We are long-term investors who take majority equity interests in great, small, American businesses. As entrepreneurs ourselves, we get operationally involved in our investments to drive better outcomes for everybody.
Gelman Brothers Family Investment Office (GBFIO) is the investing arm of two brothers, Alex and Kirill Gelman. In 2020, both brothers exited their startups. (Alex sold his tech company to a PE fund and Kirill sold his hedge fund to GTS, a global electronic market maker). They created a Family Investment Office to acquire small family businesses. The goal of GBFIO is to buy great businesses that we can own for the next 30 years.
The sons of former Soviet emigres, the brothers were taught that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible to achieve in America. We imbue that immigrant work ethic into the businesses we buy. We are not passive owners. We are active operators who help craft the strategic plan, build out management teams, and pull critical operating levers to capture value for the businesses we own.
From time to time, Gelman Brothers may syndicate deals with other like-minded individuals, but always takes the lead role.
We do business with a focus on candor, partnership with all stakeholders, a focus on the long-term, and treating handshake agreements as sacred. But it’s very easy to fill a webpage with platitudes. You’ll really see our values through our interactions or talking to people who have done business with us.
We are experienced entrepreneurs, operators, and deal makers. We've started and grown operating companies. We've executed many lower middle market M&A transactions. And we've grown value for all stakeholders by rolling up our sleeves and being operationally involved in the businesses we're invested in.
Fast and Flexible
We believe speed is a competitive advantage. We have access to capital and will work quickly with you to get a deal done. We know there is no one-size-fits-all model to M&A and are flexible in our approach. We'll work with you to create a structure that works for your unique situation.
We are seeking to buy businesses that we would be happy to own for the next 30 years. The investments we look for meet the following criteria:
Predictable and recurring cash flows
A history of steady growth
Good margins (10%+)
At least $1m in cash flow (profit) per year
An owner willing to sell a majority stake in their business
In the B2B services or software industries
We are based in Southern California and are excited to support businesses in the area, but will consider any business in the US.
Current industries of interest
We would look at any business that meets the criteria above. However, we are currently focusing on businesses in the following industries:
Vertically focused enterprise software
Training and e-learning
Testing, inspection, certification businesses
Accreditation, compliance, auditing businesses
A note on COVID-19
We understand that 2020 was an unusual year for all businesses. When we value businesses, we do so based on what they will be worth over the long-term. If your business has a demonstrated track record of resilience and defensibility, we can work with you to achieve a fair valuation despite an exceptional 2020.
We pay generous referral fees. If you have a deal, please get in touch.
Alex is the Managing Partner of Gelman Brothers. Universally regarded as the more attractive Gelman Brother, Alex runs all day to day operations of the office, including website copy.
From 2015-2020, Alex was the CEO of mTab, the premier business intelligence tool for market research. Alex founded mTab LLC in 2015 which subsequently acquired Productive Access Inc in 2015, GAMMA in 2017, and Slideworx in 2018. Under Alex’s leadership, mTab grew from a 17-person company in California to a 140-person company with offices in California, Detroit, the UK, Poland, Japan, and China. mTab was sold to Milestone Partners in 2018.
Prior to joining mTAB, Alex was an Operating Executive at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), a private equity firm. Prior to KKR, Alex worked as a Consultant at McKinsey & Co in New York and Sydney.
Alex received a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) and bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Philosophy from Dartmouth College.
Alex sits on the Board of Dooblo, an Israeli market research technology company.
Alex lives in Los Angeles with his dog, Boomer.
Kirill is an investing partner in Gelman Brothers, but spends all of his professional time running an options market making business for GTS, a global electronic market maker.
From 1999 to 2019, Kirill held a variety of positions at Barclays (previously Lehman Brothers). In 2008, Kirill founded Barclays’ automated options trading unit. The unit grew to include 40 employees and at its peak traded approximately 6 percent of all exchange-traded equity options volume in the United States. In 2020, GTS acquired the group from Barclays.
Prior to joining Barclays, Kirill had roles at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. Kirill received a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from SUNY Binghamton.
Kirill lives in New York with his wife, 3 children, and dog, Duke.
"In 2015, my business partner and I sold our business to Alex and his partners. Although selling your business can be a grueling process, we found that Alex made it as simple as can be. He always treated us fairly and he kept all of his promises to both us and our staff. Selling our business to Alex was a great move for us and the business"
Brad Hontz, President and Co-Founder of Productive Access Inc.
"In the summer of 2014, a friend of mine shared a deal with me. I wasn't interested in it, forwarded it on to Alex and then forgot about it. In June of 2015, Alex called me up and asked for my address for where to mail a check to. I had completely forgotten that I had sent him a deal, but after he closed it he still reached out to pay me a finder's fee. I was shocked. The finders fee was a substantial amount of money. I sent the deal to Alex because he was my friend. I never would have expected anybody, without a contract, to voluntarily give me such a big finder's fee. This truly speaks to his character."
Matt Hale, President, Apex Dental Partners
976 Sanborn Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029
p: (805) 410 - 3133