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Forstmann & Co. Inc. is a merchant bank whose goal is to identify and invest early in companies participating in large magnitudes of change.

"The entrepreneur as a creator of the new and a destroyer of the old, is constantly in conflict with convention. He inhabits a world where beliefs preceded result, and where the best possibilities are usually invisible to others. His world is dominated by denial, rejection, difficulty, and doubt. Although as an innovator, he is increasingly imitated when he is successful, he always remains an outsider to the “Establishment”. He is usually found to be disturbing and irritating, even unemployable for the most part. Yet ideas and dreams of his become the new reality in an ever changing world surrounding us. If he ever knew the friction and hurdles he would endure, he might never have ventured. But then venturing is grappling with the unknown well."

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J Anthony Forstmann, Theodore Forstmann & Nick Forstmann

Mission

Forstmann & Co. Inc. is a merchant bank whose goal is to identify and invest early in companies participating in large magnitudes of change. A highly diverse, creative and experienced management team built this merchant bank for the benefit of its investors and business partners.

Merchant Bank

In the 17th Century the first banks were merchant banks. They bought the crops from Italian farmers and sold them at a profit so that the people benefited from enhancing their food production. It was a simple business, conducted on a bench in a town square where all participating parties had similar interests.

 

Merchant Banks have indeed evolved over time, where today, other people’s money and stock holders have been treated with reckless abandon. Banks today have become Hedge Funds, LBO Funds, Venture Funds, Real Estate Funds, Commodity Funds, Family Offices, Wealth Management Departments, and fee driven with little risk assessment.

A true merchant bank must have
complete alignment of interests for all parties.

History

Forstmann Leff Associates was founded in 1967 as a private incentivized firm by J. Anthony Forstmann and Joel B. Leff with a specific objective of managing other people’s money intensively for an above average rate of return. On the advice of Arthur Burns, a future Federal Reserve board chairman, they understood that the investment world would be dominated by an active Federal Reserve monetary policy.

 

The economy would not be determined by ordinary inventory cycles, but rather by the Federal Reserve’s active policies to undermine reckless congressional overspending on social issues and full employment. Monetary Policy, moving rates to dull the economy, would influence financial markets. Spikes in Federal Fund Rates would be used to suppress inflation and money supply would also be used as a tool to break the fiscal stimulus rendered by the Congress. The savings function needed to adapt to a changing world- the active fed and monetarists- versus the political tide of enhancing entitlement programs and subsidizing unemployment.

Services

Growth

COMPLETING OPPORTUNITIES

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Mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, licensing & development

Partnerships

STRONG GLOBAL ALLIANCES

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Dynamic national & international resources & partnerships

Management

ALIGNING BUSINESSES

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Execution, strategy definition, corporate actions & asset allocation

Team

J. Anthony Forstmann

Chairman of Investment Committee Chairman, Managing Partner

Mr. Forstmann serves as the Chairman of Investment Committee and Managing Partner of Forstmann & Co. Inc. He provides leadership, strategy and guidance for the firms overall decisions. Previously, Mr. Forstmann founded Forstmann-Leff & Associates in 1967 and served as investment advisor to pension funds that became second original hedge funds in the US. By 1985, the firm managed over $5 billion assets under management.

Notable assets under managements were: Intel, Pfizer, Standard Oil of Indiana, The Pension Guarantee Corp, The Ford Family, Northrop, Honeywell, Lockheed, Northwest Airlines, Knight Ridder, Delta Airlines, Texas Instruments, Raychem, Studebaker, Chrysler, Commercial Credit, MCA Universal, the City of New York, the State of Minnesota, the State of Maine, Holy Cross University, and the Archdiocese of New York.

Forstmann-Leff & Associates achieved an average compounded yearly gain of 22 percent on the investment partnerships. Forstmann-Leff & Associates outperformed all of other firms monitored by Investment Manager Profiles in the Balanced Account category." Forstmann-Leff & Associates was one of the nation's most prosperous investment firms, with a consistent, long term performance record that is still unmatched by other financial firms.

In 1975, he continued his career as the one of the founding member and the original investor for Forstmann Little & Co. one of the first leverage buy out and private equity firms in the US to become one of the largest financial firms globally. Mr. Forstmann served as Board of Director to companies such as; Pullham Companies, HSN, Community Health Services, ABC Citadel Broadcasting. Mr. Forstmann serves on the Leadership Council for the Yale School of Public Health. He is a graduate from Yale University and Columbia Business School.

Keven H. Kim

Director of Investment Committee, Managing Partner

Mr. Kim is a Director of Investment Committee and Managing Partner for Forstmann & Co. Inc., he provides leadership, strategy, industry expertise, and strategic methodologies for Forstmann & Co., Inc. Mr. Kim has managed more than $900 million in global product and professional services revenues and successfully raised private investments for clients and assisted more than 30 start-up companies. Mr. Kim’s core competencies include but not limited to: Information Technology, International Business, Real Estate Development, Manufacturing, and Intellectual Property. 

