Who We Are

Morgan Street Holdings is the holding company and investment arm for the HAVI Group of businesses including HAVI Supply Chain, tms and Stanley. Built on the philosophy of always “delivering the promise,” we have a 50-year history of deep customer relationships and business expansion. Morgan Street is growth-oriented with a focus on investing in and supporting great companies and management teams. We are actively looking to acquire organizations that share our values and approach to business who can be part of our group long-term.

HAVI, tms and Stanley work display wall

Focus

Morgan Street Holdings is seeking to build on its foundation of owning and growing industry-leading companies that deliver the highest quality products and services to their customers.

Companies we look to acquire or invest in have at least $15m in EBITDA and the following:

Cultural & Values Alignment

We seek businesses that have a passion for their customers, a focus on growth, and that are excited by creating new opportunities for their employees. As long-term holders, we prefer organizations that align to our values: Do What’s Right, Respect and Value All, Elevate Customers and People and Think Big Together.

Strong Leadership Teams

We prefer founder and family-owned businesses where the leadership and ownership have a vision and plan for growth. We are not interested in turn-arounds but want strong leadership teams that are looking for the right long-term partner to support their efforts with capital and capabilities.

Aligned Sector Focus​

We seek companies that operate in areas that are aligned with our core capabilities:

 

  • Sourcing
  • Distribution
  • Food and Beverage Services
  • Business Services
  • Consumer Products

We’re also open to working with other investor partners that share our values and are actively looking to invest in partnership opportunities.

Approach

Enabling and Enhancing Growth

We believe that the best operating companies have strong and committed leadership teams and drive the most value and best decision-making by being close to their customers. That’s why we seek acquisitions that are self-sufficient and driving a long-term growth plan. Our approach and philosophy is to enable and enhance long-term steady growth through patient capital, support of management and connectivity across our business units and capability sets. We like to operate with relatively low leverage and focus on new opportunities for investment – not exit plans or target sale dates.

As lifelong business owners and operators, we know the best way to build value is to acquire and hold operations where we can measure our results and performance over years or decades, not quarters. We allow the businesses’ founders, owners and leaders to do what they do best – build strong and stable companies that are loved by their customers and employees.

Rooftop patio outdoors at office headquarters

Our Goal is to support our businesses and leaders with additional capital to enhance growth through talent or business acquisitions, innovation, new facilities or market expansion.

Our combination of operating company expertise and long-term flexible capital makes us a unique and ideal partner for the right opportunity.

Morgan Street Holdings

Operating Company Experience

  • Direct experience operating businesses
  • Significant capability and talent leverage opportunities across our network
  • Deep customer relationships & insights on B2B and consumer markets
  • Respect and appreciation for investing in key talent
  • Clear approach to sustainability
  • Demonstrated experience in supporting growth of acquired businesses

Permanent Ownership Approach

  • Long-term or permanent holding period with patient capital
  • Supportive light-touch governance approach & expectation of self-sufficient businesses
  • Low leverage pressure with a focus on long-term growth and investment
  • Management participation in value creation with structured opportunities for liquidity

The support in our leadership team and investment in our plan helped Stanley transition to become the fastest growing outdoor consumer product company for two years running.

Terence Reilly, President, Stanley

Businesses

Our operating companies offer best-in-class sourcing and supply chain capabilities, brand-defining marketing and promotion services and innovative and award-winning consumer products. Together these businesses have over 10,000 employees operating in more that 50 countries around the world.
HAVI Supply Chain

One of the leading providers of supply chain, logistics and distribution services to the world’s most recognized restaurant brand, McDonald’s. Founded “on a handshake” with Ray Kroc, HAVI is now one of McDonald’s leading global partners and operates in over 50 countries.

havi truck
tms

tms unites technology, marketing and sourcing to deliver transformational change for the world’s leading brands. Be it McDonald’s packaging or Happy Meal® toys or T-Mobile's revolutionary loyalty platform, tms connects people with the brands they love.

tms client promotional items including a phone showing a T-mobile promotion and McDonald's packaging and Happy Meal items
Stanley

“Built for Life” and founded over 100 years ago, Stanley is an iconic brand famous for its indestructible water bottles that sell in over 30 countries worldwide. With a focus on sustainability, hydration and functionality, Stanley has been a leader in keeping cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot since its founding.

An assortment of Stanley products

Morgan Street Leadership

Russ Smyth is the Chairman and General Partner for both Morgan Street Holdings and the HAVI Group, which owns and operates HAVI Supply Chain, tms and Stanley. From 2011 through 2014, Russ served as CEO of HAVI before acquiring the organization from its Founder. Prior to joining HAVI, Russ was the CEO of H&R Block from 2008 to 2010 and spent over 20 years at McDonald’s where he held a variety of executive leadership roles including President of McDonald’s Europe and President of Partner Brands, where he oversaw the development of Chipotle and Boston Market. Russ began his career at PWC in Chicago and after earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northern Illinois University. Russ lives in Chicago with his wife, Dawn, and their 4 children.

View Profile >

Howard Katz is a Partner at Morgan Street Holdings. Since 2008, he has been with the HAVI Group and most recently led the M&A and Corporate Development function across the HAVI businesses. Previously, Howard was the Chief Strategy Officer for HAVI and joined the company as the Chief Operating Officer of tms. Prior to HAVI, Howard held executive positions in venture and private equity backed businesses in the Student Lending, Internet Music and Healthcare Technology industries. Howard earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Northwestern University. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Rachel, and their 3 boys.

View Profile >

Chris Smyth is a Partner at Morgan Street Holdings. Prior to Morgan Street, Chris spent 29 years at Ernst & Young where he was the Americas Private Equity Leader responsible for EY’s services to private equity funds and their portfolio companies. Chris held a variety of Partner level roles across EY, including Central Region Managing Partner of Strategy and Transactions, and worked in both London and San Francisco throughout his tenure there. Chris holds his CPA and earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Susie, and their 6 children.

View Profile >

HAVI Group Leadership​