Inc. Magazine Names Guardian Capital Partners as Top Founder-Friendly Investor

With great enthusiasm, Guardian Capital Partners (“Guardian”) is honored to be named a 2021 Inc. Magazine Founder-Friendly Investor.

Partnering with closely held businesses has been a core principle of Guardian’s investment strategy since the firm was formed in 2008. To date, more than three quarters of Guardian’s platform investments have been in founder-led companies.

“We are grateful to be acknowledged by Inc. Magazine,” stated Peter Haabestad, Co-Founder of Guardian. “As former operators, we understand the challenges founder-led businesses face. Guardian’s focus has always been to invest in our executive management teams, employees and the business process.”

Guardian actively works alongside its executive management teams seeking to unlock value. “We could not have asked for a better partner and investor,” stated Matt Stahlin, Founder of Guardian portfolio company Flat River Group. “We partnered with Guardian just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Guardian stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us and helped us to navigate through unprecedented times. With their help, we were able to formulate our strategic plan, make key executive hires, execute an add-on acquisition, and grow sufficiently to make the Inc. 5000 List ourselves – all during the pandemic and in the first year of our partnership. Now, with Guardian’s leadership in 2021, we feel like we have accomplished more this year than in any other year of our history.”

“We understand selling a privately held company is more than just a transaction,” said Chris Fugaro, Partner at Guardian. “It is a once in a lifetime decision involving many complexities, including culture, legacy, and family dynamics, all of which are not to be taken lightly.” Guardian is proud of the track record of working alongside founders and to be a part of this recognition.

For more information, please contact:

Peter Haabestad
(610) 263-0103

Chris Fugaro
(610) 263-0102

About Guardian
Guardian Capital Partners is an operationally focused private equity firm based in suburban Philadelphia with regulatory assets under management of approximately $600 million as of June 30, 2021. Guardian makes control investments in lower middle market consumer products, niche manufacturing, and specialty service companies. Guardian partners with management teams to provide equity capital to fuel the growth of family-owned businesses. We believe the private equity experience and complementary skill sets of the Guardian team provide a unique combination of operating and finance capabilities resulting in certainty of execution and meaningful long-term value creation for its portfolio companies. For more information about Guardian Capital Partners, visit

Investment firms on the Inc. 2021 List of Founder-Friendly Investors must present investments where portfolio company founders remained active with their business for at least one-year post-investment. Founding family members of multigenerational family-founded businesses are considered founders. To qualify, investment firms must provide references where founders were asked a series of questions about their experience partnering with the investment firm. Inc. reserves the right to exclude investment firms based on discretion. The full list of Inc. 2021 Founder-Friendly Investors can be found at

Guardian Capital Partners paid Inc. a nonrefundable processing fee to participate in Inc.’s 2021 Founder-Friendly Investors Listing, which all applicants were required to pay. In addition, Guardian paid Inc. fees for use of Inc. logo and other marketing materials, including rights to reprint the Inc. Founder-Friendly Investor Logo. Flat River Group paid Inc. a nonrefundable processing fee to participate in the Inc. 5000 ranking, which all applicants were required to pay.