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Mid-market Case

HKW

HKW Featured Image
After 117 years, a new private equity firm emerges.

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  Roy and the other partners who laid the foundation are no longer active, and the new leadership team was hungry to put their stamp on the brand message, while honoring the leadership that came before them.

Client:

HKW

Category:
Private Equity

What We Did:
Brand Reinvention

HKW Logo Before & After
Identifying the Secret Sauce

We did our due diligence on the competitive set and spoke with HKW’s partners at length. We also spoke to Roy Whitney, the man who began PE activities at HKW, as well as several intermediaries and HKW portfolio company CEOs.

The two greatest differentiators we identified were HKW’s internal operating model and their emphasis on quantifying and evaluating ongoing risk.

Their Four Pillar approach is unusual in that it addresses four very specific areas of the investment process: Sourcing Deals, Transactions, Operations and Exits. This last pillar is one of HKW’s biggest value propositions. This team is constantly evaluating HKW’s portfolio and working with management teams to prepare and guide them through the exit process.

Risk Management as a Differentiator

The second key differentiator is HKW’s elevated focus on quantifiable measurement of risk for both active and potential investments. Their Transactions team developed a proprietary formula that weighs over 30 risk factors that apply to any given investment and ultimately assigns them a value. HKW uses this not only to evaluate their potential investments, but also to measure the health of their active portfolio.

MonogramGroup assisted the HKW team in developing a sub-brand for this risk formula and landed on the name rate360, standing for “risk assessment through exit.”

HKW rate360 Logo

So Much More Than a Logo and Website

MonogramGroup left no stone unturned in this project. HKW’s evolution was a radical departure from their original marketing materials in every way, from the infusion of four distinct colors to the lowercase, sans-serif font they’ve embraced in their logo. Take a look at how we completely reimagined the HKW brand:

Website

HKW Website

Mobile Website

HKW Mobile Website 2
HKW Mobile Website 1

Original Photography

HKW Professional Photography 1
HKW Professional Photography 3
HKW Professional Photography 2
HKW Professional Photography 4

Stationery

HKW Stationery

PowerPoint Templates

HKW Powerpoint Templates

Tri-fold Brochure

HKW Tri-fold Brochure
HKW Tri-fold Brochure

Branded Merchandise

HKW Branded Swag 1
HKW Branded Swag 2