Investing in an often-overlooked business model—family-run businesses—can create jobs, strengthen communities, and support families.
Nearly two years ago, my business partner and I founded the private equity firm, The HiGro Group. Part of our purpose was to positively impact families and local communities through business growth. We sought to do this by acquiring control positions in family run businesses that illustrate stable financial and operating history. Armed with only our unique backgrounds and experiences–two preacher’s kids turned financiers, one from Haiti and the other West Virginia–we became destined to use our twenty plus years of investment banking and private equity experience towards a larger vision.
At HiGro, we work with business founders and owners to advance the companies they poured their passion into. These founders often grew their business to a specific scale, but for various reasons, require more financial and human capital firepower to continue driving the company’s growth. For capital sourcing, we call upon our unique and curated investor bases that understands HiGro’s ability to balance the demands of meeting the owner’s vision, positively impacting people, and generating financial returns. Convening owners of businesses and our investor base leads to more intimate and proprietary conversations. Through gaining the trust of all parties, we define success to include positive impact in local communities, allowing us to be true impact investors. For example, we work with business leaders in our network to grow our portfolio companies and use portions of incremental profits to provide living wages and drive hiring decisions.
Since our founding in 2016, we have acquired two long lasting and very profitable companies: CSA Services Solutions, a 20+ year old company, with nearly 300 employees nationwide, servicing mostly Fortune 500 healthcare companies; and DRS Imaging Services, a 55-year-old leading provider of document management and conversion technologies, with nearly 200 employees across seven offices nationwide and servicing nearly 1,000 unique customers. How did we do it? We believe our formula for success works based on the following tenets:
With hard work and a bit of luck, the risk paid off on our maiden voyage. Within 15 months and on the heels of two successful platform acquisitions, we became indirectly responsible for the livelihoods of nearly 500 employees and hundreds of families through our portfolio companies.
We are a little under two years into our journey, but we have every reason to look forward optimistically, extending a collaborative eye towards our next partners and our next wins. We look forward to continuing sharing our successes with you for years to come.