Hometown Journey

Sheldon Lavin: Overseeing 40 Years of Growth at OSI Group

Sheldon Lavin is an ex-investment banker turned meat mogul who currently heads OSI Group, a global food supplier. Over 40 years ago, Lavin entered the industry and has since overseen the growth of OSI Group from a small burger supplier into a global conglomerate that employs over 20,000 people.

OSI took off in the 1970’s and and 1980’s as it became a key supplier to McDonald’s amidst its rapid growth. Lavin presided over expansions into Europe, South America, and much of East Asia over this time. Additionally, Lavin’s business partners either retired or sold their stakes in the business, leaving him with 100% control. The business remains to be a privately-held company, one of the largest 150 such businesses according to Forbes in 2016. Being privately-held helps the company maintain a family feel throughout the organization, according to Lavin.

Currently, Lavin is seeking further growth for OSI Group in Asia and Europe, while the company remains as the largest protein supplier to McDonalds. This continued expansion is largely facilitated through acquisitions, buying food suppliers in both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in 2016. The company relies on its extensive supply chain and large scale production abilities as its competitive advantage in serving clients across 17 countries.The CEO’s charity work includes being a trustee for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. He also sits on the board of the Goodman Theater and the Rush University Medical Center. In 2016, Lavin was awarded the Global Visionary Award from India’s Vision World Academy, for his success in turning a vision into reality over his time at OSI Group.


Brad Reifler Wants Room On Wall Street For The Little Guy


For many years alternative investments and funds not tied to the stock markets have only been able to be accessed by accredited investors. But Brad Reifler, the CEO of Forefront Capital does not want this to remain so. In fact, Reifler saw the movie “Money Monster” this year, in which an everyday middle class investor became angry at a TV host who offered investment advice and caused him to lose money because of it. Brad Reifler explained on his website how real that scenario is and how many brokers and investment bankers stand to profit off their clients’ expense, even if they gain or lose money. But Reifler is already making sure this is changed, and now his company Forefront Capital even includes an investment fund not tied to the stock market that anyone can invest in for only $2,500.


Now a Huffington Post contributor, Brad Reifler has spent much of his career helping clients strategize and diversify their portfolio. He started his first company back in the late 1980s called the Reifler Trading Company. This company helped clients with discretionary accounts, and then invested in global derivatives markets. He sold the company about 16 years later, but while he still owned it he started Pali Capital, a hedge fund management company. This company grew because Reifler took a hands-off approach in letting the traders figure out how to make the best informed decisions. After selling this company, Reifler began Forefront Capital.


Forefront Capital attracted mostly wealthy fortune 100 and fortune 500 clients at first, but Brad Reifler began to feel that middle class Americans should come into the company. He recalled earlier how he had tried to setup a college savings fund for his daughters, but was unable to put it in a reliable fund where it could gain money upon maturing. Also, his father gave him life savings to invest in a retirement fund, but Brad Reilfer was shocked to learn that he had little options for it since his father wasn’t accredited. So he began working with the SEC and other governing bodies to allow non-accredited investors in alternative investment programs, and hopes to continue adding these programs in the future.  Read Brad’s first article on HuffPo here.


Danilo Diaz Granados Holds an Extraordinary Party for Miami’s Affluent Men

According to an article published by the PRNewswire on July 19, 2016, Danilo Diaz Granados hosted another remarkable and lavish party for his affluent guests. The experience at the July party was characterized by land, air and sea activities, which allowed all the invited guests to connect with the luxurious lifestyle Miami has to offer.

The selected guests began the wonderful day with a scrumptious breakfast at the One Thousand Museum sales center, which was followed by an executive viewing of Biscayne area’s high-end building. Guests were later flown via a helicopter ride to the Palm Beach Race Track. At the racetrack, each individual got behind the wheel to enjoy the feel of riding on a racetrack.

