T'01

James “Jim” Lindstrom

Partner, The Spruce House Partnership

Tuck challenged me to understand businesses beyond what we see in the spreadsheets—culture, incentives, negotiations, ethics. These are areas of focus that, when combined with solid investment practices, can generate value for our clients and shareholders.

Investing and reading annual reports is an unusual passion for the son of a nurse and a small businessman in Buffalo, New York, but in high school Jim Lindstrom T’01 had a curiosity about what made exceptional businesses tick. By spending hours reading annual reports and landing internships in the investment industry while at Colby College, Jim learned that CEOs not only need operational expertise, but also need appropriate capital allocation skills.

“I appreciate the power of operational leadership with an investment mindset,” says Lindstrom, now the CEO of Providence Service Corporation, a publicly-traded holding company of technology-enabled service businesses with almost $2 billion in revenue. After Colby, Jim joined CS First Boston’s investment banking group, where his mentor then recruited him to ChiRex, a pharmaceutical outsourcing company which had just IPO’d. “I was 22 years old, using my investment skills in an operational setting to build a company that had just gone public,” Lindstrom says.

Some weekends Jim would drive up to Hanover, where two of his close friends were at Tuck. “Tuck’s culture of teamwork and healthy competition, resonated with me,” says Lindstrom, who enrolled with the Tuck ’01 cohort. “While I had basic management and finance experience, at Tuck I expanded on areas outside my financial skill set.  The Tuck curriculum challenged me to explore operations, incentives, organizational structure, negotiations and ethics, all of which are crucial to lead an international, diverse and high performing set of businesses.”

After Tuck, his mentor from ChiRex recruited him to serve as CFO of Centrue Financial Corporation.  This eventually led his career back to finance at Centrue’s largest shareholder, Tontine Partners, a $1 billion+ investment firm at the time.

At Tontine, Jim dug into operational details, walking plant floors and evaluating company cultures, areas which provided a multi-dimensional perspective on the potential of an investment. Jim learned to stay lean, disciplined, and to keep an independent, value-investment mindset. “After joining a Tontine portfolio company, IES Holdings, as CEO, we focused our resources on our clients, strongest leadership teams and best business models,” Lindstrom says. IES’ share price quadrupled under Lindstrom’s leadership.  

“At Providence, which is mostly health care focused, we have shifted our resources to provide our teams with the tools to drive exceptional performance for our clients year after year,” Lindstrom says. After repositioning Providence since taking the CEO role in 2015, Lindstrom is looking to invest in and build additional health care and business service companies with $500 million in financial capacity. In today’s increasingly interconnected global economy and ever changing health care sector, Providence is well positioned to generate value for its shareholders and clients.

Continue Reading

Related Stories

Betsabeh Madani

Before you know what she is, you first need to know what Betsabeh Madani T’13 is not: She is not an astronaut. Or at least, not yet anyway.

Read More

Rick Cardenas

T’98 Rick Cardenas’ first job was bussing tables at a Red Lobster. Fast forward 25 years and he’s now CFO of Darden Restaurants which, until 2014, owned Red Lobster.

Read More

Lindsey Drake

Fun Finance: Lindsey Drake T’11 talks about her role as a senior finance manager at Amazon Books.

Read More

John Sory

In pioneering new health-care models emphasizing preventive care, John Sory T’93 overcame skepticism in the most direct way possible: He guaranteed better results.

Read More

Lea Tompsett

At Boston-based nonprofit Health Leads, Lea Tompsett T’06 is working with health care providers and social service agencies to ensure patients have access to basic necessities: food, transportation, housing.

Read More

Duncan Reece

Duncan Reece T’08 was seven years into a career in finance when he realized he wanted to have a greater impact on the world around him. He found that connection in the health-care industry.

Read More

Amrit Ray

Amrit Ray T’02 is working to improve compassionate access to investigational medicines and medicines for children—callings that combine his professional strengths with his personal convictions.

Read More

Deb Kemper

As managing director of the Boston Forum of Golden Seeds, a national network of angel investors funding early-stage companies led by women, Deb Kemper T'95 lives by the motto: be the change you want to see in the world.

Read More

Kathryn Baker

Kathryn Baker T'93 is a true expert on boards of directors. She has served on more than 20 of them over the last 16 years, ranging from oil and gas companies to Norway’s Central Bank to Tuck’s own European Advisory Board.

Read More

Jie Lian

The Chinese economy has grown tremendously since 1989, and so have the opportunities for enterprising Tuck graduates, like Jie Lian T'01.

Read More

On Networking

Not many people in ball bearing sales finish their careers in venture capital. For Mike Carusi T’93, now one of the most successful health care investors in Silicon Valley, that unlikely journey started with two eye-opening years at Tuck. 

Read More

Collette Chilton

Williams College chief investment officer Collette Chilton T’86 is helping deliver big returns for the Little Ivy.

Read More

Roger McNamee

Investor. Philanthropist. Entrepreneur. Roger McNamee T’82 is all of these and more in a career that has taken him to the top of the tech world.

Read More

Alain Karaoglan

Alain Karaoglan T’87 never could have predicted he would one day be chief operating officer of Voya Financial, a top-tier retirement plan provider with more than $500 billion in assets under management and administration.

Read More

Debbie Atuk

Navigating the present while honoring the past is a challenge for many Native people. Debbie Atuk T’04 has found a way to do both.

Read More

Christopher Fox

After working in security sales for Goldman Sachs, Christopher Fox T'81 was drawn back to the public sector because he wanted to serve his community and for the intellectual challenge.

Read More

Vicki Craver

At Tuck, Vicki Craver T'97 discovered a latent interest in financial strategy. Now, after a successful career at Goldman Sachs and raising a family, she applies her financial accumen to vetting nonprofit projects.

Read More

Scott Frantz

Following five years in the mergers and acquisitions industry, Scott Frantz T'86 joined a few close friends in putting together a private equity and venture capital business.

Read More

Daniel Rowe

Sword, Rowe & Company CEO Daniel Rowe T’09 is blending his love of music into a successful career with the boutique merchant bank.

Read More

Francis Barel

In much of the Middle East and North Africa, cash is still king. PayPal’s Francis Barel T’05 wants to change that, and open people’s lives to the world along the way.

Read More

Blair LaCorte

One of Blair LaCorte T’90’s great skills as a leader is not only to guide a company from infancy to success, but to know when to set it—and himself—free.

Read More

Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams T'84 harnessed his architectural and business skills to grow the Williams Capital Group into one of the most successful mid-sized investment banks in the world. 

Read More