UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Shaping Leaders, Driving Results

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

UNC KENAN-FLAGLER NEWS


Delivering Great Returns

11/5/2012

With four out of five of its managing partners being UNC Kenan-Flagler alumni, investment company Plexus Capital takes great pride in focusing on investments and partnerships with middle market businesses that need capital for growth.

The company’s partners are Bob Anders (BSBA ’72, MBA ‘77), Michael Becker (BSBA ’97, MBA ‘04), Kel Landis (BSBA ’79, MBA ‘82), Michael Painter (BSBA ‘95) and Robert Gefaell, who graduated from Wake Forest University. Additional employees with UNC Kenan-Flagler degrees include Plexus vice president Will Anders (BSBA ‘05), vice president Alex Bean (BSBA ‘07) and analyst Brad Pence (BSBA ‘12).

“We are delivering great returns to our partners by helping small businesses grow and succeed – a great combination that makes our jobs a lot of fun,” says Painter.

“Our secret to success is in our attention given to the management of the companies in which we invest,” adds Anders. “It is a true mutually beneficial partnership approach that we have put in place for the benefit of our investors and the companies in the Plexus portfolio.”

The Plexus partners started working together in 1995 at Centura Capital. After Centura was acquired by RBC Bank (now PNC Bank), Anders had the chance to take early retirement and start Plexus Capital in 2004. “We were also fortunate enough to attract the support of our former employer, RBC Bank, as an investor,” says Anders. Our five partners have great experience in banking, investment banking and private capital. We also have a good age range among the partners that serves us well today and builds a strong foundation for the future.”

“Our team has worked together for a long time – Bob and Kel for 17 years and the rest of us for a decade or more,” says Becker. “Throughout that period, we have stayed focused on investing in small businesses (under $100 million in revenue). By maintaining this focus we have developed an expertise in understanding the challenges and needs for these types of institutions. Furthermore, we have been able to maintain access to good deal flow and have managed through multiple economic cycles, so we have the patience and experience to be successful. Our tag line really captures this – ‘The access you want, The patience you need.’”

“Also, at Plexus we value our relationship with the University,” says Anders. “We were one of the first to step up to support the Kenan-Flagler Alternative Investment Conference, we carve out up to 1 percent of our investments for the student-run private equity group to co-invest with us, and our partners have enjoyed serving as mentors to undergraduates.”

Landis, formerly the president and later CEO of Centura Bank, furthered his University involvement by joining UNC’s Board of Trustees earlier this spring. “I have been involved with the University in many ways,” says Landis, “serving on Kenan-Flagler’s Board of Visitors for many years, as an adjunct professor for one semester, chair of the UNC Board of Visitors and on the board of the UNC Foundation, so the chance to serve as a trustee was quite an honor. I want to give back to the fine University that has given SO much to me.”

“Naturally with four out of five of our partners being Carolina alumni along with all of our younger team members, we have a strong natural bond with the University and have confidence in the foundation it has provided each of us,” says Anders. “I found the training I received was second to none. It was practical and financially oriented. I have always found my degree from UNC travels well. In the more recent Carolina graduates I see very strong analytical skills. We have hired three young professionals with undergraduate degrees from Kenan-Flagler, and I am overwhelmed with the depth of their knowledge. They have the same skills as an undergraduate as I did as an MBA.”

“Plexus is a small company, but we think it is important to support Kenan-Flagler and Carolina in the ways we can,” he adds.

For more information, visit the Plexus Capital website.