Crewe’s boutique investment bank helps architectural and engineering firm fuel expansion plans
SALT LAKE CITY, November 09, 2021–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Connecting business owners and executives with vision to the capital they need to achieve their goals has long been at the heart of Crewe’s existence. Serving as an advisor to the management of The HFW Companies (HFW), the investment banking team at Crewe is pleased to announce that HFW has secured initial growth capital for the company’s first member firm and drive near-term and longer-term growth plans. HFW seeks to create a national engineering firm that can deliver services at scale in what remains a highly fragmented industry, creating a platform that brings together successful architecture, engineering and construction management (AEC) firms.
New York City-based private investment firm VSS Capital Partners (“VSS”) is leading this investment in the St. Louis-headquartered HFW, which was founded in 2020 by three AEC veterans who had a vision to connect the disparate elements of the industry. With the backing of VSS, HFW was able to bring on Miller Legg, an award-winning multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
HFW is targeting architecture and engineering firms who are looking to align with a partner for growth. Prospective member firms should be grounded in technical expertise with the ability to solve complex and pressing problems to better serve metropolitan and infrastructure markets through creative design, engineering, and planning. Bringing Miller Legg onboard is the first step in building the platform envisioned by the HFW leadership team.
“Omar Melo and the Crewe team were essential in helping us partner with VSS and, in turn, secure our first member firm Miller Legg,” explains Michael Hein, CEO of HFW, of his work with Melo, senior vice president at Crewe’s investment banking division. “They worked closely with us to review our plans and provided counsel on how to best position our company for growth with an equity partner. Now, we are able to execute on our vision of developing an organization that provides scale on a national level, bringing together talent from across the country.”
Crewe’s extensive experience in working with middle-market professional services firms seeking equity and debt capital at all stages of business development enabled the successful capitalization for the deal. As HFW sought to build its organization nationally, Crewe’s investment banking team provided guidance and structure while leveraging industry relationships to find the right capital partner for the firm, along with AEC businesses that potentially want to join HFW.
Michael Bennett, managing partner of Crewe’s investment banking division, is energized about the opportunity in the AEC sector. “Our team sees massive growth in the infrastructure space, and we believe that HFW is well positioned to capitalize on it,” he says. “This is just the beginning for HFW and we’re excited to work with any potential business that could be a fit for continuing that growth. We work strategically with people who have ambitious business visions and this is a prime example of what connecting ideas with capital can do.”
Crewe offers investment banking services through Crewe Capital, LLC, a registered broker-dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (www.sec.gov), a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (www.SIPC.org), and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (www.finra.org).
About The HFW Companies
Based in St. Louis, HFW is an AEC industry professional services company investing in architecture and engineering firms who serve metropolitan and infrastructure markets and are open to aligning with a partner for growth. Our member firms, grounded by technical excellence, solve the most important problems facing our built environment, making your community better through creative design, engineering, and planning. For more information, please visit: www.hfwcompanies.com.
VSS is a private investment firm that invests in the healthcare, information, business services and education industries. Headquartered in New York, VSS provides capital for growth financing, recapitalizations, strategic acquisitions, and buyouts to lower middle market companies and management teams with the goal of building companies organically as well as through a focused add-on acquisition program. VSS makes privately negotiated investments across the capital structure and invests in situations requiring control or non-control equity, mezzanine securities, and structured equity securities. VSS has over three decades of experience, made investments in 91 portfolio companies, with over 370 add-on acquisitions, and manages $4.0 billion in aggregate committed capital across 8 funds. For more information, please visit: www.vss.com.
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Gregory FCA for Crewe