"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
- Thomas Edison
[ WHO WE ARE ]
Bestige Holdings is a private investment firm focused on building and developing a portfolio of debt and long-term equity investments in high potential businesses. We launched Bestige to offer a notably different and inspired way to invest in, and work with, businesses. Our approach centers upon the union of operational excellence, strategic initiatives that fuel organic growth, and patient long-term family capital. Complementing this strategy is an unwavering commitment to operating by our core values and doing business with integrity, respect and transparency.
[ WHO WE ARE ]
Bestige Holdings is a private investment firm focused on building and developing a portfolio of debt and long-term equity investments in high potential businesses. We launched Bestige to offer a notably different and inspired way to invest in, and work with, businesses. Our approach centers upon the union of operational excellence, strategic initiatives that fuel organic growth, and patient, long-term family capital. Complementing this strategy is an unwavering commitment to operating by our core values and doing business with integrity, respect and transparency.
"I learned to go into business with people whom I like, trust, and admire."
- Warren Buffet
[ OUR WHY ]
We launched Bestige to challenge the status quo and to develop an innovative investing platform influenced by an irreverent view of the traditional private equity construct. A conviction that a greater alignment of interests between investors and fund managers, absolute transparency, an appreciation for the human element of investing and an efficient long-term investment horizon are critical to producing superior returns for all stakeholders. After successful careers in private equity and operational advisory, the founding team came together resolved to change the paradigm.
We share a common vision and passion for what we do and the people we do it with. Our analogous life experiences have similar lessons learned and consistent core values. These realities were key drivers influencing the creation of Bestige and what we stand for as individuals and professionals.
Building long-term relationships requires trust, the ability to be vulnerable and the knowledge that the person you are partnering with is authentic. We believe genuine partnerships cannot be built without the ability to understand why they are who they are.
For our unvarnished stories, please click below.
I was born in Provo, Utah, as the oldest of nine children. It was a fun, chaotic and loving household but with nine kids and limited income, hard work was a family imperative. I was expected to do chores and pull my weight from a very early age and if I wanted something extra, I had to work and save for it.
My family faced a lot of financial volatility over the years – some years were good, many were a struggle. What influenced me the most during these times, however, was my parents’ humility as they took on multiple jobs to support the family. Jobs in roofing, construction, waiting tables and working as a cashier at a gas station often supplemented our family income. During our most difficult times, when my father was a casualty of corporate layoffs, these jobs were our only source of income. My family did not have a lot and it wasn’t always easy, but I will forever be grateful to my parents for teaching me the value of hard work, humility, determination and family.
While I was no stranger to hard work, I was not particularly motivated academically. Football became a very positive focus in my life. With support from a few coaches combined with hard work and a true love of the sport, I was offered two athletic scholarships. It was clear, as graduation approached, however, that my lack of focus academically had a real impact on my future: both schools rescinded their scholarship offers. I stood on the stage at my graduation, diploma in one hand and a mountain of regret in the other. I spent the next few years doing a variety of different jobs (typically 2-3 at a time) including construction, sales and waiting tables but despite working extremely hard, I found myself homeless for a number of months with one of my best friends. This was the beginning of my personal ‘turn-around’ story.
My father regularly reminded me that unless I learned a skill or went back to school, my situation at that time was ‘as good as it gets’. I desperately wanted to find a way out of the life I had created for myself. It was about this time that through either luck or fate I met my now wife, Laura. It was the singular event that would forever change my life. She urged me to pursue a college degree and truly broadened my world view. With her support, and the persuasion of a handful of admittance counselors, I was fortunate enough to be accepted into an undergraduate program. Fast forward, I worked full-time and took on significant amount of debt to put myself through college, I achieved a top quartile GPA, and secured my first job in the finance industry.
Since that time, I have learned more than I ever thought possible by being elbow-to-elbow in the trenches with co-workers, management teams, advisors and various professionals during both dark and vibrant economic times. It was rare that a day went by that I didn’t learn something from someone and for that I will always be grateful. I have also been lucky enough to develop an unbelievably supportive network of friends, mentors, and professional relationships that are always there for me when I need them and for which I will always respond in kind. Lastly I’ve learned a handful of what I’ll call behavioral, cultural and organizational lessons that are now ingrained in who I am as an individual and a professional.
So why Bestige? And why now? Hard work and dedication had yielded a successful career, a robust network and solid experience in the financial industry. I was ready for a new chapter. I wanted to remain in the private investment arena but alter the way in which it was commonly executed. I craved the ability to own and work with businesses for decades to come rather than the quick ‘fix and flips’ that are witnessed all too often these days. Furthermore, I yearned for the opportunity to build a firm that encompassed the Guiding Principles and Core Values that are so incredibly important to me.
I look forward to this next chapter of my life and the growth of Bestige Holdings. I look forward to continuing the work I feel passionate about with people and organizations I believe in; truly living a life that is authentic to who I am. I am grateful for the wonderful wife and two active boys that warm my heart each day. I hope to be a great husband and father for decades to come and to be someone that makes them proud. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. – Nate
I was born into a lower middle class family in a very small town in northern Michigan. We never had much but we usually had what we needed. My mother turned 17 years old only weeks before I was born and the men in my family labored in the forestry and mining industries. You learn very quickly the merits of hard work, the value of your word and loyalty to your family. You only had to look at my grandfather’s hands to understand what work ethic meant. Life was not an easy road.
Growing up my family lived a very transient life. By the time I had graduated high school I had attended over thirty schools and spent an extended period of my life living in a thirty-foot Airstream as my family moved across the country looking for work. Due to varying unfortunate circumstances, we found ourselves homeless twice in my life. My parents never accepted a handout from anyone, I was taught that my life was the cumulative product of my decisions and it was my responsibility to dig myself out of whatever hole I put myself in. Self-sufficiency was non-negotiable.
My mother was a waitress for as long as I can remember. She lived her life in the service of others. I am not sure if Gladwell’s 10,000 hour measure applies to serving others, but if it does my mother clearly perfected her skill. She always told me you could tell a lot about a person based on how they treat their waitress. I have found that to be one of the truisms in life. I continue to apply it to this day.
Going to college was not something that was expected in my family. We were expected to build things with our hands, to be mechanics, construction workers, assembly workers – there was a high value placed on having rough hands and a sore back at the end of the day. While I had my share of tough jobs growing up, I knew that hard work was only a part of the equation. The day I left for college my mother was completely unaware of my desire to break the family mold. As I walked out the door she handed me her last $200 for food and told me to make sure to remember from where I came. It was the only advice she gave me. I have never forgotten it.
College was completely foreign to me and it was the first time I truly realized that my history was different. Transient and poor was “normal” until I left for college. I worked full time to put myself through school, head down and focused. I was the first in my family to graduate from college.
My career was launched at Arthur Andersen. After 7 years in their Corporate Finance and restructuring group, I left to start the Phoenix office of Alvarez & Marsal. At that time A&M was 35 people. By the time I left 14 years later it was over 2500. I had the privilege of working with some of the smartest and hardest working people working through some of the most difficult corporate situations you can imagine. Hard work, integrity and an affinity for solving complex problems had opened many doors.
I left a successful career at A&M because it was time to bet on myself, to do something entrepreneurial. I wanted to create something new, to take a different path.
I have three children and a wife I adore. They represent all that is good in the world.
This is my why….
- Shawn Hassel