Neal Aronson and Atlanta's Roark Capital Group

An article in the Atlanta Daily News, “Roark Capital Group Builds Trust, Helps Franchise Companies Grow,” provides some interesting background about a relatively new private equity firm in Atlanta.
The article begins:

ATLANTA – In only a few years, Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm, has made significant headway in debunking many of the stereotypes associated with the private equity industry. To become the strategic partner of choice, Roark is working with the people behind the franchise brands to create long-term solutions by committing capital to expand systems while also providing liquidity and estate planning for owners.
As an increasing number of high-quality franchise companies seek ways to strengthen their brands and increase the number of successful franchise locations, many are gun-shy about entering the often misunderstood world of private equity for their needs. Roark is establishing a strong track record of supporting companies and building upon existing infrastructures and core brand integrity.

What’s in a name:

Roark was named after architect Howard Roark, the protagonist in Ayn Randâ??s classic â??The Fountainhead.â? Howard Roark refused to succumb to conventional wisdom while many of his peers altered their architectural designs to follow the latest trend and gain fleeting notoriety. The book concludes with the former architectural elite exposed as frauds, and Roark revealed as a true visionary with unwavering commitment to integrity.
Rather than investing in the latest fad and looking for a quick exit, Roark seeks opportunities to support the long-term growth of businesses through strategic oversight and additional capital investment. Having actually operated franchise businesses, the partnerâ??s at Roark appreciate the challenges of managing a growing franchise system and actively support their portfolio companies and its management partners in good times and bad.

The man behind the company:

â??Our goal is to be the preferred strategic partner and capital source for franchise companies by earning the trust of those with whom we do business,â? said Neal Aronson, founder and managing partner of Roark Capital Group. â??We abide by the highest ethical and moral standards while treating our management partners, franchisees, investors, lenders, and advisors, with dignity and respect, creating a long-term win-win proposition.â? […]
Prior to forming Roark, Aronson was a co-founder and CFO of U.S. Franchise Systems, Inc. (USFS), which began with 12 people, one brand and 22 open franchised hotels in nine states. Within five years, USFS became the 10th largest hotel franchise company in the U.S. with 200 people, three brands and 500 open franchised hotels in 49 states and five countries. After 14 years in the finance arena, Aronson started Roark.

See the full article for more information.