Nearly 60-Year Old Investment Firm Brings Significant Capital, Experienced Team and Unique Investment Approach to Middle Market Companies Along the Southeastern Corridor
Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), the investment firm that pioneered a collaborative, patient investment strategy and has invested in more than 400 companies over the course of six decades, is bringing its unique approach to investing in middle market companies to the Southeastern U.S. NEP, which has been investing from a Minneapolis home base since 1961, has opened a second office in Florida with an experienced investment team to focus on the strong middle market community in the southeastern region. Tim DeVries, NEP managing partner, is leading the firm’s current growth phase.
The NEP Florida office will be in 360 Rosemary, a 300,000 square-foot Class-A office building currently under construction within the Rosemary Square neighborhood in West Palm Beach. Until occupancy in 2021, NEP is currently operating from temporary office space in Palm Beach.
The opening of the second office comes on the heels of the recently announced additions of several new leaders at the firm, including Sundip Murthy, a partner who joined NEP in July from Snow Phipps, New York, and Beth Lesniak, a managing director who joined NEP in September from Grey Mountain Partners. Both Murthy and Lesniak will be based in the Florida offices, along with several other NEP team members.
“The Southeast has a robust and growing business climate, with middle market companies that hold great potential for becoming leaders in their industries,” said Murthy. NEP invests in growing and profitable middle market companies across diverse industries, including agriculture, business services, consumer, distribution, industrials, energy services and healthcare.
“The management teams at these companies deserve a partner that will work closely with them to build long-term value, not only during the investment period but for years to come,” said DeVries. “We hear from the leaders of our portfolio companies that NEP’s collaborative approach and respect for their vision, with a focus on supporting their strategy, scalability and performance, makes all the difference as they grow. For many of our companies and their founders, NEP is the first outside investor. We don’t underestimate the importance of our role and the experience these companies have with NEP.”
In addition to investment capital, NEP offers access to the broad and deep network of relationships and resources it has accumulated over the years that help its portfolio companies achieve sustainable operational excellence. “The longevity of NEP in our industry, investing through so many cycles, translates to incredible knowledge and connections that benefit growing companies,” added Brian Allingham, a NEP partner and chief operating officer.
Currently investing its 10th institutional equity fund, NEP X, with $1.6 billion in capital raised in 2015, NEP’s announcement of its Florida office and several new leaders comes during a robust investment period at the firm. Recent activity includes the successful sale of portfolio company GoHealth, the pioneer of health insurance technology, to Centerbridge Partners; the sale of Actagro, an environmentally sustainable soil and plant health products and technology company, to Nutrien; and the sale of Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, a leading manufacturer of customized, mission critical rubber and thermoplastic components and assemblies, to KKR.
NEP also recently invested in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN), one of the largest online nutrition schools in the world, and Arteriors, an international designer and supplier of premium, decorative lighting, furniture and home accessories. NEP is both IIN and Arteriors’ first institutional investor.