on the phone, there's no way I could come to work for someone if I can't meet them face to face, COVID or not. So I was living at Lake Tahoe, it's about a four hour drive. But we met for breakfast and we cemented the deal right there in the cab on my F150 and the rest is history.
We literally solved all the problems of the privileged security market in your pickup and that’s when we agreed we’d be great partners and lets do this together
This podcast is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an advertisement. Views expressed are those of the individuals and not necessarily the views of Thoma Bravo or its affiliates. Thoma Bravo funds generally hold interest in the companies discussed. This podcast should not be construed as an offer to solicit the purchase of any interest in any Thoma Bravo fund.
Thoma Bravo's Behind the Deal is back with season two. I'm Thoma Bravo, founder and managing partner, Orlando Bravo. And that was Flint Brenton, CEO of Syntellis, speaking with Thoma Bravo senior partner A.J. Rohde. Syntellis is a major player in the enterprise performance management business, selling their software predominantly to large hospitals, banks, colleges, and universities. A trusted name in the industry, Syntellis got its standalone, start with a major investment from Thoma Bravo and our friends at Madison Dearborn Partners. Previously part of the software business segment of Chicago-based Kaufman Hall and Associates, Syntellis was launched in 2020 as a standalone company with a defined focus on software and data. As you'll soon hear, our work with Syntellis highlights Thoma Bravo's differentiated ability to identify, carve out, and build on value. Thoma Bravo has a history of doing complex carve-outs. In this episode, we discuss how we were able to do two carve-outs simultaneously and then merge the companies and rebrand them as a standalone company called Syntellis.
And then after three years of improving operations and driving innovation, we were able to sell Syntellis. This is the first Behind the Deal episode that focuses on a Thoma Bravo exit. In August, 2023, we announced with Madison Dearborn Partners that we had completed the sale of Syntellis to Roper Technologies in an all cash transaction for an enterprise value of 1.4 billion. There are a number of reasons why it can make strategic and financial sense to sell. In this conversation, A.J. and Flint will get into why it ended up being the right choice for Thoma Bravo to exit Syntellis, as well as what thinking goes into whether or not to exit from an investment, how is that course decided upon and what goes into a successful exit strategy? So today you'll hear everything that went on behind the deal of this investment from A.J. Rohde, our deal lead at Thoma Bravo, and senior partner of our discover team, followed by his conversation with Syntellis, CEO, Flint Brenton.
Hi, I am A.J. Rohde, senior partner at Thoma Bravo in charge of the firm's Discover Funds, and I am so happy to be back for another episode of Thoma Bravo's Behind the Deal. My favorite part about being on Behind the Deal is sort of the humanization of private equity, and I really enjoy the human aspect of the job, and therefore I love talking about sort of the human element of the stories behind the investments we made. So Syntellis provides enterprise performance management software for predominantly large hospitals, but also for banks and colleges and universities. What that means, EPM is essentially budgeting, planning, capital accounting, capital efficiency, decision support. So if I'm a large hospital system and I want to look at all my departments and how much money they make and how much money they could make, and how much money is being spent operationally in each of my departments throughout the organization, I will run Syntellis' software to plan our expenses, plan our capital expenses, plan revenue for next year.
And it's a sophisticated multi-variable decision support tool and allows the COO, the CEO the CFO of the hospital to make decisions about where they make investments, where they allocate capital within the hospital or within the university or within the bank. And so it's really a planning tool underlied by operational access, operational data. So say I'm the CFO of Duke University Medical System, which happens to be a Syntellis customer. I historically have used spreadsheets and some guesswork to plan the next three years of my revenue, my budgets, and do that by department. And I had to do so amidst a changing environment, macro environment, so my revenue is much more variable than it used to be. And as a result, I tried to do some of this manually. Now, in a world where margins are tighter because hospitals are under pressure from reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid, the imperative to run a really thoughtful multi-year business plan, underlied by operational and clinical data is really, really hard.
