Fresh Profile: Haas Portman brings large network to bear on deals

  • Why this is important: Family office sources, executes deals using large network

Haas Portman, an Atlanta-based joint-family office, tries to double its expertise on deals it chases: it taps co-investors from its extensive network with experience in its target sectors.

As an example, the family office, formed in 2013, would bring in experienced food investors into a food and beverage deal, explained Grant Haas, who manages the firm alongside partner Michael Portman.

“When we bring in partners to an investment that have expertise/connections in the space, this usually leads to things like increased revenue, decrease in costs, faster sales cycles, less risk of making errors, etc.,” Haas told Buyouts.

“All of these things drastically augment the management team and company. Imagine if you were trying to build a basketball team and I was able to bring in Michael Jordan,” he said.

To make investments, the family office, comprising the Haas and Portman families, uses internal assets from Haas Corporation, which invests in and develops real estate and ran a publishing arm, which was sold to TPG in 2011.

In addition to publishing, the Haas and Portman families’ wealth comes from architecture, development, real estate and distribution sectors.

Despite its history investing in the tech sector, Haas told Buyouts the family office’s strategy is more “sector agnostic.”

“It’s really based on how much strategic value we add to the given deal,” Haas said, adding that he’s a part of more than 80 deals, “personally and through the family office.”

The office has made investments in Chefsfeed, Gyft, Savara, Statmuse, TemperPack, Uber, Urbanstems and Unikey. Last year, Haas Portman invested in a $50 million funding round for California-based car leasing company Fair, and led a strategic financing round for Zeeto, a data discovery company, for an undisclosed price.

Haas Portman uses its relationships with other family offices and may seek them as co-investors, depending on the type of deal.

“Once we get a scope of what that looks like, and who else we may want to bring in, and for what reason and what time, then we can take an investment that’s fairly high risk or medium risk, and take it to extremely low risk based on our network and what we’re able to do with that network,” Haas said.

When making deals, Haas Portman includes an option to invest in companies months down the line, at the original rate, to mitigate its risk, Haas told Buyouts.

“When the companies hear about it and our network, everybody loves that model,” Haas said, calling it “unique.”

“The company sees it as an immense value and our network of people, who can help, see it as a tremendous value,” he continued. “It’s a real win, win, win scenario.”

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly said Haas Portman was a single-family office based in Los Angeles. It’s a joint family office based in Atlanta, and has a branch office in Los Angeles. 

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