For Skidmore, 2018 was the year of exploring new directions and supporting companies in industries as diverse as geospatial analysis and fintech. Now, after taking the time to analyze and reflect on the last year’s achievements, we are ready to identify the trends that will propel us forward to a prosperous 2019.
Following our divestiture in June 2017, we’ve been trying a few diversification strategies, welcoming opportunities to explore new verticals and different business sectors. In 2018, we’ve tested our strengths on a broad spectrum of companies and now, going forward, decided to focus on those that are able to maximize returns while still supporting local communities. We’ll continue to stand behind all the great investments we’ve made to date and do everything to support our companies in the future. However, in 2019 and beyond, we’ll narrow our investment strategy to four verticals where we feel we can have the most impact: healthcare, exclusive distribution, professional services and home improvements.
Investing in healthcare has been one of our foundational philanthropic values from day one. Nothing has more impact on people’s lives than their personal health and wellbeing. We believe that being healthy is a fundamental right and a necessary prerequisite to realizing one’s full potential.
Skidmore is largely interested in backing the following three segments within the healthcare industry:
Healthcare services and facilities, such as hospitals, medical and dental clinics, diagnostics, preventative care and rehabilitation
Medical devices, equipment and hospital supplies manufacturers
Mind and body wellness, including but not limited to supplements, vitamins and spa treatments
Skidmore is looking to invest in businesses that have exclusive distribution rights in promising geographical areas. We hold a successful track record and decades of experience in building out retail distribution networks, mostly in the automotive and telecommunications industries. Now we are offering our support to retailers with unique rights to carry in-demand products within specific territories.
We are not limiting our criteria to specific industries—any business with exclusive distribution rights and high-growth potential is interesting to us.
This year, we’ll be working on expanding our network of professional B2B service businesses that possess a competitive advantage in the form of hard-to-acquire knowledge, training , and skills. Our business acumen and capital infusion will allow such companies to outgrow their competition and position themselves as leaders in their respective industries.
Examples of professional service businesses of interest to us are marketing and human resource firms, accounting and management consultants.
With our kitchen renovation businesses growing 30% YoY, we are ready to expand to other components of the home improvement industry. Currently we are looking into stone manufacturers and fabricators, appliances, as well as flooring, lighting and plumbing companies. That said, we’ll consider any home improvement business that can show high potential for growth and impact.
Narrowing our focus in 2019 will allow Skidmore to significantly expand operations within our areas of competence while showing steady ROI growth at the same time. As a company driven by its values, we require all businesses that consider partnering with Skidmore to fit in our investment criteria.
Most importantly, even with the change in the direction, our long-term strategy remains the same—to achieve management excellence in each company that finds a place in our portfolio. Skidmore and our businesses will always be about people, planet and profits—we see our role in accelerating people, so they can in turn lift their communities.