And so the systems essentially enable that to happen in an automated way, in a real time way, make changes in a real time way. And that's the illumination that the software provides that historically usually, like I said, had been done either through a custom system or had it been done on spreadsheets. So Kaufman Hall really created and formed the basis for hospital performance consulting. So for almost 40 years, Kaufman Hall has been providing advice to hospitals for how to run the hospital better operationally. And so they built a software program. This typically happens in a lot of markets. Kaufman Hall built the software business, built a very large software business, but organizationally within Kaufman Hall, it was run separately. So they had a consulting business and they had a software business. And the consultants provided advice and the software people worked with the consultants, but they built software and that was a recurring revenue business.
And it became clear over time organizationally that that was a structure that was hard to maintain at scale. The software business had a better home, a better future if it was run as a software company. The consulting business had a better future if it was a consulting company. And we needed to agree how those two would work together because there was some symbiotic relationship between the two. As many people know on the podcast, Thoma Bravo, we are software only investors. And not only that, but we're operationally minded, operationally focused software investors. So I knew that our contribution could be significant in standing up a software company on its own out of a consulting company. We have done many, many, many, many carve-outs, and this was the same type of situation.
So we went to the owners of Syntellis, which was Madison Dearborn at the time, it's a private equity firm based in Chicago, wonderful long storied firm. Our firms have known each other for 40 years. And I asked the partners there, I said, would you be interested in allowing us to invest with you to carve out Kaufman Hall Software to become its own company? And they said, I think it's a great idea, but we would need a lot of operational help for how to stand that company up with its own business processes, its own onshore and offshore teams, its own implementation teams, its own software sales teams can have a relationship back between the Kaufman Hall parent company over time that would continue to allow both companies to thrive. So our contribution to this equation was helping to carve out Kaufman Hall Software and become its own company, which we then decided to name Syntellis shortly after we did that.
So the call started at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in January, 2020. So we had dinner on the water of the Embarcadero with Madison Dearborn, and we basically sketched out this company on a napkin over dinner. That led the journey to begin to build a business plan for how would we assign people and assets and operational activities between the consulting company and the software company. They had put in an organizational structure in place already that would enable Kaufman Hall Software to become its own company. So they had a divisional president in place named Kermit Randa, who's a terrific guy. Kermit had been the president of that business. And that process began in January, it went through the spring and early summer. We ended up closing the investment in August of 2020. And to make it even a little bit more complicated, because we never like to keep things that easy or simple or we always like to find value, I would say. Change Healthcare, which is another very large healthcare IT and services company wanted to divest its own version of Kaufman Hall Software, which was a competitor, it was called Performance Manager.
Now I called MDP and I said, "Do you want to do two carve-outs at once and create our own business and merge them and create a new company?" And he said, "Well, what do you guys think the timeline is to be able to do that and execute that and create one company?" And I said, "I think we could do it all in 18 months." Which is pretty ambitious. And so we made the decision to simultaneously carve out Kaufman Hall Software, carve out Performance Manager from Change, merge them into two companies, and Kermit Randa and his team began the work to organizationally stand up both. And that's when we rebranded the company to Syntellis, and that's where the journey really as a standalone company began.
So Flint Brenton, who is a very, very close friend and a wonderful executive, someone I've known for a long time, someone we've known for 20 years at Thoma Bravo. Flint is a five time software CEO, every time successful. And Flint was actually CEO with me. I had brought Flint in to run a company that we owned in the privileged access security software space called Centrify. So Flint in 2020, we exited Centrify and Flint worked with us to sell the company, and he was the CEO. And when we sold the company, Flint was a little bummed because his tenure there was only a year. He came in after we had done also very similar work-
At Syntellis, a carve-out, and we ended up selling the company pretty quickly. Flint raised his hand and said, "Hey, could I do this one more time with you?" And I knew what Flint could do, I knew what kind of person he was, what kind of executive he was, the type of complicated work that Flint could execute out in a short period of time. Flint came in, became the CEO of Syntellis, and, really, then we were able to accelerate that change improvement process once Flint started. That started in 2021, about a year into the investment.