Previously, Mr. Kim served as Executive Vice President of ETRI/Newracom a fabless semi-conductor company with emphasis on the IEEE 802.11 industry with over 950 industry specific patents. ETRI/Newracom is a spin-off from Electronics Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI) under the Ministry of Information of Communication for the South Korean government.

Additionally, he has also served as the CEO of BKSems a contract manufacturer specializing in OEM/ODM services with over $5billion market revenues. (Targus, Samsung, LG, Dell, HP, AT&T, Apple, Hyundai, Delphi, Verizon, AstraZeneca, FMC, Univar, Best Buy, Ingram Micro, CDW, Tech Data and many others). Mr. Kim attended UC Berkeley majoring in Psychology.

Kelly Forstmann

Director of Investment Committee, Managing Partner

Ms. Kelly Forstmann is currently a Managing Partner at Forstmann & Co. Inc., she specializes in Social Media Analytics and Technologies. She is nationally certified in Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Conversion Optimization, Display Optimization, PPC, Mobile Marketing, Analytics, & Search Engine Optimization. Previously, Ms. Forstmann has worked for Warner Brothers, William Morris Endeavor and Creative Artists Agency. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University.

Walter L. Schindler

Managing Partner, Senior General Counsel

Walter L. Schindler is a Managing Partner and Senior General Counsel for Forstmann & Co, Inc. He is an investor, strategist and lawyer who is internationally recognized as the Founder and Managing Partner of SAIL Capital Partners LLC. Walter is currently advising new clients on sustainable energy and water and other sustainable investment projects throughout the world, after 15 years as a venture capital investor in energy and water companies. Walter is the Chairman and CEO of SAIL’s new strategic investment and legal advisory business SAIL Global Advisors LLC.

Walter served as a partner of the international law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. His 19-year career included advising clients on some of the most successful IPO’s and mergers in the US during that time, including Allergan, Callaway Golf, Fluor, Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company (regarding the spinoff of PIMCO), PacifiCare (regarding its merger with FHP), SafeGuard Health, and Ultrasystems. He was the lead strategic advisor in over 60 successful mergers, acquisitions, and IPO’s as well as over 25 renewable power projects. He was one of the Partners active in the firm’s global expansion into Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

SAIL Capital Partners LLC was an early pioneer and thought leader in sustainable investment in the United States. Under his leadership SAIL Capital was selected by the World Economic Forum as a member of its Community of Global Growth Companies and was nominated for Private Equity Manager of the Year by Foundation & Endowment Money Management. In addition, SAIL Capital was chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce to co-lead with Deutsche Bank the first U.S. Trade Mission on Clean Energy to Germany in Munich and to participate in the first Impact & Sustainable Investment Trade Missions to Europe, meeting with investors in Zurich, Amsterdam, and London. He has also been a guest participant in the Australian American Leadership Dialogue, a private group of government and industry leaders from both countries.

In 2014 Walter was elected to the Board of Directors of Fulbright Canada, the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America (www.fulbright.ca ). He has also served as a member of the North American Advisory Board of The Cleantech Group and the Advisory Board of US Bank, and was for two decades a member of the Chief Executive Roundtable of the University of California at Irvine. In 2016, Walter was appointed to be on the Advisory Board of the Global Water Institute by the President of Carleton University in Canada. In addition, in 2016-2017, Walter and SAIL have received over 10 international awards, including Game Changer of the Year, Most Innovative Venture Capitalist, and Best Sustainable Investment Firm CEO.

Walter is a native of New Orleans, was an Eagle Scout, earned his B.A. in 1973, M.A. in 1976 and Ph.D. in 1977 all with honors from Yale University and his J.D. in 1980 with honors from Harvard Law School. In 1972 Yale University selected Walter to be a Bates Traveling Fellow in residence at Clare College, Cambridge University, and in 1974-75 he studied as a Fulbright Scholar in Italy at the University of Florence. At Yale Graduate School he was awarded the Mary Cady Tew Prize in 1975 (then awarded by Faculty to the best first-year graduate student in the humanities and social sciences). He is the author of a book of original poetry (The Napoleon House; published by Archon Books) and a book on the life and poetry of John Milton (Voice and Crisis: Invocation in Milton’s Poetry; also published by Archon Books).

Frank M. Devine

Managing Partner

Mr. Devine was an Officer and Director of numerous leading consumer brand companies over the last 40 years, constituting billions of dollars in sales. He served on the Board of Directors of Salton, Inc. (NYSE), SafLink, House of Taylor, Malibu Capital and others. He was CEO at Salton At Home, BP Industries and other companies. Frank graduated from Iowa State University and served in US Air Force.

