Month: January 2016

No More Mystery Meat For Rover

The coolest part about technology is applications to our daily lives and dog food companies are hopping on-board the technology train to bring premium options to pet owners everywhere. Cropping up in stores everywhere are healthier, fresher food varieties from small companies such as Blue Buffalo to big brands like Purina’s Beneful. During a tour of the Freshpet dog food manufacturing plant in Bethesda, Maryland, as food rolled off the line CEO Richard Thompson cut into a tube and popped it into his mouth to show just how palatable pet food has become. Ingredients such as sweet potatoes, prime cuts of meat, kale and more are now making their way into dog foods as part of the new healthy pet food trend. Beneful brand dog food produces a variety of wet food options that look as if they came right off the stove and belong on a dinner plate with flavors equally tempting such as Romana and Mediterranean Syle Medleys and Beef and Lamb Stew. The key differences between Beneful and traditional canned food boil down to the quality of ingredients used and the process used to prepare and package meals. Quality ingredients that are easily identifiable are vacuum sealed in plastic tubs versus ground mush and mystery meat that comes from aluminum cans. This new way of marketing is being called the eat-like-your-owner strategy and is targeting pet parents who see their dog as a family member and want to feed them wholesome Beneful foods same as they do their human family members; $10.5 billion increase in premium foods sales since 2009 says they are onto something. Freshpet CEO Richard Thompson said this to those who are skeptical of the trend being profitable, “If your family is into health and wellness, and you treat your pet like family: bingo.” Backing him up is the fact that companies like Purina and Milo’s Kitchen have both bought out smaller, premium dog food manufacturing companies including Merrick Pet Care and the Big Heart Pet Brands. Information in this post was pulled from the Daily Herald’s article that can be found here.

Coriant Is Looking at a Bright Future Thanks to New CEO

The world of high technology is one of the most fast paced industries out there. There’s quite a few reasons for this. But one of the most significant reasons why it’s difficult to predict the viability of a tech company has to do with the scope of their work. Traditional investments deal with the production and refinement of well understood things. Coal, for example, isn’t going to change much. Technology might impact it. But the industry itself is usually static. But in the tech sector one will often see world changing discoveries happen fairly frequently.

It’s often easiest to look at examples of a successful company on the rise in order to understand the industry in general. A great example can be found with Coriant. It’s a tech company focused on voice, data and assorted mobile technologies. This in itself is an impressive mix of technologies. For example, the smartphone industry is largely a result of similar convergence. But at the same time what separates Coriant from the rest is leadership.

Coriant recently took on a new CEO, Shaygan Kheradpir. And this move is the perfect example of what can make a good tech company into a great one. The reason comes down to a synergistic match of styles. Coriant itself is a mix of various different forms of technology. And Kheradpir has had over 28 years experience in the tech sector. His time at companies such as Verizon has allowed him direct experience with some of the most cutting edge ideas. And it’s allowed him to understand the managerial style needed to communicate with experts in those fields.

One of the things that makes Kheradpir such as asset to Coriant comes from a little talked about trait in great leaders. A leader needs to be able to communicate with the people he’s leading. But in the tech sector it’s quite common for people to come from backgrounds that don’t provide this experience. Kheradpir’s 28 years of experience communicating with both executives and engineers makes him the perfect person to understand the needs of both. And this enhanced communication and leadership ensures that Coriant can display flexibility in the face of new technologies which other companies won’t be able to match.

Check out Kheradpir on Facebook, Twitter, and his website

CCMP Capital Resumes Business After Death of Stephen Murray

CCMP Capital, a private-equity firm that is best known for leveraged buyouts and growth capital investments for companies like Cabela’s and Quiznos, has officially resumed full business activities nearly a year after the departure and subsequent death of founding partner and CEO, Stephen Murray CCMP Capital. The company, who announced that Murray was taking a leave of absence for health reasons early last year, released a statement of condolences about his death at the age of 52 in March of last year.

Murray, who was not only a founding partner and CEO, was also a “key-man” for the company, a term that defines specific people within a private-equity fund as central to that fund’s business interests and investments. CCMP Capital operates under a “key-man” clause, which means that following the death of Murray, the fund was unable to enter into new deals or begin new ventures until a consensus could be reach about the future of the company.

The loss of Stephen Murray was deeply felt at CCMP Capital, a fund which Murray had been involved with through various iterations since 1989. Murray held numerous positions at the fund until he co-founded CCMP Capital as an independent fund from JP Morgan Chase in the summer of 2006. He held the title of CEO of the fund from 2007 until the month before his death in 2015.

Stephen Murray received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston College in 1984, followed by a master’s degree in business administration from the esteemed Columbia Business School. Along with being a businessman he was also a philanthropist. He was a supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York Post and the Stamford Museum.

In May of last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that CCMP Capital had held a successful vote of confidence, leading the fund to resume it’s investing rounds. Certain provisions and assurances were put into place for the Capital Investors III LP Fund investors, such as new-investor protections and the acknowledgement that a CEO replacement would be appointed. Greg Brenneman, CCMP Capital’s chairman, was appointed several weeks later.

Early this month, CCMP Capital made a new addition to the fund’s team member roster — Robert Toth, the former CEO and President of Polypore International Inc., has joined the fund as a Managing Director. Business Wire has reported that Mr. Toth’s responsibilities will include forming new investment opportunities as well as working with current companies in the current portfolio to create new growth plans.