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Storm Smart announces company sale to Rotunda Capital

Founder Brian Rist will retain 'a significant equity interest'

By Staff | Apr 6, 2021

Founder Brian Rist

After 25 years as the largest hurricane, storm and home protection company in the State of Florida, Storm Smart’s Executive Chairman and founder, Brian Rist, has announced the sale of a controlling interest in the company to Rotunda Capital Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm.

Rist will retain a significant equity interest and continue to serve on the Board of Directors. In addition, John Boland will remain as CEO of Storm Smart, a release issued Tuesday morning states.

Rist founded Storm Smart on Aug. 5, 1996 after experiencing the damaging effects of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Storm Smart now manufactures and installs innovative code-approved hurricane protection products such as storm catcher screens, impact-resistant windows, aluminum shutters and storm panels to more customers across Southwest Florida.

Storm Smart currently employs more than 250 people and all employees will remain with the company after the sale is final, the release states.

“This investment positions Storm Smart to capitalize on our potential and unleash our employees who have been the real success stories of our company,” Rist said in the release.

Storm Smart will now start looking to expand into other markets and continue to hire quality individuals as they grow.

In the past 25 years, Storm Smart has been named a five-time winner of the Inc.’s 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list, SBDC (Small Business Development Center) at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Innovator and Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year, the US Small Business Administration – South Florida district’s Small Business of the Year, and the Florida Governor’s Ambassador Award.

Rist will remain as a Board member of Storm Smart and continue as an active and member of the Southwest Florida community.

“His family’s philanthropic commitments have resulted in millions of dollars of donations to the local community and changed lives,” the release states. “Rist will be focusing a great deal of his efforts on the Rist Family Foundation which he hopes will inspire greater community commitment to the financial needs of the many important charitable organizations in Southwest Florida.”

About Storm Smart

Storm Smart’s innovative products have launched the company to become the largest manufacturer and installer of code-approved hurricane protection products in Florida, with more than 80,000 customers in Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico and Guam, since opening its doors in Fort Myers in 1996. The company has a long list of accomplishments, including being named 2016 Distributor of the Year and 2015 Manufacturer of the Year, both by the Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association, as well as Business Partner of the Year by the Cape Coral Community Foundation due to their financial and volunteer contributions to the Foundation.

Storm Smart and its business family of enterprises are headquartered at its three-plant campus located at 6182 Idlewild Street in Fort Myers. The company also has two showrooms in Southwest Florida, at 2351 Crystal Drive, Ste 101 in Fort Myers, and in Naples at 2400 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Unit 102. For more information, call (239) 938-1000. Online at StormSmart.com.

About Rotunda Capital Partners

Rotunda Capital Partners is a private equity firm that invests equity capital in established, lower middle market companies. Rotunda partners with management to build data-driven growth platforms within its targeted sectors, including value-added distribution, asset light logistics and industrial/business services. Founded in 2009, the firm has a long history of helping management teams achieve their goals for growth. The Rotunda team actively provides guidance and draws on deep industry and financial relationships to contribute to the successful execution of Rotunda’s companies’ strategic plans. For more, visit www.rotundacapital.com.