Flint resonates well with us because he is just a tenacious competitor. He is on all the time. He wakes up early, he goes to bed late. He's always thinking about the industry. Flint's big superpower is his communication ability with employees and with customers. I've seen Flint in many, many customer meetings working through some really complex challenges and always able to solve them.
Flint has just a very, very high emotional radar. When you're going through leading a company in a remote world, through COVID, having human empathy, having understanding for the complicated work we were doing, having understanding for what the customers were going through during that time. When you have to remember, hospital systems in 2021 and '22, were going through a lot. Right? They have a fixed cost base and they had revenue that was really, really under pressure. Not only that, but just the stress of having to process COVID for their employees. So Flint had an enormous amount of customer empathy through that journey.
That is one of the reasons we love working with him, is because we tend to be pretty empathetic people. We really try to connect with people, and Flint was that kind of leader at the right time. So this Flint superpower, I think was the human side of it, which was really important in this sector with this company at this time during COVID.
So year one was standing up the two companies on its own. Year one and a half is when Flint started, and that's when the standalone execution journey really began. The growth, the new products, the acquisitions. We made a great acquisition in year two. So, three year hold is not uncommon for us. It's also not something we've magically managed toward. Our average hold period has been about four years. That's pretty typical for us. Most of the operational work was complete, and that's when we look up and say, okay, once we've integrated it, it's one brand, it's one sales force, it's one development team, it's one implementation team. What does the business look like today and how do we grow it?
So a big imperative we had in the last year was adding clinical data that could inform the financial and operational decision-making software. So Flint, to his credit, convinced us to invest tens of millions in a new data product. That product has become the future of the company. We sold several very, very, very large customers in the last year on that product.
And Roper, which owns a competitor, they said, "We love the data product. We have a lot of competitive overlap with Syntellis. We would like to buy the company." We said, "Thanks, but we're not for sale. We're three years in and things are going great and we're really happy, and Flint's got a lot of energy, and this is a great platform." Like often happens with us with strategic buyers. They said, "Well, we would really like to buy the company." And I said, "Well, we're really not for sale." And they said, "Well, we would really like to buy the company." And I said, "Well, if that's how you feel, here is our expectation on value, here's our expectation on timeline, and here's our expectation on certainty." And to their credit and we’ve worked with Roper many times, and,t, they're also a really good steward of these companies, so we really felt good that our work could be in the right hands. And so they made the answer pretty easy for us in Madison Dearborn, and we made that decision to sell it. That was earlier this year, 2023.
Up next, my conversation with Syntellis CEO, Flint Breton. Thoma Bravo's Behind the Deal will be right back. Welcome back to Thoma Bravo's Behind the Deal. Here's my talk with Flint Breton, CEO of Syntellis.
There he is.
You look good. You sound good. It's the first time I've seen you wear a sport coat.
Well, she said, "This is casual." I'm like, "You know what? I don't let A.J. down here."
I'm as dressed up as I ever get right now, as you know.
You look good. You look good. I want to wear a plaid shirt. Meg said no, so I said okay. I only do what my wife tells me. You know its the key to longevity and marriage.
You have and that’s why you’re still here
So Flint, you're in a very special and unique position here. You've been a CEO with us together twice, both very successful, and I'm eternally indebted to your passion, commitment, brilliance as a leader. Why did you choose to work with us twice?
That's an easy one, A.J.. The first person I met from Thoma Bravo was Orlando, and I met him during my first CEO endeavor as you referred to earlier. I was so impressed with his mind, his heart and his passion to create a winning team.
Flint's name and persona are widely hallowed in the halls of Thoma Bravo. My partner, Scott, actually had tried to work with Flint 19 years ago. Flint, 18 years ago? When you were running one of your early businesses when you first became a CEO. Then that didn't work out at the time, but over the years, we kept in touch and then we bought a company in the privileged security market called Centrify. This was 2018.. Centrify had gone through a really complicated splitting into two companies. I had taken one company and split it into a single sign-on company and a privileged security company. And on the back of that, Flint's name came up as a potential CEO for our business. I said, "Oh my gosh, if we could get Flint, that would be a massive coup."
