McLarty Capital Partners Rebrands as The Firmament Group
McLarty Capital Partners, a private capital provider to small- and medium-sized enterprises, has rebranded as The Firmament Group. The new name reflects the firm’s evolution from an extension of the McLarty family office to a global investment platform focused on turning small business into big business. Firmament provides tailored debt and equity capital solutions directly to SMEs in the form of unitranche senior debt, junior debt, structured equity and common equity.
MCP was founded in 2012 by Franklin McLarty and Christopher Smith to support the robust capital needs of small businesses, a traditionally underserved portion of the economy. Firmament’s investments are designed to lead to superior, non-correlated returns for its limited partners. To date, the firm has closed over 40 initial and follow-on investments totaling nearly $400 million of investment capital.
“Many entrepreneurs aspire to grow their businesses and are acutely aware of the need for capital to achieve their goals. However they often find that flexible capital isn’t readily available. Like the expanse that is visible, protective and transparent, the name “firmament” symbolizes the close relationships we have with our portfolio companies. We have always helped entrepreneurs and business owners realize their goals by offering practical capital solutions in the most versatile and user-friendly manner,” said Franklin McLarty, Co-Founder and Co-President of The Firmament Group.
“In the decade following the financial crisis, many business owners have diminished access to needed capital and lack the guidance to maximize its utility. As a result, entrepreneurs often settle for an imperfect outcome by taking on too much inflexible debt or more equity dilution than desired,” added Christopher Smith, Co-Founder and Co-President of The Firmament Group. “By leveraging our deep industry expertise and our extensive global network, we offer unique, integrated and customized solutions that empower small businesses.”
Franklin McLarty leads The Firmament Group’s strategic growth initiatives. He has extensive experience as an operator and investor across a variety of sectors including transportation, real estate and finance. Prior to Firmament, Mr. McLarty was a founding executive of RML Automotive and helped build it into one of the nation’s largest auto retailers. He also co-founded Caprocq, a real estate investment firm with properties across the central United States. Mr. McLarty served as a Governor-appointed commissioner and chairman of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Earlier in his career, he worked in hotel related private equity with McKibbon Hotel Group and the Seaway Group where he continues to serve as an advisor.
Christopher Smith leads The Firmament Group’s investment efforts. He has focused exclusively on the lower-middle market for over 20 years. Prior to joining McLarty Capital Partners, Mr. Smith was an investment professional at GarMark Partners, where he served as a principal and member of the firm’s investment committee. Mr. Smith began his career at PaineWebber, where he worked in the industrials and equity capital markets groups within the firm’s investment banking division.
The Firmament Group’s non-executive chairman is Mack McLarty. His career spans a number of prominent business and public positions, including White House Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton, Counselor to the President and Special Envoy for the Americas. He was chairman and CEO of Arkla, a Fortune 500 natural gas company for over a decade, leading the company to become the largest natural gas distributor in the U.S.
The Firmament Group has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Little Rock, Washington, D.C. and London.