Tinicum started as the holding company that invested the permanent capital of the Ruttenberg family in industrial businesses. We began managing outside capital in a traditional private equity fund structure in the 1990s. Over time, we became frustrated by the ways that relatively short time horizons can constrain the full development of companies and people. Consequently, in 2012 we established Tinicum L.P., a long-term investment vehicle with an indefinite life and multiple, successive commitment periods. From the outset, Tinicum’s capital has come from families and individuals who see the value of permitting management teams to build businesses for the long term.
Patient capital enables Tinicum’s businesses to look to the future and do what’s right. We apply deep industrial experience to develop enduring franchises – strengthening organizations, winning customers, introducing innovative products, expanding into new markets, improving operations and acquiring complementary businesses.
We build partnerships—sharing resources, risks and rewards—with capable and motivated people who are genuinely enjoyable to work with. By investing a substantial amount of our own money in each transaction, we align our interests with those of our partners. We are constructive, value-added owners whose professional skills and relationships complement those of our operating managers. In situations where Tinicum can add value, we are prepared to contribute our expertise and time.
In private transactions, we have the freedom to allow sellers to divest completely or retain a share of their companies, and we welcome sellers’ continued involvement in the management of the business. We believe that management should always have the opportunity to earn an equity interest and to co-invest, and offer these incentives in every situation we control. In the event managers or other partners have time horizons shorter than ours, we provide liquidity options at appropriate intervals.
We work to add true economic value to our businesses over longer time periods by strengthening organizations, developing managerial talent, pursuing robust strategies based on strong industrial logic, aggressively investing in growth and continuously improving operations. We do not impose artificially short time horizons on the businesses we own.
In contrast, the three to five year time horizon of many private equity investors limits the number of ways they can attempt to improve businesses, causing an overreliance on cost reduction, debt repayment and other financial engineering.
Focus on Strength of the Business, Not on Quick Returns We prefer to invest in businesses with strong market positions and capable management. We favor operating strategies that preserve what is successful about a business while targeting opportunities for improvement and growth.
Cautious Use of Financial Leverage We do not rely on financial leverage to justify an investment. We avoid situations where high-risk equity returns are generated through excessive borrowing or financial engineering.
Add Value to Platform Companies Having owned a variety of businesses over a period of decades, we offer a broad range of experience, knowledge and expertise to our companies. We also provide access to our network of relationships, including acquisition targets, new customers and suppliers, management personnel, investment banks and lenders. We actively and patiently pursue add-on investments that strengthen a business’s growth prospects or competitive position.
Tinicum traces its heritage back to its innovative founder, Derald H. Ruttenberg, who started investing in the 1940s, led two large publicly-traded conglomerates as Chairman and CEO, and later contributed to the formation of several asset management businesses. In 1974, Mr. Ruttenberg founded Tinicum to invest as a private individual. Eric Ruttenberg joined his father at Tinicum in the 1980s, expanded it to manage the capital of other families and individuals in 1998, and leads the firm today as its Managing Partner.
Sellers of family owned businesses take comfort that we understand the importance of acting in ways that will protect their legacies. Our partners and management teams appreciate that we combine the heritage and values of family ownership with decades of experience owning and managing businesses, a team of talented investment professionals and operating partners, a global network of relationships and deep knowledge of industrial products and end markets.