John H. Myers

Senior Advisor

Mr. Myers serves as a Director of Investment Committee and Managing Partner of Forstmann & Company. Mr. Myers completed 38 years of service at General Electric, retiring in September 2006 as President and CEO of GE Asset Management (GEAM). At GEAM he was responsible for approximately $200 billion in assets under management for clients including GE’s pension funds, 401(k) plans, mutual funds and insurance companies as well as for more than 200 external institutional clients.

More than 80% of GEAM’s assets were internally managed with multi-strategy capabilities and a significant focus on alternatives. Mr. Myers’s GE career spanned 37 years beginning in 1970 at GE’s Financial Management Program, then offshore assignments in Germany and Italy, and returning to the US in GE’s operating businesses. In 1981, he was appointed Deputy Treasurer of the company, named a GE Group Manager of Finance in 1984, and joined GEAM in 1986 as Executive Vice President with responsibility for fixed income, private equity, venture capital and real estate. He was named President and CEO in 1996.After retirement from GE, Mr. Myers continued his interest in the investment business by joining Angelo, Gordon, & Co. as a Senior Advisor and Partner and joining the Aurora Capital Group as a member of its Executive Board.

He is on the Board of Directors of The Pebble Beach Company and also serves on the Advisory Board of Academy Securities. Mr. Myers serves on several not-for profit boards including Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Wagner College Board of Trustees, BuildOn, Hospital for Special Surgery Spine Care Institute, the Diocese of Bridgeport Cathedral Elementary School Cluster and American Corporate Partners, a veteran mentoring organization. Mr. Myers was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, and served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a Line Officer. Mr. Myers graduated from Wagner College with a B.S. in Mathematics.

Dr. Arthur Betz Laffer

Senior Advisor

Dr. Arthur Betz Laffer is an American economist who first gained prominence during the Reagan administration as a member of Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board (1981–89). Dr. Laffer is best known for the Laffer curve, an illustration of the concept that there exists some tax rate between 0% and 100% that will result in maximum tax revenue for governments. He is the author and co-author of many books and newspaper articles, including Supply Side Economics: Financial Decision-Making for the 80s. Laffer is Policy Co-Chairman (with Lawrence "Larry" Kudlow) of the Free Enterprise Fund and serves on the "Board of Scholars" of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Dr. Laffer was one of four economists who acted as advisors to Donald Trump's successful 2016 campaign for the presidency of the United States. Laffer earned a B.A. in Economics from Yale University (1962) and an M.B.A. (1965) and a Ph.D. in Economics (1972) from Stanford University.

While he was teaching at the USC Marshall School of Business, Dr. Laffer played a key role in writing California Proposition 13, the property-tax-cap initiative that inspired a tax revolt across the nation. In the mid-1980s, Dr. Laffer left to teach at Pepperdine University in nearby Malibu. Dr. Laffer remained on the faculty for several years. In 1986, Dr. Laffer was a candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate—which he lost in the California primary to U.S. Congressman Ed Zschau who lost in the general election to the incumbent, Democrat Alan Cranston. Dr. Laffer identifies himself as a staunch fiscal conservative and libertarian. He has stated publicly that he voted for President Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996.

Dr. Laffer references President Clinton's conservative fiscal and unregulated market policies as cornerstones of his support. In 2008, he was named a Distinguished University Professor of Economics by Mercer University in Georgia. Dr. Laffer is the founder and CEO of Laffer Associates in Nashville, Tennessee, an economic research and consulting firm that provides global investment-research services to institutional asset managers, pension funds, financial institutions, and corporations. He sits on the board of directors of several public and private companies. Laffer has been appointed to the advisory board of Sonenshine Partners, an independent investment bank focused on providing integrated strategic, financial and corporate advisory services. In 2004, Dr. Laffer joined the Board of Pillar Data Systems, a non-public Data Storage Company funded by Tako Ventures, a funding arm of Larry Ellison. In 2008, Laffer joined the Board of Alpha Theory, a non-public Fundamental Portfolio Optimization software for hedge and mutual funds. Laffer recently joined the advisory board of Collabarium Capital.

In 2010, Dr. Laffer joined the Boards of Executive Trading Solutions, an LLC providing the top technological solution for management of Rule 10b51 stock trading plans, and Consensus Point, a provider of an enterprise prediction markets platform. In 2015, Dr. Laffer joined the board of General Employment Enterprises, (JOB), a rapidly growing staffing company located in Illinois.

Dr. Laffer has branched into writing children's books along with Michelle A. Balconi. In 2014 they co-wrote "Let’s Chat About Economics." The second title in the series, "Let’s Chat About Democracy", released in late 2017. Laffer also regularly writes opinion articles in The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times.

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