HFW Founders Michael Hein, Matthew Westphal, and Daniel Forguson set out in 2020 to create an AE-based professional services company with an investment approach that defied the consolidating approach of traditional mergers and acquisitions.
As industry veterans, they had observed how industry giants and investment firms acquire smaller firms to amass greater geographic reach, more technical experts, expanded capabilities, and even strategic access to targeted clients. At the same time, they ultimately trim the ranks of professionals, disrupt organizational leadership, struggle with cultural integration, and largely dismantle legacy brands in the process.
HFW, based in St. Louis, wanted to invest differently.
So the founders have built a firm that invests nationally in the continuing success of a growing portfolio of strategic growth partners, their own legacy brands – and their people, all the while leveraging the partners’ collaborative strengths to support one another and the greater good of clients on a national scale.
HFW’s investment solution is simple, innovative, and non-disruptive. HFW provides highly qualified executive leadership and resources to AEC firms whose owners are interested in transitioning their ownership into a strategic growth partnership with HFW.
The firm invests in small- to mid-sized AEC firms that already have built legacy brands in their regions and want to continue to grow, while also leveraging the strengths of other legacy brands across the country that have become HFW Partner firms. An HFW partnership gives sellers an opportunity to expand their firms and deliver industry command from collaborative synergies with other HFW Partner firms.
Four core values define the culture of HFW, who we are as a company, and how we work with our HFW Partner firms. Our decisions and actions flow through the lens of these values. We hire, recognize excellence, and reward our people based on the following:
We’re committed to our sellers, employees, and clients.
We listen to understand.
We’re people-centric, with engaged professionals who are leading at every level.
We plan, measure, and then act.
We offer a documented process that is followed by all.
We’re constantly learning.
We focus on growth.
We deliver sustainable financial results.
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