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Apis & Heritage Releases First Annual Impact Report Highlighting Use of Employee Ownership Model to Close the Racial Wealth

WASHINGTON , September 19 /Businesswire/ - Apis & Heritage Capital Partners (“A&H”), a mission-driven, lower middle market mezzanine debt firm that buys profitable, privately-held companies from exiting owners and transitions them into employee-owned businesses, today released its first annual impact report. The report details the social impact of Legacy Fund I during 2022, with an emphasis on the welfare of workers at the firm’s portfolio companies. It also outlines key progress toward the firm’s mission of utilizing employee ownership as an investment tool to close the racial wealth gap, increase the economic mobility of frontline workers, and improve business returns. The report is available to view on the A&H website.

“In 2021, we set out to empower workforces of color and unlock local economic growth through employee ownership, and we are thrilled, humbled, and energized by our progress thus far,” said Todd Leverette, A&H Founding Partner. “We remain committed to helping workers benefit from the value they add to their employers, communities, and economy, while empowering successful enterprises to remain rooted in their local communities. We are immensely grateful to our investors, advisors, supporters, and our operating partner, the Democracy at Work Institute – the impact of their support and involvement cannot be overstated, and we look forward to broadening our reach and impact in the years to come.”

Highlights of the report include:

  • Legacy Fund I – A&H announced the oversubscribed final close of its flagship Legacy Fund I at $58.1 million, surpassing its initial cap of $50 million.
  • Portfolio Company Snapshots In 2022, A&H transitioned two family-owned businesses that comprised over 80% workers of color and 85% low- and moderate-income workers into 100% employee-owned enterprises. Company spotlights for Arvada, Colorado-based Apex Plumbing and El Paso, Texas-based Accent Landscaping include key outcomes at close and at year end.
  • Ownership Culture Methodology – In collaboration with its workforce development partner, the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI), A&H has introduced a three-year Ownership Culture Roadmap and Toolkit at each portfolio company. These roadmaps will guide each company’s employee engagement and education work and establish frameworks for assessing employee ownership practices, job quality, and employee health/well-being.

“Facing economic shifts, evolving workforce trends, and the onset of the largest wealth transfer in history as Baby Boomers retire and exit their businesses, we are at a critical moment for the financial wellness of generations of Americans,” added Phil Reeves, A&H Founding Partner. “Our employee ownership model helps business owners secure their legacy and offers employees a no-cost personal and financial stake in the value that they are already creating. Having transitioned two family-owned businesses into 100% employee-owned enterprises in 2022, we’re motivated to sustain this great momentum.”

A&H strives to make selling a company to one's employees as easy as selling to traditional private equity. The firm focuses on companies with large workforces of color and an owner that is ready to sell the business and/or retire. A&H negotiates a fair price for the business, provides the financing and technical expertise needed to convert the companies into 100% employee-owned businesses, and then works closely with the company’s executive team to sustainably and profitably grow the firm. A&H's novel "employee-led buyout" (ELBO©) model helps workers build wealth through ownership, especially Black and Brown workers who have historically been left out of such opportunities.

A&H's Legacy Fund I investor base includes the Rockefeller Foundation's Zero Gap Fund, The Ford Foundation, The W. K. Kellogg Foundation, The Skoll Foundation, Gary Community Ventures, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Fresh Pond Capital and Reynders, McVeigh Capital Management, Spring Point Partners, Sorenson Impact Foundation, Candide Group, Ascension Investment Management, Veris Wealth Partners, Social Capital Partners (Toronto), Tiedemann Advisors, Kachuwa Impact Fund, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Kendeda Fund, World Education Services, The Libra Foundation, Realize Impact, Opus Foundation, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Cooperative Assistance Fund, and numerous individual investors who care about the future of our country.

About Apis & Heritage Capital

Apis & Heritage Capital uses a novel "employee-led buyout" (ELBO©) structure to provide workers in essential industries with the most powerful wealth building tool in the nation: equity in a thriving business. A&H finances the acquisition of great companies from retiring owners/founders and converts them into 100% employee-owned enterprises. Because A&H is dedicated to closing the racial wealth gap, it searches for companies that have large workforces of color and low so that the benefits of ownership will be broadly realized. A&H's ELBO© structure utilizes an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) model for employee ownership, which has over 50 years of bipartisan political and regulatory support. A&H works with some of America's most forward-thinking lending institutions to provide senior loans as part of each ELBO© transaction. A&H and its workforce training partner, the nonprofit Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI), build an ownership culture in each company that ensures all employee-owners, from management to the shop floor, are engaged in a common endeavor to create healthy, growing, profitable, and satisfying places to work over the long term. A&H's founding team members are Todd Leverette, Philip Reeves, Michael Brownrigg, Natalie Edwards, Jason Ollison and Kyle Chin-How. A&H, which is minority-owned, was incubated at DAWI with seed funding provided by the Kendeda Fund, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and support from Citi Community Development.

STORY TAGS: Business Update, Funding, Product/Service, United States, North America, Men, Professional Services, Business, Consumer, Baby Boomers, Socially Responsible Investing, Asset Management, DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), Other Consumer, Other Professional Services, Women, Finance, District of Columbia,


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