Lyle Hauser is a snow skier but thinks more about his chosen sport’s possibilities than its hazards, more about the rewards than the risks. In short, he relishes what he can do and what he aims to do.
“The same can be said of my business pursuits,” said Hauser, CEO of Vantage Group, a South Florida-based private equity firm and business consultancy geared toward early-stage companies. “I’m skilled at what I do, so I don’t take unnecessary risks, and I look to team with like-minded professionals who share my passion for success and excellence.”
Hauser, who founded Vantage Group in 1998, is revered by associates for his “almost guru-like” ability to identify cutting-edge investment opportunities, opportunities that at present lie largely in areas such as distributed ledger technology (DLT), cannabis/cannatech and the Internet of Things (IoT).
DLT is going to be so disruptive in so many areas around the globe that he believes it will “wind up being bigger than the Internet.” And in his estimation the IoT, still in its infancy, is likewise poised to explode.
No matter the project, he is known for rolling up his sleeves and working alongside entrepreneurs, for providing not only capital but a strategic vision. That is of the utmost importance for leaders of fledgling companies, as they too often try to do everything at once, the result being that they do none of it well. They very much need the expertise and experience of someone like Hauser, who has been in the field since 1994 and who was described by an associate as “an advocate on steroids” for those companies with which he aligns himself. He gets business leaders squared away. He makes sure they keep their eyes on the prize. He keeps them moving forward.
“I’m relentless,” Lyle Hauser said, “and ultimately, I’m always looking to further the company’s business plan and help them execute, because I, of course, have a vested interest in the company. I always put my money where my mouth is, so I’m never involved in any businesses I’m not personally invested in. And I’m always looking for the right people to help execute that business plan, and for the right opportunities to potentially merge or acquire within the businesses and industries that we’re working with.”
He likes to say that he will bet the jockey, not the horse — that he believes in the people with whom he works, and the vision he has helped them to crystalize. Then it becomes a matter of direction. At each step of an entrepreneurial journey, he asks the business leader to think things through, to understand what might lie ahead. For example, he might inquire as to what marketing strategy is required, given the market dynamics at play: Where are the competitive pressures? How can the company differentiate itself? And how can capital be leveraged in the most optimal way to make sure the company’s various objectives are achieved? More than anything else, Hauser instills discipline in those who might not understand how to fully take advantage of the opportunities available to them.
“Part of becoming a skilled advisor is learning to trust your gut,” he said. “I’ve learned to do that and to make a point of never second-guessing myself when I commit to a project. I may suggest shifts in strategy to address unanticipated hurdles, but I never quit. That has served me very well.”
Lyle Hauser, a New York City native, has always been inclined toward finance and business building. As he puts it, his field of endeavor chose him, not vice versa. He tackles everything with an unwavering drive and with a sense of purpose and conviction in hopes of creating something lasting, and of course, lucrative.
“Every day, I continue to be inspired and challenged by the many business ventures with which I’m involved,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to do anything else. Why would I? I love what I’m doing, and it brings me great joy.”