So timing of these things is often fortuitous, and so we started talking. Now, you were really excited in our first conversation and so was I. So I said, "Well, let's meet up." Now, mind you, this was right in the middle of COVID. This was during the worst part of COVID. I think it was May, actually, or maybe late April. You said, "Well, can you meet me for breakfast?" I said, "Sure, but I don't know anywhere we can meet that's open." You said, "I know there's a small diner down in Burlingame." Burlingame, just south of San Francisco. "If you can meet me down there, we'll hit it off."
So we go down, we have a coffee, we had masks on, and they kicked us out. They said, "You know what? We're closing." And so we had a couple options. We could have left and talked on the phone later. You're like, "Come into my pickup truck. Have a seat next to me and let's hash this out in real time in my truck, in your F-150. So we literally solved all the problems of the privileged security market in your pickup truck during COVID after a casual breakfast, and that's when we agreed that we'd be great partners and let's go do this together. That was the first time I ever met you in person.
Yeah, that was amazing. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Burlingame, it's not far from the San Francisco airport. What was also made it very interesting is A.J., in part of his great career, he actually had some experience with the diesel engine that I had in that F-150 pickup truck. So it gave us a lot to talk about.
But I'll tell you what, I loved A.J. from the very first time I met him. Just a great human being and very engaging, but super intelligent and a great heart. And I told A.J. when we were talking on the phone, "There's no way I could come to work for someone if I can't meet them face-to-face, COVID or not." So I was living in Lake Tahoe. It's about a four-hour drive, which is easy drive for me. But we met for breakfast and I had to leave at 4:00 AM, which is not unusual because I like to get up. We cemented the deal right there in the cab on my F-150 and the rest is history.
Flint's a mid-Westerner, just like I am. Flint's from Canton, Ohio, was a high school athlete, I was an athlete. Now, he's about nine inches taller than me, which I discovered when we got together in person is a little intimidating. But I think we just bonded. There's a common sensibility that Midwestern tend to have. I'm from Detroit. We grew up two hours apart, and I think we just hit it off well. There's just a very symbiotic view of the world, which I really enjoyed.
A.J., if you don't mind, some things that I think are very unique about Thoma Bravo, and particularly A.J. that I really love is that I've had the honor to serve as CEO for multiple companies, great companies. Every time that I have sit in this chair, I learn something new. I'm a lifelong learner. I think it's really important to always improve yourself.
So what we like to do, and I bring a team with me. There's a group that I've worked with for many, many years, men and women. First, we like to assess the market we're serving and find in that market what are the high growth sub-segments where we have unique intellectual property or talent to address where we're not playing today. And then we reposition the portfolio both organically through customized development, a new development, or inorganically through M&A to become more valuable to our customers, more strategic in the marketplace, and drive more growth.
So when I joined the company, I asked A.J. to give me just a few months to really understand the market and the company. And so I started in July of that year, and just the week before Thanksgiving, we presented a new strategy to A.J. and the board, the Thoma Bravo board, on how we would significantly increase the growth rate of our company.
And so, I'll never forget, he came down to Santa Clara. Again, it was in the middle of COVID. There was no one in any of these buildings, right? It was like a neutron bomb went off. But we were there. It took us about three hours to go through the presentation, and then A.J. and the team approved it, and we immediately went to work and started executing the strategy. And the teamwork, the camaraderie with us and the folks at Thoma Bravo was really superb, and it really was a great motivator for our team. They worked hard, they moved fast, and we saw results almost immediately. And I will tell you, I asked A.J. to make another trip down to Santa Clara about two weeks later. And so just based upon the way schedules were working, the only day we can get everybody into Santa Clara was the day I had a Zoom video conference scheduled with the CIO of the largest bank in the world. And he was trying to decide between buying our products and that of our number one competitor.
