“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

Warren Buffet

Long-range perspective

Unlike many buyout companies and venture investors, RAF does not exit transactions quickly to lock in high rates of return. We draw on our own capital resources, so there is no need to provide liquidity to outside investors…and our investment decisions are streamlined. We continually invest in our businesses, working to enhance efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. Post-acquisition, virtually all RAF companies have significantly increased employment levels and capital expenditures.

Solid entrepreneurial vision

At RAF, we prefer to acquire businesses owned and managed by people with the vision and drive to participate in the continued development of their companies. Profit-sharing incentives are created to reward former owners for growing their businesses, handling the daily challenge of management and generating new opportunities. We acquire well-run companies and enable management to run them even better.

Proven expertise and support

Through the diverse skills and broad-based business knowledge of our corporate management team, RAF provides a wide scope of valuable services to our companies. While working with existing management to retain and enhance the unique corporate culture of each acquisition, we assume primary responsibility for banking and finance, state and federal tax issues, retirement plans, insurance and legal matters, workers compensation and employee safety programs. We also provide expertise and support in management information systems, budgeting and planning, inventory controls, human resources, logistics, market analysis and strategic planning. Through our wholly-owned subsidiary, RAF Asia, based in Shenzhen City in southern China, we provide expertise including, sourcing, logistics, supply chain management and quality control to our companies, enabling them to augment their domestic footprint with world-class global sourcing. RAF keeps reporting requirements to a minimum and makes quarterly on-site visits to each company. By providing these services, we enable managers of our companies to give their full attention to the kind of entrepreneurial thinking that spurs growth.

Dedication to long-term growth

We are dedicated to maximizing the productivity and expansion of our companies, reinvesting to achieve consistent growth from acquired businesses. Detailed annual plans are developed with the management of each company, pinpointing growth objectives and what it will take to meet them. Growth is also achieved by implementing efficiency-building systems, enhanced employee training and innovative vendor partnerships.

Lasting partnerships

From our corporate management group to the employees at every acquired company, people of integrity, dedication and diverse talents drive our continued growth and prosperity, creating a working atmosphere of cooperation and support.

“At RAF, we’re involved in a diverse group of industries, everything from manufacturing and service businesses to emerging technologies,” explains RAF President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Horowitz. “We believe these experiences have given us a breadth and depth of insight into the skill sets, persistent hard work and discipline needed to make businesses thrive. While we try to surround ourselves with business builders who can benefit from this insight, we also recognize that we will only succeed if our companies are led by first-rate, driven managers who bring as much to the table as we do.”

“As a business operator it is great know that RAF enters into its acquisitions with a long term growth outlook. This allows us to make strategic investments that are in the best interest of the business with time on our side. Private equity groups are often characterized as short term thinkers looking for a quick return, this is just not the case with RAF.” -Peter Rosenquist, President, U.S. Tape

“When Bob Fox and his team at RAF talk about being “partners” with their portfolio companies, they mean it. As a company owner, I was very concerned about the future of my company and our people in the years after our transaction was complete. After meeting with several other financial buyers, it was obvious RAF was different. RAF exemplifies corporate leadership by providing the support and resources necessary to transform a really good company into a great company. They also value and respect the people who originally built it. It has now been over five years since we joined the RAF family and I am absolutely certain that we chose the right partner. By encouraging us to focus on what we do best and supporting us when we need it, they allow our entrepreneurial spirit to thrive. Their corporate philosophy, “Always do the right thing,” makes it easy to maintain our reputation of being a good community partner, as well as a good company. We are proud to be a part of the RAF team and look forward to working with them to build the future.” -Ron Broadrick, President, Earth Tech

“My fifteen year partnership with Bob and the whole RAF group has been a collaborative relationship that has included support and encouragement throughout the highs and lows of the business cycle. In the times that a transformational business decision was necessary the RAF team always took the long view. The true essence of our partnership transcends any legal definition.” -Jim Rymer, President, Materials Marketing

“I think Bob Fox would walk away from a deal – regardless of profit potential – if he didn’t feel he was dealing with good people. Having worked both at RAF corporate and in the field, I can tell you that positive personal chemistry is valued across the board. There’s very little bureaucracy. Bob has a great sense of character, and the RAF companies are full of down-to-earth people who are willing to learn from their own mistakes and who can make decisions quickly and intelligently.” says Tom Teesdale, previous corporate team member and president of Best Liebco, a former RAF company that manufactures paint applicators.

These relationships extend beyond the interaction of corporate and company managers to a cross-fertilization of concepts among our companies themselves. Approaches to strategic issues, management systems, marketing and other key issues are shared to the benefit of all. This intercompany synergy is fostered at an annual three-day RAF conference, attended by key management from each company, which offers ample opportunity for a free-flowing exchange of ideas.

Shared success

We strive to build each of our acquisitions into world-class businesses by developing mutually beneficial relationships that lead to superior financial performance. Our ability to achieve this goal has led to the success of both RAF and our acquired companies.  

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