Milwaukee-based private investment firm Borgman Capital has introduced an online platform to give its wealthy and family office clients simple and direct access to the firm’s private investment opportunities.

The low-middle-market firm, which launched in 2017, acquires successful companies with up to $100 million in revenue. The types of companies it has acquired thus far are in industries as varied as food, pet treats, manufacturing, chemical distribution and infrastructure. The firm’s portfolio also includes industrial and mixed-use real estate properties located in the Midwest, the firm said.

The firm has completed 18 transactions for its 375 limited partnership investors, according to Sequoya Borgman, founder and CEO of the firm. (LPs here can mean investors such as high-net-worth individuals, family offices, trusts, IRAs or other accredited entities.)

To make clients aware of potential deals and offer them direct access, the firm has launched “Pass the Hat,” a new online platform, according to Borgman.

“Normally, to find access to a direct deal like this, you have to know somebody, or just get introduced to somebody,” he said. “This makes it simple [and] rather than having to reach out directly to somebody they can ... find us through the website.”

The platform will lay out the firm’s pre-vetted private market investments in private equity and real estate. The platform is flexible, meaning investors pick and choose the investments that align with their specific financial goals, the firm said.

Along with a description of each investment, Pass the Hat will also offer education about it through webcasts, Borgman explained. The firm will detail the positives of each investment as well as any potential downsides so that an investor can make an informed decision, he said.

“So long as the investor understands those risks, then they can get access to direct investment in the private companies,” Borgman said. 

Along with the direct access to potential investment opportunities, the firm wanted to help clients with the complications that occur when they are starting the process of a direct investment. The plan was to help streamline the effort.

“As that became more difficult to manage, we started thinking about a way to manage that LP/investor relationship process, so we decided to launch a separate platform ... to help with onboarding [and other services],” Borgman said.

To make sure the investors are qualified, the firm uses a third party to determine the accredited investor status of each individual before they are allowed to invest. And each investment will have a $50,000 minimum.

Finally, the platform will follow a private equity model—meaning the investment vehicles that investors have access to will own controlling stock in an operating company or real estate property the firm acquires. It will not be a passive or minority interest in a business, according to the firm.