“Bloom where you’re planted,” they say.
When Pfingsten Partners set up shop 25 years ago with a borrowed folding table and a Rolodex, they inhabited a space on an oddly named street—Pfingsten Avenue. The “p” is silent. But the phenomenal growth got the industry talking, loud and clear.
Today Pfingsten Partners has bloomed into a billion dollar, global private equity force with offices in Chicago, India, and China. There’s a lot of sweat equity in this private equity.
“The first year, it was me, by myself.”
That’s Tom Bagley talking, in a recent PBS interview. He’s Pfingsten founder and Senior Managing Partner. “In 1989 we were doing some consulting work just to pay the light bill.” Tom was driven to go big, and wasn’t about to go home, before his work was done. “If it’s something that you built…is doesn’t feel like work…it’s a passion.”
Tom’s been working non-stop since the 6th grade. “When you come from as family of 7 children, everybody worked.” Even Bagley’s mother showed him his first glimpse of entrepreneurial spirit at her basement beauty shop. Over the years, Tom traveled from basement to boardrooms, purchased more than 92 businesses, and his operational expertise, insightful management, and clearly transformational vision have awarded Pfingsten Partners the trust (and the equity) of shareholders the world over.
In 1989, they didn’t even call it private equity. But today, people like Tom Bagley have proven how investment, in the right hands, can make businesses bloom.