There are many factors that make HKW unique among their private equity brethren. Despite having an office in Manhattan, their headquarters is in Indianapolis. They have an unusual emphasis on Canadian platforms for a Midwest investor, and they operate in a unique Four Pillar structure that highlights their individual strengths and places an emphasis on seamless collaboration.
One of the most unusual aspects of this firm is their 117-year history. Beginning as a merchant bank in 1903, HKW began private equity activity when Roy Whitney joined the firm and led them to their first management buyout in 1982. Roy and the other partners who laid the foundation are no longer active, and the new leadership team was hungry to put their stamp on the brand message, while honoring the leadership that came before them.