Capital 54: New Dallas Family Office Opens, Appoints Former YPO Global President as CEO

Capital 54 was founded to specifically focus on investing in boutique professional services firms. New CEO Sean Magennis will be responsible for expanding the family office's portfolio of companies and supporting their CEOs.

Investor/entrepreneur Greg Alexander (right) has named Sean Magennis CEO of the new Capital 54 family office. [Photos: Courtesy Capital 54]

Dallas entrepreneur and investor Greg Alexander has opened a new family office called Capital 54 and appointed Sean Magennis, former global president of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization), as its chief executive officer.

The family office calls its approach to investment hyper-specialized. Capital 54 and its family members, partners, and advisors focus their “time, talent, and treasure” on boutique professional services firms, according to a statement. The founding team said a combination of growth capital and years of accumulated expertise in this particular segment will result in exceptional returns.

The firm says its mission is to solve a widespread problem for professional services firms: “90 percent of them fail to scale and exit because they lack capital, relationships, and know how.” That’s where Capital 54 can help, it says. Companies spend $560 billion annually on professional services, the firm notes on its website. 

Coinciding with the appointment of Magennis as CEO, the family office made its first investment in nationwide peer network Collective 54. The network of owners of professional services firms helps owners reach scale in a way that still offers access to funding, leads, and needs fulfillment, acquisition opportunities, and preparation for exit readiness.

Alexander is also the founder of Collective 54. His team takes care of accelerating the success of members: Linda Fisk (CEO), who formerly was responsible for the overall global public profile and the strategic acquisition and relationship management of YPO members; Jeff Klaumann (COO), former COO of Internet of Things America; and Drew Larson (CMO), former head of global corporate marketing for o9 Solutions.

Meet Capital 54’s CEO

According to Capital 54, Magennis was recruited to expand its portfolio of companies and support their CEOs. He will also have a hand in investment sourcing, screening, and due diligence.

“At the core of running a successful family office is the ability to recognize investment opportunity amongst a vast sea of entrepreneurs, and Sean brings us this ability and a wealth of experience in the professional services sector as well as in the peer-to-peer membership space,” Alexander, who is also serving as Capital 54’s chief investment officer, said in a statement.

In addition, Magennis will be responsible for the firm’s investment portfolio. This is where he will execute Capital 54’s proprietary growth, scale, and exit process, according to a statement.

“There are approximately two million professional services firms in the United States, but 90 percent of them never reach scale. For select firms meeting our criteria, we bring specialized management expertise, significant global relationships and growth capital, to help create enduring value for all stakeholders,” said Magennis.

Magennis’ career originated in South Africa, where he worked for one of the country’s most productive sources of agricultural chemicals, Farm-Ag Limited and Dow Limited. He then transitioned to a position as president of Thomas International USA, where he obtained the rights to the company.

While at Thomas International USA, Magennis was able to expand human resources and organizational development consulting, which eventually reached thousands of clients in the United States, Canada and Mexico. He later moved to the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) where he spent 16 years contributing to the company’s global expansion, according to the statement.

Most recently, Magennis gained experience in working with learning insights and networks that reached 30,000 members in 138 countries as global president and chief operating officer of YPO. There, he was responsible for: membership, learning and insights, networks, chapters and regions, events, and YPO’s exclusive member forum.

The diverse team he led served CEOs with combined annual revenues of $9 trillion. Per Capital 54, he also got YPO’s highest annual customer retention rates for seven consecutive years, the organization’s best run to-date.

“Sean’s leadership at Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) for more than 16 years and his contributions to YPO’s success have strongly established his track record of supporting extraordinary business leaders, which is the experience we needed to lead our firm,” Alexander said.

Quincy Preston contributed to this report. The story was updated with additional information on the firm’s services on July 15, 2020 at 2:55 p.m.

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