Signet began 2017 with an effort to hone its image so that the areas of business in which Signet is involved became clearer to the market.
“It’s a kind of repositioning of our company,” says Joel Maas, Signet’s director of marketing. “In this private investment model, because we were so interlocked with the development, because that’s such a core part of our business for so many years, we wanted to extract that and set up Signet LLC as the private investment mother ship company. Not to diminish the real estate, but just to treat it like the other platforms and other portfolio companies, we had to go through this major repositioning.”
The firm’s marketing materials and website had leaned too heavily on its real estate business. And before that, Signet was seen as more of an operating company. So, it sought a better balance in the way it articulates its position and objectives.
“We’ve always been a company that has invested in other operating companies or enterprises that has brought capital resources to the table and also has been involved in the development of the real estate side,” Krismanth says. “To the market, though, most people, if they had to define us, they would define us as a real estate company. So, we felt the need to sit down and say that in a better fashion. It’s not like those activities were all new. It was just a fact that at the end of the day, we needed to balance that messaging.”
Signet made a concerted effort to balance its portfolio to be better diversified. The 25 companies in its portfolio are grouped within 10 separate platforms based in part on scope and what they produce. Signet also acquires technology startups that it can commercialize.
In addition, the firm is the parent of Signet Developments, Signet Capital Advisors, Signet Healthcare Partners and Signet Accel, using the Signet name to help each market themselves. Those businesses are set up as separate operating enterprises that each handle their own day-to-day operations. However, Signet President, COO and Principal Mark Corr says the firm is not a passive investor.
“We are actively involved, whether that’s through capital resources, whether that’s through management, whether that’s through networking or distribution,” Corr says, adding that much of its time is spent nurturing management in those operations.