July 20, 2023

The Zabel Companies Promotes Brian Kohn to Partner

CHARLOTTE, NC (July 20, 2023) – The Zabel Companies (“Zabel”), a private equity firm focused on partnering with founder and family-owned companies in the lower middle market, is pleased to announce the promotion of Brian Kohn to Partner.

Brian began his career in investment banking with McColl Partners (now Deloitte Corporate Finance), before kicking off his professional journey in principal investing when he joined the founders of Zabel, Bill Lunsford and Rich Jones, at a predecessor firm in 2010.  His passion for building companies eventually led him to join EnPro Industries (NYSE:NPO), a publicly-owned holding company where he held positions of increasing responsibility.  He grew to lead M&A for three of EnPro’s six divisions as Director of Corporate Development and later moved to Rochester, NY where he held P&L responsibility for several product lines within EnPro’s Garlock division.  In 2018, as Zabel expanded its capital under management, Brian moved back to Charlotte, NC to reunite with Bill and Rich.

“When Rich and I made the decision to grow Zabel and increase our capital under management, Brian was our first phone call” said Bill Lunsford, Managing Partner of Zabel.  “In addition to being a person we are lucky to spend time with, Brian brings a unique depth of experience investing in, growing and operating lower middle market companies.  He grew up amidst a family-owned business, and has a readily apparent passion for partnering with management teams, developing people, and building companies we are proud to own.  Since Brian set foot in the Zabel offices, he has been an invaluable contributor, has worked tirelessly on his and our team’s professional development, and has provided sound leadership both at Zabel and our portfolio companies.  His promotion to partner is well-deserved and reflects Zabel’s commitment to and culture of developing team members and creating growth opportunities.”

“Brian has a strong passion for and genuine approach to unlocking and enhancing the potential of our partner companies and the people that are the engines of these businesses. His even-keeled approach has benefited Zabel, and Bill and me personally, as we’ve grown the firm and continue to strive to be great partners in the lower middle market,” said Rich Jones, Partner of Zabel.   Rich added, “Brian’s competitive nature and growth orientation are balanced with a high level of humility and curiosity that will contribute meaningfully to our long-term success and the success of the businesses with which we are fortunate enough to partner.”

Brian was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, where he learned patience as a Bengals fan and developed an obsession with Skyline Chili.  He now lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Alison, daughter Madelyn, and sons Cooper and Brady.  Brian graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the McIntire School.

About The Zabel Companies

Based in Charlotte, NC, The Zabel Companies is an investment firm dedicated to partnering with management teams to patiently build privately held $2 million to $10 million EBITDA companies in the niche manufacturing, business services, and distribution sectors. Zabel brings a proven and flexible approach to investing in and growing high quality businesses. Whether through a buyout or recapitalization, Zabel’s strategy is to work closely with management teams to steadily grow businesses and build value for all parties involved. For more information, visit www.zabelcompanies.com.