September 2, 2013

2013 40 Under Forty: Ben Robinson

Robinson

TITLE: Managing Director, Wheelock Partners

COMPANY LOCATION: Gardner

RESIDENCE: Westminster

FAVORITE MOVIE: "Point Break"

FAVORITE BOOK: "Crime and Punishment"

Career highlights:Founding Wheelock Partners with my brother, Dave. In 2004 we assembled a team of investors to enable us to acquire New England manufacturing and business service companies. As operators, our objective is to find great businesses that we can help grow over the long term.

Community involvement: As the father of two young children, I have become involved in the sports programs and school system in Westminster. I coach both baseball and soccer and am a director of the Ashburnham-Westminster Foundation for Academic Excellence, which raises private funds to support learning through grants to implement innovative ideas.

Professionally, I am involved in the community through my membership in the CEO Club of Boston, Worcester Young Businessmen's Association and the Exit Planning Exchange (XPX). Specifically, XPX is a community of trusted advisors to privately held businesses and owners. As we engage with business owners, this community helps us bring the best resources to bear for each unique situation and craft a deal tailored to meet the objectives of both parties.

Biggest success: I would have to say that my biggest success is my family. My wife deserves most of the credit, but we are raising two smart, fun and energetic kids. We work hard to encourage their curiosity, work ethic, independence and character — and enjoy every minute of it.

Biggest challenge: My biggest challenge is getting the word out to retiring business owners about our business model. I believe that Wheelock Partners represents a unique exit option for owners who want to retire, don't have a complete succession plan in place and care about their legacy and employees.

Mentors: For almost 10 years, I have had the privilege to interact with our investors and advisors, a world-class team of individuals that are passionate about business. Dave and I have learned about topics ranging from building the brand of an acquired business to customizing a tax-efficient transaction structure for business owners.

Additionally, as an engineer, I have learned a lot by watching Dave build a sales and marketing channel. I would also credit my work ethic and integrity to my parents. These values were instilled in me from a very young age. I remember working for a carpenter over high school spring break while some classmates went to sit on a beach.

Hidden talents: Although most of my time on skis these days is spent chasing my two kids around Wachusett, I was a two-time NCAA Division I All-American in alpine skiing and was inducted into Dartmouth College's Athletic Hall of Fame.

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