Stelaris is a private investment firm that acquires, manages, and grows lower-middle-market businesses. Our value creation model focuses on the long term through operational effectiveness, business model innovation, and effective execution.
From our perspective, capital is a catalyst for the value creation process but never creates value on its own. That’s why we take an active role on portfolio company boards of directors and work closely with management teams in operational, leadership, strategic, and financial issues. Accordingly, we are patient investors who understand that it takes time to build significant companies of lasting value to customers, employees, stakeholders, and communities.
We want to help you build nimble, market-focused organizations, ensuring that customers, markets, and products/services are in sync. When this happens, value is created: financial, operational, and organizational.
To create and maintain this balance you must add knowledge, be a coach, and provide leadership and insights to ensure that the best decisions are being consistently made throughout the entire organization. Whether it’s for capital allocation, a new product/service, purchasing new technology, investing in new marketing campaigns, developing corporate strategy, or any other functional area of the business, habitually making proper decisions is paramount.
We have been in the seat of responsibility as the CEOs of lower middle-market companies, and can truly appreciate the daily rigors of building and developing an organization, breaking into and preserving important accounts, competing against giants, and financing growth. We “get it”! Accordingly, we are patient investors who understand that it takes time to build significant companies of lasting value for all stakeholders.
WHAT ARE YOU UP AGAINST?
Unfortunately, small and medium-sized firms throughout the US are facing a substantial knowledge gap across management and non-management levels alike, and this works against their ability to compete effectively. Add to this the burden of uncontrollable challenges, including economic, geopolitical, technological, and human capital, and a lot of these business models are rendered obsolete. These challenges have a direct impact on our communities: they are disappearing, the core is being destroyed, and the American dream is receding quickly.
Today there is a severe disparity between the number and type of jobs that provide a livable wage for families to thrive. Our thinking has evolved to pursue a social, not just financial, imperative in finding new business models that will yield the sustainable, long-term employment needed to grow and support the individual. This will, in turn, allow them to contribute to the health and restoration of their local communities.
Our goal is to help our customers build businesses of enduring value.
By doing so, we help to ensure that they are respected in their industry, compete locally and nationally, embrace technology, provide career advancement, produce livable wage jobs, and allow a clear path to the American dream.
To help close this knowledge gap, management teams must do something different, and private capital providers must lean in and offer both capital and world-class knowledge in all facets of the business.
WHAT RESOURCES CAN WE OFFER?
Our effectiveness comes, in part, from our ability to get specific answers with speed and accuracy from the individual who is most accountable for solving the issue at hand. Does the information reside within our best practices guidebook or network, or does it reside with an outside expert? Whether they are found internally or externally, we reach out to the experts needed to obtain the most relevant information.
Our internal best practices guidebook is a culmination of 20 plus years of working with different sized companies, different industries, and with subject matter experts in all functional areas of operating a business: leadership, governance, corporate strategy, product/service development, sales, customer service, marketing, communications, human resources, technology, supply chain, production, and sourcing. If the answer is not present, we will engage with our reputed outside experts, research institutions, and consulting firms to find the answers. These tier-one, durable relationships offer an evergreen value that has served us well for decades.
“Nothing is impossible if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
WHAT SETS US APART
Our buy-and-build approach.
We focus on long-term stakeholder value creation. This translates into placing a premium on strategic and operational excellence, not financial engineering. We do this while utilizing a strong network of industry experts to access market intelligence, ensure that we are a great partner with our vendors, are satisfying customer and market needs, building moats around existing products/services, and compete effectively with positive unit economics. In short, we’re here to build a long-lasting business.
Our balance of social and financial goals.
The knowledge gap is widening and too many companies are getting left behind because they do not have the intellectual horsepower or balance sheet to keep up. Therefore, it is imperative that private capital providers step up and provide both capital and domain horsepower to companies for survival. There must be an element of providing for the greater good coupled with expectations of solid financial returns.
Not being an institutional fund.
We’re patient investors. Most of our investors have personally built and run substantial businesses, and have spent their careers investing with, advising, and working alongside business owners. Because of this, we understand and respect the nature and culture of smaller entrepreneurial companies.
Be honest, fair, respectful, and evenhanded. Only participate in mutually beneficial arrangements.
Listen carefully, and without emotion, to all stakeholders: customers, employees, vendors, and shareholders.
Provide meaningful long-term opportunities to employees, both for themselves as well as their communities.
Be as proud of the path chosen as the results achieved, keeping in mind that Stelaris encapsulates a balance of social and financial goals.
Focus on the team: nothing is impossible if you don’t care who gets the credit. It’s rare that the greatest ideas or solutions are the product of an individual.
Favor analysis over emotion. Use continuous improvement as a mantra to achieve quality at all levels.
Use testing and systems available to ensure the hiring of team members for long-term success.
Diversified Employee Solutions (DES)
Ownership Period: 2021 – Present
Human Resources managed services company- Professional Employer Organization
Premier Trailer Leasing
Ownership Period: 2005 – 2008
(7 add-on acquisitions)
Provider of truck trailers, short and extended rentals
Ownership Period: 2003 – 2006
Manufacturer of performance sunglasses.
Ownership Period: 2010 – 2013
Specialty chemical global manufacturer of premium magnesium fluxes and anhydrous magnesium chloride
Global Compliance Services
Ownership Period: 2003 – 2010
(4 add-on acquisitions)
Provider of global corporate compliance ethical solutions.
New York Dog Spa & Hotel
New York, NY
Ownership Period: 1997 – 2000
New York’s first full service hotel for dogs.
TYPES OF CUSTOMERS THAT INTEREST US
Sectors of Interest:
Business services that offer technology solutions
Preferred Financial Characteristics:
Minimum Revenue: $5M
Minimum EBITDA: $1M