This was a $10 million deal.
Right. And they were a customer of our competitor already, so they would have to replace our competitor with our product. So I said, "Hey A.J., do you mind sitting in on this?" And he's gracious, as he always is, and we were in my office and we initiated the call and we basically just presented the new strategy and why we thought it was compelling and what was the outcome we would drive for his bank that was unique compared to our competitor and what we would personally sign up for to ensure their success. And I had A.J. Rohde, senior partner of the preeminent enterprise software investment private equity firm in the world sitting next to me, committing to the CIO that he was personally going to ensure that it was successful. So he said, "Okay, I need a couple of days to think about this." And then four days later, we received a purchase order. It was the largest transaction in the history of the company. And that partnership and that strategy that A.J. and his team invested in was the reason why they selected our company.
Yeah. And I don't do many calls with customers. I would love to do more, but I'm typically kept out of that process. So when I got brought into that process, I was terrified. I said, I don't know how this is going to go. But clearly one of the things on that was your superpower, and we should talk about that here today, is your emotional empathy, human understanding. On a deal of that size for that guy, that was a career enhancing or career limiting move for him to make a $10 million purchase of Centrify's entire suite of software. And you appreciated the magnitude of that, and you were able to say, we are going to stand behind our product all the way through to ensure that you're successful and this deployment goes well.
And so it's easy for me to stand behind that, too, because I know you mean it. Those kinds of things very similar in Syntellis, we won some of the biggest hospital systems in the country over the last three quarters on our multiple suite deal, including clinical data, was a strategy you put in place. That's another great example of bear hugging your best customers, making sure that they're successful, they come along with you in the journey on your product evolution. You are one of the best executives Flint I've ever seen at that, and that's a really rare and special trait.
Well, thank you. A.J., none of this happens without Thoma Bravo. Look, I'm a native Ohioan, so I've never really been a Yankees fan, although I always admired the Yankees. But one time I met Reggie Jackson and I asked him, "How did you come up with this term the straw that stirs the drink?" And basically he said they were coming to a marketing campaign for the Yankees, and they kept winning championships, so they wanted a tagline they could use in their advertising. They came up with that one. You were the straw that stirred our drink, A.J.. Your magic, your emotional intelligence, your practical high IQ were critical to us making the decisions quickly that we needed to win in the marketplace.
Thank you. So Flint, we talked about Centrify. Now we're going to move on to Syntellis, which is the reason we're here today. Maybe let's talk about how you ended up at Syntellis, how this journey became a reality, and let's start with that.
Okay. Well, that's great question. So we ended our tenure at Centrify. It was quick exit because of all the things we talked about before. We dramatically increased our growth rate and we sold. So then my wife, who I love dearly, my wife Meg said, "Hey, let's take a vacation. Let's go down to see our kids down in San Diego." So she and I were on Coronado Island and I got a call from A.J. Rohde about a month later, and he said, "Hey Flint, I got the perfect company for you." Because we had agreed, we enjoyed working so much together the first time, we'd love to work together again. But that really was our first conversation. And then A.J. invited me to meet the investors from Madison Dearborn Partners in Chicago, which I did within two weeks just to get to know them. And we all agreed we would work together. So that's how we got started.
So we had a great partnership with Madison Dearborn, and actually, your predecessor, Kermit, was a great CEO. Kermit was the right person at the right time to lead the company through the carve out. And I knew to take the company from the carve out, which was originally standing it up as Syntellis, which was actually a double carve out, as you well remember, to becoming a SaaS-first clinical and financial and operational data platform company, I knew you were the guy to complete that journey. You were stepping into a situation this time where you had two partners, not just one. So maybe talk about that process of you coming in and how we came to terms with each other on what the right strategy was for the company going forward.