They later attained a Dom Perignon hosted lunch at the River Yacht Club located on the Miami River. Dom Perignon champagne served as a significant part of the lunch. In a bid to end the day’s events, they took a sunset boat ride at the bay. Some of the sponsors who assisted in the successful organization of the day included Van Dutch Americas, One Thousand Museum, as well as Air Commander Aerospace.

Danilo Diaz Granados is an entrepreneur extraordinaire who has managed to rise from just an entrepreneurship and Economics graduate from Babson Colleges, which has a cemented reputation in entrepreneurship studies, to a prominent business mogul. Previously, he served as an Accounts Advisor for a large private equity firm based in Miami, Florida. His role revolved around researching about world-wide issues influencing equity investments including development of innovative startups, energy efficiency, and hedge funds. Later in 2015, he joined the Fireman Capital Partners as an Associate Partner.

Danilo prides himself as the owner of the Edge of Glory Films, a company that is devoted to making and distributing Hispanic-based content in the United States. He also commands respect in the luxury market through his Miami-based, Toys for Boys boutique, which caters to the needs of affluent clients. As so, it offers a broad range of exotic items ranging from watches, automobiles to art collections. Currently, he serves as a Movilway’s manager where he assists in making sure that all mobile payment clients are given satisfactory services.  For more, check out Danilo on social media like his Instagram.

New York Real Estate Deals Get Larger As TOWN Residential Gets Involved

New York real estate deals are getting larger every year, and the market is expanding with higher prices that have not been seen before. There are quite a few agents in the city who are working diligently for their clients, and TOWN Residential is one of the most diverse firms in the city. This article offers an explanation of how the TOWN team helps residential, commercial and industrial customers.

#1: New York Prices Are Bringing New Investors

Investors have been facilitated by TOWN quite often, and there are projects popping up around the city where money has been invested. There are quite a few people who are building large office spaces in the outer boroughs, and the projects are covering several different parts of the city.

#2: TOWN Takes On Residential Clients

TOWN has quite a few residential clients who are searching for new homes in the city, and every new home sold comes with the guarantee that it was chosen by the TOWN team especially for the client. The client who purchases from TOWN tends to get a better price, and they may select the premium homes in every borough where NYC apartments are for rent.

#3: How Many Clients Purchase Inside New Developments

Clients may approach TOWN for help with their investments, and they must ensure they get the finest price on every development space through TOWN. TOWN is a respected firm that may work with other developers for purchased, and they will bring their clients to a place where their purchases are perfect for their needs. The largest developments coming to New York will host thousands of people, and each of them may come through TOWN’s offices if they like.

TOWN Residential is tuned into the largest new projects coming to New York City. Developers have partnered with TOWN several times to offer customers amazing prices, and the customer service level is quite high. The client who needs a new home may select one with aid of an agent from TOWN, and their commercial clients may choose space in a new development to purchase before the construction has been completed.

Stephen Murray’s Legacy Lives on at CCMP Capital

Stephen  Murray, who died on March 12, 2015 at 52, was a private equity investor and a great philanthropist. He was one of the co-founders and the president of CCMP Capital; a private equity firm focusing on growth equity and buyout transactions. Stephen joined CCMP in 1989 and stayed with it through its ownership changes until 2006 when it became a standalone company. Learn more about Stephen Murray CCMP Capital: https://www.pehub.com/2007/10/5-questions-with-stephen-murray/

Murray graduated with a degree in economics in 1984 from Boston College and from Columbia Business School with a master’s degree in Business Administration where he sharpened his knowledge in business and entrepreneurship. His career started immediately after graduating from college in 1984 at Manufacturers Hanover Corporation in the credit analyst training program.

In 1989, Murray began working with MH Equity Corporation, which was a combination of Manufactures Hanover’s private equity group and its leveraged finance unit. In 2005, he became head of the buyout business at JP Morgan Partners. A spin out of JP Morgan Partners led to the foundation of CCMP Capital in 2006. Murray was named the CEO of CCMP Capital in 2007.

