ST. LOUIS – When the founders of The HFW Companies first announced their intentions in 2020 to build a national network of closely aligned architectural and engineering (AE) partner firms, they set their sights on one day growing large enough to be considered in Engineering News Record’s (ENR’s) prestigious annual ranking of the top 500 architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) firms in the country.
Only three years into its quest, HFW not only made it into the revenue-based ranking but also landed at No. 281. HFW’s founders couldn’t be happier with their progress.
“We’re honored to be included in ENR’s “The Top 500” ranking at such an early stage of our growth in this challenging industry,” said Michael Hein, AIA, PMP, chief executive officer of HFW. “We believe this ranking speaks well of the hard work we’ve put into cultivating such a strong network of HFW partner firms across a national footprint.
“This also serves as a testament to our growing number of partner firms and the caliber and volume of work they’re contributing toward strengthening the nation’s infrastructure and quality of life,” Hein continued. “We’re proud of the work they’re doing, as well as the new synergies we’re creating to drive our collective growth even further.”
Over the past three years, HFW has established strategic growth partnerships with seven regional AE firms from South Florida to Iowa and Las Vegas. Among them:
HFW’s vision, Hein said, is to build an AEC-based professional services company that invests nationally in the continuing success of a growing portfolio of strategic partners and their own legacy brands while leveraging their collaborative strengths to support one another.
“Central to our investment approach is our ‘House of Brands’ philosophy, which simply means we believe that success depends on the continued strength of each legacy brand and that they’re stronger and better together,” Hein said.
The firm’s founders, including Hein, Matthew Westphal, and Daniel Forguson, continue to look for middle-market AEC firms with “experienced, collaborative, entrepreneurially minded, multi-generational teams of professionals that have built strong brand legacies within their markets, developed ambitious visions for growth, and have great future potential, but lack the organic resources internally to grow substantially,” Hein said. “That’s where we come in.”
Hein acknowledged that HFW isn’t planning to slow down anytime soon in its drive to add new partner firms to its portfolio, which, the partners hope, will be reflected in an even higher ENR ranking next year.
“We see great growth opportunities ahead for HFW and our partner firms,” Hein said. “These are exciting times.”
Based in St. Louis, HFW is an AEC industry professional services company investing in architecture and engineering firms that serve metropolitan and infrastructure markets and are open to aligning with partners for growth. Its member firms, grounded in technical excellence, solve the most critical problems facing the built environment, improving communities through creative design, engineering, and planning.