So I really enjoyed first meeting the folks at Madison Dearborn. And one thing that I learned very quickly is that I had to get comfortable with two primary partners. I couldn't focus on one or the other. I had to get comfortable with both, and they both had to be comfortable with me. So we developed a three-way partnership where we can identify opportunity, make decisions and move quickly, and do it in a way that was not only good for our company, but good for our employees and good for our customers. Culture was a big part of this, right, A.J., as you know. So getting that alignment at the board level and what we wanted this company to be like culturally and then executing it as part of our overall strategy I think was probably the most important thing that we had to do. Since it was a double carve out and it was a relatively new company, didn't really have much of an identity, didn't really have a culture, so we had to establish those things upfront.
Headquarters, for example. Remember, it was a virtual set of assets and in a virtual time in the world with COVID. And you were adamant, this company needs a central home base for people to gather, congregate, be proud of, for customers to come and see their innovation on display. And we got this unbelievably great, helpful, useful office space that was your decision in the West Loop of Chicago, which really did kick that culture into gear as we were doing the carve out. And I thought that was a bit of a contrarian move, but a really smart move for the employees.
Well, to your point, A.J., it brought people together. Even though I grew up in Ohio, I didn't really spend a whole lot of time in Chicago, but the West Loop, it's an electric place and it's a place, let's face it, for most of the world, particularly here in the US, employees really don't like to go into the office anymore. So when we selected that office and we worked with an architect to design it, our focus was not driving increased productivity. Our focus was creating a great employee experience. Because if you remember, A.J., we had three priorities as a company. One, people first, two, great customer experience, and three, podium products. So getting that headquartered actually helped us with all three priorities, and in my view, it was essential to creating a company where we could build an identity and real momentum in the marketplace.
Yeah. Huge differentiator.
I'll tell you, really timing is everything as you just pointed out. So we as a company, not only were we starting to win very large healthcare systems, and we won three very large ones in a winner take all battle in the first four months of this year. But we also started winning awards for best workplace, best products, best culture, greatest sense for diversity, gender equity. So all the investment in A.J. and our folks at Thoma Bravo, Madison Dearborn invested to make us a great company started to bear fruit right at that moment. So the timing was just superb. And as A.J. also mentioned, our growth rate was taking off. So it was just a perfect storm of positives.
Maybe talk about the problems facing, I'll start with hospitals. Big hospital systems in the United States today, the challenges they have as it relates to financial and operational outcomes and what the CFOs, CEOs, COOs of those big systems are grappling with, and then maybe where we come into play or how we can help.
Great question. So one of the major challenges that our customers, healthcare providers, are facing is balancing the cost of the services they need to provide to the consumer, their patients in the hospitals, with what the payers are willing to pay for those services and trying to develop a cost-effective and high-impact solution where they could still be profitable.
And so, what we did was we are able to take information that we, again, going back to the synthesis concept, we would combine the amount that the providers needed to charge for their services in balance with what the insurance companies are willing to pay. So there's actually a P&L around each specific service delivered. And so, we were able to provide insights not only what it took to be profitable within that unique hospital, but how they compared to their peers so they knew how they needed to improve. Or if they were market leading, they could actually use that information to gain market share by varying their price to get more patients in the door. Otherwise, they're struggling. They're, in some ways, flying blind in a highly competitive market.
And as you know, A.J., there are only so many large healthcare systems in the United States, and they really increasingly are competing with one another regards to geography. So having these data insights to drive outcomes on profitability and the effectiveness of healthcare is essential to their health and wellbeing.
So as you kind of play this out, then, how do we get the attention of Roper Technologies? Was it in January of this year?
Roper was an industrial holding company that over time has become a series of vertical market software companies, so kind of an industrialized holding company for the best-in-class vertical market software companies, healthcare, insurance, supply chain, manufacturing, higher education. And they have great brands and they have great executives. And they run it with a very small team out of Florida as kind of the holding company team.
They would call me periodically through our journey and say, "I think Strata and Ciella should really come together." And I said, "You're right, and we'll call you when we're ready." And so, as you remember, I'd call you and say, "They called me again." And I just told them thanks and we'll engage whenever the time is right.