Stephen Murray has been significantly associated with the success of CCMP Capital over the last three decades. There were reports that his death threatened to rob the firm the entire United States business community. Murray was a towering figure and greatly contributed to shaping the United States private investment finance.

Murray stepped down from his duties at CCMP a month before his death due to health related reasons. His position was taken over by Greg Brenneman, who was the chairman. You can click the links below to read more:

This Old Thing? Private Equity Honcho Drops Little Place Uptown for $11M
Ex-CCMP Capital CEO Steve Murray passes away

Murrays contributions were felt by many major companies for which he served on their boards like Aramark, AMC Entertainment, Generac Power Systems, Warner Chilcott, Cabelas Pinnacle Foods, Legacy Hospital Partners and The Vitamin Shoppe. Murray was also involved in philanthropic works and supported the Metro New York’s Make- a-Wish Foundation where he was also a member of the chairman’s council. Learn more about Stephen Murray CCMP Capital: http://patch.com/connecticut/stamford/stephen-p-murray-52-financial-executive-stamford-resident-vice-chair-boston-college-board-trustees

Murray also helped the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County and was the vice chairman of Boston College board of trustees. Due to his contributions, Murray has been described by many as a selfless being and a believer in education. He will be fondly remembered by his colleagues and business associates as a financial guru.

Murrays support for the less fortunate will also not be forgotten quickly. Murray left behind his wife, Tami. A. Murray and four sons. The couple lived in Stamford, Connecticut.

Bruce Levenson the NBA Owner

There is an emerging leadership conflict at Hawks about its ownership. The conflicts emerged during this lengthy process of selling the Philips Arena and franchise continues. The sale process had its deadline on April 10, but the date can be changed due to the consideration of more bids. Both the seller and the buyer signed an agreement that forbidden them from speaking in public about the selling process. Steve Kaplan, Erick Thohir, Aaron, Handy Poernomo, and Jason Levien the former CEO at Grizzlies leads one party in the purchase process. The other team consists of Steve Starker, Mark Rachesky, and Jesse Itzler, the consultant at Hawks. Goldman Sachs and Inner Circle Sports were hired by Hawks to handle this process. All interested groups started meeting in Atlanta to discuss the selling process. Groups that do not conform to the terms of the sale process are disqualified from bidding. This process was likely to end before June. Bruce Levenson initiated the sale process in September after he announced his intentions to sell his shares. Hawks team has remained to be the top in the Eastern Conference. In case they win the NBA championship, the current owners should receive the Larry O’Brien trophy. One of the ownership group thinks that the practice facilities of Philips Arena are subpar and could be the reason it does not attract many free agents. Weight-room facilities and luxury boxes are below the NBA standard. The Atlanta Spirit in Washington led by Levenson announced to sell its 50.1% stake. The team has other members like Todd Foreman and Ed Peskowitz, who were also partners to Levenson. The other partners agreed to sell their stake in the franchise. Both the Atlanta-based group and New York-based group agreed to this deal. Michael Gearon Sr, Michael Gearon Jr, Beau Turner, and Rutherford Seydel were the members of the Atlanta-based group. Steven Price led the New York-based group in the process. Danny Ferry has served the team as the general manager and worked with other members to make sure the team runs in an effective manner. His team has won several awards under his leadership and he helped in training the other officials to work in a transparent manner. Both the Philips Arena and Hawks are worth $800 million Mr. Bruce Levenson is a partner and the co-founder of United Communications Group (UCG). He owns the Atlanta Spirit, LLC. Mr. Levenson collaborated with Ed Peskowitz in 1977 and formed the UCG. Levenson drives the business strategies of UCG and guides the firm in acquisition processes. While at UCG, he wrote for Observer Publishing and Washington Star. At TechTarget.com, he was the Director and made sure all operations were executed to achieve the goals of the organization. He has worked as a member of the Board of Directors of Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association. In his free time, he participates in philanthropic activities. He is a businessperson and former owner of NBA team. He is a holder of a degree in Law and Arts.