What’s In a Name? Hudson Ferry

What’s in a name? In the case of Hudson Ferry Capital LLC, one letter from each co-founding partner’s last name.

“We didn’t want to put our names on the firm because we’re building a firm that’s going to last long beyond our original partners,” said Partner Bruce B. Robertson, Jr. Picking a partial anagram seemed like the way to have the best of both worlds.

Using Web site www.wordsmith.org, Robertson sorted through a number of words and phrases that incorporated the first initial of his last name, along with that of Mark L. Deutsch, Paul Huston, Stephen J. Fisher and Timothy R.G. Ross. One of them, Hudson Ferry, resonated with the partners on a number of levels.

First, all five founders of the firm, which opened its doors last August and began raising a $400 million debut fund in November, were born and raised in the New York/New Jersey area. The Hudson River is a major geographic feature of the region.

Second, the phrase called up the image of a river crossing, a fitting metaphor for the company’s work. “Really what we do as a firm is take a company on a journey to the next level,” Huston said.

And third, the Hudson Ferry once brought immigrants from Ellis Island to Manhattan, a place of great promise, Huston said. In a similar way, the buyout shop hopes to carry its portfolio companies to success and riches.

But wait. Had the Hudson Ferry ever capsized, sunk or otherwise suffered any catastrophes? A little research showed that it hadn’t.

Needless to say, the new name gave the firm a wealth of possible images to use as a logo. The partners settled on a ferry paddlewheel. Said Huston: “It also looks like a Rolodex, suggesting that we look through our Rolodex very hard to come up with potential targets.”