ABJ Highlights Venturi Private Equity Strategy

The Austin Business Journal recently wrote about Venturi Wealth Management, homing in on how the Central Texas financial firm plans to raise $100M to invest in businesses.  Click here to read the full article.

The newspaper noted that Venturi, which was founded in 2015 by Russ Norwood and George Clark, has $1.2 billion in assets under management and “quietly raised (the first) $50 million fund for investing in businesses.”

The ABJ highlighted the fact that Venturi advisers “don’t take commissions from selling financial products, — a common practice in the industry — and instead rely on fees that equal a percentage of the overall wealth under management or advisement.”

The firm, which employs 21 people, has already made investments in Tiff’s Treats, drink maker Clean Cause Inc. and Barton Watch Bands.

There’s a common theme.

“Most of our clients are entrepreneurial people who made their wealth through private enterprise and are naturally drawn to investing in private markets,” Norwood, who is Venturi’s CEO, told the business journal. “We focus on investing primarily with people we know, and we focus our efforts regionally so that we’re closer to our money. We think of it as ‘farm-to-table’ investing.”

The ABJ went on to write the company’s recent hire of Jim Kozlowski as senior managing director of private equity, is aimed at “amping up” its efforts to complete the raise of an additional $100 million. The $100 million fund will be used to invest in mid-size companies in Texas and the Southwest, targeting those with $15 million to $100 million in annual revenue, according to Kozlowski. The average size of investments from the second fund will likely be in the range of $5 million to $10 million, he added. The first fund’s average investment has been $2.5 million.

“Private equity is a relationship business, and we earned a good reputation by treating business owners with respect, paying a fair price, and adding value through strategic, operational and financial improvements,” Kozlowski told the ABJ. “We also can be more selective than much larger funds. We won’t be under pressure to do marginal deals just to put money to work within a certain time period.”

The newspaper noted that Kozlowski came to Venturi after almost 27 years at TGF Management Corp., “where, as president, he oversaw more than $700 million in private equity investments. He left TGF in March, according to his LinkedIn page. Kozlowski has also been a venture partner at Austin Ventures and a member of the investment advisory board at AV Capital.”

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