Betsy Morgan, Brett Bouttier and Jeff Berman, three executives with experience in media and technology, launched a private equity-backed holding company to acquire and grow consumer businesses.
Magnet Companies will look to acquire and build disruptive companies in the consumer demand space. They also will look for existing brands that can be modernized to better address contemporary consumer behaviors and unlock upside value.
The holding company structure will allow Magnet Companies to share resources and operating expertise across its subsidiaries, providing its portfolio companies with the kinds of capabilities usually unavailable to early stage businesses.
Magnet Companies will be co-located in Los Angeles and New York.
Morgan has most recently been with LionTree, an advisory and merchant bank firm focused on technology and media. She is the former CEO of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, and, before that, was the first CEO of The Huffington Post, which was successfully sold to AOL in 2011. She also spent a decade at CBS, where she was senior vice president for CBS Interactive and the general manager of CBSNews.com.
Early work experience for Morgan includes several years in investment banking at the North America headquarters of Schroders, in their Media & Entertainment Group. She also worked for American Sky Broadcasting, a division of News Corporation that focused on developing the U.S. direct satellite business.
Morgan is currently on the board of NASDAQ-listed TheStreet as well as the privately held Trusted Media Brands, Chartbeat and theSkimm.
Bouttier was most recently the president of Awesomeness, a digital media company serving the Gen Z. He joined the business and partnered with founder Brian Robbins in 2012, shortly after its launch and Series-A funding.
Prior to Awesomeness, Bouttier was senior vice president and general manager of digital at the Warner Bros Television Group, where he negotiated the joint-venture agreement with AOL that became TMZ.
Berman has spent the past decade at the intersection of media and technology, most recently as executive in residence at Greylock Partners. He previously served as president of the independent media company Whalerock Industries. Before that, he ran digital media businesses at the NFL, and held a series of positions at MySpace, ultimately serving as president of sales and marketing.
The digital media veteran has advised companies across a broad range of industries and has served on multiple corporate and non-profit boards including Buddy Media (which was acquired by Salesforce), Anine Bing, a venture-backed fashion/commerce company, and United to Protect Democracy.
Prior to entering the business world, Berman served as chief counsel to U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and was a public defender representing children charged in the District of Columbia’s adult criminal courts.
David Hernand of Paul Hastings negotiated the company’s financing, with Bryan Wolf of Ziffren Brittenham advising the partners.