“JENSEN HUGHES grew into a global leader in specialty engineering services with the financial, strategic and operational support provided by Huron Capital. The firm acted as our in-house corporate development department and led efforts that generated over 100 add-on opportunities that helped build our business from a US-centric model to a global leader in fire protection engineering.”

Phil Rogers, CEO, JENSEN HUGHES

Overview

In 2011, as part of a directed investment initiative in the professional services sector, Huron partnered with the existing management team of Hughes Associates, which would become JENSEN HUGHES, to recapitalize the business. Management realized a significant liquidity event while retaining a large ownership stake in the company. Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, JENSEN HUGHES emerged as (according to management) the world’s leading consulting firm specializing in fire protection engineering, code consulting, and related life safety services to commercial, institutional, and industrial facilities across a range of end markets with 49 offices throughout North America, Asia and the Middle East.

Why Huron Capital?

After exploring multiple options – including an ESOP and a sale to a strategic buyer – the company’s shareholders chose Huron Capital to lead a recapitalization process which facilitated the retirement of an inactive shareholder, created a meaningful liquidity event for management shareholders and provided the capital and strategic direction to fuel the company’s future growth. All employee shareholders continued with the business and elected to participate in equity value creation through not only their rollover investments, but an incentive equity plan enacted post-closing. Huron Capital differentiated itself based on its strong partnership philosophy, history of growing businesses through a buy-and-build approach and the past success of its ExecFactor® investment program. As part of its ExecFactor® initiative in JENSEN HUGHES, Huron sponsored Phil Rogers, former CEO of Linc Facility Services and senior executive with Sodexho’s facilities management business, to be an Operating Partner and Board Member of the company. Upon the unfortunate passing of the company’s CEO, Phil stepped in and assumed the role of new CEO. Phil was responsible for generating top-line revenue growth, creating process improvements, driving margin expansion, expanding business development activities and executing the strategic acquisition plan of the company.

Building Leaders

  • Huron Capital’s ExecFactor® program positioned Phil Rogers, a seasoned executive with four decades of experience in engineering, energy, construction, real estate and facilities management, to step forward and assume the role of CEO when the company was faced with the unexpected passing of the former CEO.
  • Expanded geographically completing 9 strategic add-on acquisitions, including the transformative 2014 merger of Hughes Associates and The RJA Group, bringing together the two largest players in the industry to create JENSEN HUGHES.
  • Improved key operating metrics including sales pipeline, employee retention, recruiting efforts, and employee utilization ratio.
  • Bolstered the finance department function through key hires and integration of accounting systems across all add-on acquisitions.
  • Increased business development activity by investing in key sales personnel, training field personnel in sales, implementing a CRM system, and developing more robust marketing collateral.

Results

During Huron Capital’s ownership period, JENSEN HUGHES grew from a domestic, 18-office provider of fire protection engineering consulting services to (according to management) the undisputed global leader in the industry with 49 offices located across North America, Asia and the Middle East. Over the same time period, annual revenue increased from $56 million to over $175 million while headcount quadrupled from 200 to approximately 800. In 2015, JENSEN HUGHES’ management team partnered with a successor private equity firm to execute a change-of-control management-led buyout.