By Conrad Negron

With the markets still very volatile and interest rates at record lows, I thought discussing the private equity space would make for a great alternative topic. I had the great pleasure to speak with the managing partner of Ritaway Investment Group to discuss the rapid growth of his firm these past couple years.

Equity capital that is not quoted on a public exchange. Private equity consists of investors and funds that make investments directly into private companies or conduct buyouts of public companies that result in a delisting of public equity. Capital for private equity is raised from retail and institutional investors, and can be used to fund new technologies, expand working capital within an owned company, make acquisitions, or to strengthen a balance sheet.

The majority of private equity consists of institutional investors and accredited investors who can commit large sums of money for long periods of time. Ritaway Investment Group is focused on investing in leading manufacturing, and service companies in all different markets – energy, enterprise, and agriculture. They invest primarily in developed companies, providing capital through flexible investment strategies including primary investments, direct secondary and blended structures. Managing Partner Andrew Abernathy says “our objective is to support great management teams and address the challenges of growth.”

The Ritaway team believes that it takes great people to translate promising ideas into compelling businesses. They start by looking for entrepreneurs with the passion, vision, and skills to build leading companies. They work with entrepreneurs collaboratively, building partnerships based on integrity and mutual respect. Ritaway is a hands-on investor, working with management to build high-growth companies. Abernathy said “We look forward to the strong relationships we will build with all the entrepreneurs and co-investors in the near future.” One of their initial acquisitions was Normont Equipment Company. Established in 1947, the company has many years of service to the heavy industry and governmental agencies throughout Montana and neighboring states. The partners purchased the HiLine Equipment Company, located in Great Falls, Montana, changing the name to NorMont Equipment Company. In the early years, Normont represented International Harvester Farm and Industrial Equipment, supporting both the construction and farm divisions. Soon they expanded to include several other allied construction and equipment manufacturers. From the start, they specialized in sales and service. Several of the manufacturers are still a part of NorMont’s business today. Service to their expanding customer base caught on. Thankful to their loyal customer base, which they established over the ensuing years, NorMont continued to grow and prosper. NorMont’s reputation for service made them a primary supplier for the original construction phase of the Minuteman Missile Project. In 1958 NorMont made a final move to a newly constructed facility in Black Eagle a small township adjacent to Great Falls. NorMont remains at the same location today.

I really enjoyed my conversation with Mr. Andrew Abernathy and learning more about how private equity can bring in some great returns with patience and diligence.

Contact me anytime at and I can arrange a meeting with Ritaway.