So when you got the company growing faster at a really high margin, Flint, I knew financially we were in a place where we could make an ask that was ambitious but possible to Roper based on where they trade, what multiples they tend to pay, and frankly, a good home for the company too, in terms of the marketplace, solving better problems for customers.
So in order to make all this interesting or even acceptable, our valuation has to be X, you have to be done in Y timeframe, and this is kind of what we would like to have happen with the business organizationally. Obviously, it's your call, but it's important to us it has a good home. When I was doing some of this, Flint, behind the scenes, as you well know, I didn't want to call you until I knew it was real. I never want to make a promise that then it doesn't end up coming true.
And so, they called back and said, "We'd like to do it." And I said, "Most importantly, you're going to need to get comfortable with Flint and the management team because he's built an outstanding team at this company and I think it'll really help cement your view of value and why this is an important operation strategical asset for you guys."
So I turn that relationship over to you and you spent a lot of time, months, months in person with their team building a business plan together to make this company really the category leader in the market.
And Roper really was the right buyer because one thing, to A.J.'s point, they are excellent at focusing industry verticals, but they also placed a high premium on taking care of customers, which is one of our number one cultural mandates at Syntellis. And so, it all worked out beautifully.
Yeah, they invest for 20 years. That's really their horizon line. And in order to think long-term, you've got to grow the company over 10% a year for 20 years. You're not going to do that unless you're innovating. And they really, really will protect the franchise and invest in the brand. And that was really important to us as well.
We had a high degree of alignment strategically, culturally, and financially.
Yeah. We just think the world of you, Flint. And again, we just have a lot of genuine fun together. And for us, for me, for you at this point in our lives and careers, do I want to pick up the phone and have an enjoyable, fun conversation with my partner counterpart and with you, it's easy. And hopefully the joy comes across here today.
Right. And I'm hoping we're going to go to Sacramento Kings game shortly, given your relationship with the Kings.
Yeah, you've told me I'm not off the hook on that.
Never off the hook.
We've got a big year ahead, so sold. We're going. I want to thank you, my good friend, business partner for coming on the show today. It's a real joy to have the idea to be able to do Behind the Deal with you and talk about Syntellis and Centrify and all of our times together. So thanks for giving me your time today.
And A.J., it's an honor to serve you and your partners at Thoma Bravo. What a delight it is to be part of your journey together.
Many thanks today to Flint Breton at Syntellis. You can learn more about the company by visiting syntellis.com. And for more stories on Behind the Deal, check out all of our episodes from season one wherever you get your podcasts, and be sure to subscribe to Behind the Deal for new episodes in season two.
And if you liked this episode, be sure to listen to our new miniseries Beyond the Deal with bonus content that we did not have time to share with you here today for me and Flint Breton dropping on this feed soon, so be sure to subscribe. I'm A.J. Rohde, thanks for listening.
Thoma Bravo's Behind the Deal is produced by Thoma Bravo in partnership with Pod People. Stay tuned for more stories Behind the Deal. I'm Orlando Bravo. Thanks for listening.
Certain statements about Thoma Bravo made by portfolio company executives are intended to illustrate Thoma Bravo's business relationship with such persons rather than Thoma Bravo's capabilities or expertise with respect to investment advisory services.
Portfolio company executives were not compensated in connection with their podcast participation, although they generally receive compensation and investment opportunities in connection with their portfolio company roles, and in certain cases are also owners of portfolio company securities and/or investors in Thoma Bravo funds. Such compensation and investments subject podcast participants to potential conflicts of interest.
Certain statements about Thoma Bravo made by portfolio company executives are intended to illustrate Thoma Bravo's business relationship with such persons rather than Thoma Bravo's capabilities or expertise with respect to investment advisory services. Portfolio company executives were not compensated in connection with their podcast participation, although they generally receive compensation and investment opportunities in connection with their portfolio company roles, and in certain cases are also owners of portfolio company securities and/or investors in Thoma Bravo funds. Such compensation and investments subject podcast participants to potential conflicts of interest.