Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2003 (Revised June 2003)

Adams Capital Management: March 2002

by G. Felda Hardymon, Josh Lerner and Ann Leamon


In March 2002, the five partners of Adams Capital Management (ACM), a venture capital firm investing in information technology telecommunications with $700 million under management, gathered to discuss whether they should change their strategy in view of the prolonged downturn in both the economy and their targeted investment sectors. Since its founding in 1993, ACM had followed a distinct strategy of targeting particular markets of interest, investing within these, and managing the portfolio companies through a defined process to liquidity. ACM's first fund had performed extremely well; its second was looking good; and the third, albeit only a year into its life, was not performing as well. ACM is considering three options: investing in companies producing more fundamental products, hiring more associates or investing in more markets, or taking bigger positions in companies in its traditional sectors. Each has its own possibilities and drawbacks. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Economic Slowdown and Stagnation; Venture Capital; Investment Portfolio; Business or Company Management; Partners and Partnerships; Business Strategy; Financial Services Industry;


Hardymon, G. Felda, Josh Lerner, and Ann Leamon. "Adams Capital Management: March 2002." Harvard Business School Case 803-143, January 2003. (Revised June 2003.)