Ronald E. Canakaris, chairman and CIO of Atlanta-based growth equity shop Montag & Caldwell Inc., is making an investment of his own in a business he knows something about: football.
Mr. Canakaris, who played defensive middle guard at the University of Florida on a football scholarship in the early 1960s, is set to take a minority stake in Atlanta Falcons Football Club LLC, along with three other new investors invited by owner and CEO Arthur M. Blank. Mr. Blank, who is looking to trim his stake in the Falcons to 90%, will remain the team's majority owner.
The manager of the $2.2 billion Aston/Montag & Caldwell Growth equity fund says this is one investment that won't be subject to the “sell discipline” that has helped his fund garner a five-star rating from Morningstar. “I love the game. This should be a fun investment,” said Mr. Canakaris, who notes that he's been impressed with the quality of the Falcon's organization.
From the vantage point of professional courtesy, the veteran money manager had good things to say about the National Football League as well. The NFL's “due diligence is pretty impressive,” said Mr. Canakaris, who noted that he was required to provide references to the organization, and that those references were duly interviewed. Mr. Canakaris said he'll serve on the Falcons' board of advisers and serve as one of the team's ambassadors to the Atlanta community. — Douglas Appell