NEW YORK, July 29, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Expanding its equity investing capabilities, Wheelhouse 360, the direct investing and incubation arm of media and marketing company Wheelhouse, founded by Brent Montgomery in partnership with Jimmy Kimmel, has hired Hailey Foreman and Tamerat Mulugeta to join its in-house team of private capital professionals. The new additions join Principals Michael Anderson and Michael Salerno as direct reports to Ann Berry, Wheelhouse Chief Investment Officer and Managing Partner of Wheelhouse 360, who made today’s announcement.
Foreman joins Wheelhouse 360 from Lindsey Goldberg, the $17 billion private equity firm, having previously worked in mergers and acquisitions in Lazard’s telecommunications, media and technology advisory group. Mulugeta arrives from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was a member of the global consumer and retail investment banking team.
"At Wheelhouse 360 we are combining disciplined investment in high growth businesses with a hands-on approach to helping our portfolio companies win with content production, media exposure and celebrity partnerships that resonate with their customers," says Berry. "New talent from blue chip private equity and financial services complements the content development, value creation and in-house investing experience of Wheelhouse veterans Anderson and Salerno. Our team is excited to execute on a very differentiated opportunity to support founders and executives in our portfolio by delivering the full operating capabilities of Wheelhouse."
Since joining Wheelhouse in February, Berry has implemented institutional investing practices honed at prior firms Cornell Capital, where she was a partner and investment committee member, and Goldman Sachs. Berry and Montgomery have also expanded Wheelhouse’s investment strategy to backing technology-driven portfolio companies, overseeing recent investments in educational digital media app Zigazoo, DTC businesses Pair Eyewear and Haus, and omnichannel toy retailer CAMP, among others.
The expansion of Wheelhouse 360 occurs in parallel with significant growth at the company. Receiving an Emmy nomination this year for its Disney+ show Becoming, the Wheelhouse Entertainment division has series in production across all major TV and streaming platforms, including one based on Wheelhouse 360 sports memorabilia portfolio company, Goldin Auctions. Wheelhouse Labs, the in-house brand marketing and creative innovation arm, recently hired Observatory and CAA veteran Joseph Saroufim as Head of Creative Development. Earlier this year, the company launched Wheelhouse DNA — "digital ‘n audio"— dedicated to developing, producing and distributing content from creators and influencers. The company’s New York and Los Angeles footprints of physical spaces (known as the "Wheelhouses") where creators, entrepreneurs and investors meet at invitation-only events has expanded this summer with the opening of innovation campus The Village, in Stamford, Connecticut.
Wheelhouse was launched in 2018 by award-winning producer and entrepreneur Brent Montgomery, in partnership with Jimmy Kimmel. A one-stop shop for content, talent, brands and capital, Wheelhouse harnesses business and programming opportunities across industries and platforms, helping companies and creators accelerate and manage their ventures. The company consists of four businesses: content and production division Wheelhouse Entertainment (WHE); in-house brand marketing and creative innovation arm Wheelhouse Labs; investment division Wheelhouse 360; and real estate operation Wheelhouse Properties.
WHE includes Kimmelot, Kimmel’s creative lab for developing and producing television, digital platforms, mobile applications and products (ABC’s Emmy-winning Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons; Comedy Central’s Crank Yankers); Spoke Studios (Assembly Required with Tim Allen; Netflix’s The Hype Life); Campfire Studios (Hulu’s WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn; HBO Max’s Heaven’s Gate ); Portal A (Charges with Rex Chapman, Action Royale ) and numerous media partnerships with talent/companies including Kevin Hart’s comedy and multi-platform entertainment company LOL, musician/actor/producer Adam Levine and his 222 Productions, and mega-influencer Nikita Dragun. Wheelhouse 360 has invested in numerous growing companies, including premium activewear brand Rhone; connected fitness leader Hydrow; culinary community and cookware distributor Food52; book subscription platform Literati; and non-alcoholic craft brewer Athletic Brewing Company, among others. Montgomery serves as CEO of Wheelhouse.
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