The Stephens Family has partnered with entrepreneurs and management teams for nearly 90 years, building exceptional businesses with long-term, sustainable value. We continue to build on that heritage and legacy. While our team and capabilities have grown significantly over the years, we have not fundamentally changed. We are unwavering in our commitment to the very same principles and standards on which Witt Stephens, Sr. founded W.R. Stephens Investment Company in 1933.
Fairness, Transparency, Respect and Alignment. By partnering with people and companies who share our values, we are able to build strong teams, authentic relationships, and valuable businesses. We treat all our portfolio companies and partners as we would like to be treated – as equals. It’s not complicated – it’s the Golden Rule. When we partner with a management team, we provide and expect complete transparency. We believe better outcomes are the result of fair-minded, practical approaches and that business dealings need not result in “zero sum” outcomes. We do business with those whose values and economic objectives are aligned with our own. We believe business should be about hard work and productivity, but should also be enjoyable.
Our capital is different. We have the capabilities, investment focus and appetite of a large middle-market private equity firm, but without outside investors we are able to invest in strategies that truly maximize long term value. When business objectives or industry developments require us to pivot, we can do so because of our unique position. When market conditions send others scrambling, we are able to remain committed. We stay true to our formula of success that has produced an outstanding long-term track record. The time others dedicate to raising capital, we spend supporting our teams. While traditional private equity funds often sell their “winners” prematurely to post an “IRR” for the next round of fundraising, we focus on maximizing value. Our stable, enduring source of capital enables us to fully align with the long-term objectives of our management partners. This does not mean we will own a business forever, but we have the capacity to do so, and that gives us the freedom, flexibility and framework to make better decisions for the companies in which we invest.
Over the nearly 90 years we have been investing, industry trends and business models have changed markedly. Our reputation as authentic partners has not. We derive great satisfaction in developing strong personal relationships, built on shared values and a common purpose. Approaching each relationship as equals, we put our own capital on the line, sharing risk and reward. When our partners win, we win. It’s that simple.