A major global private investment firm has relocated its headquarters to downtown Baldwin Park.
Global Growth, which operates in more than 20 countries and employs more than 7,500 people worldwide, was founded on a simple yet contrarian idea: Companies that make the world a better place are more likely to thrive.
Now, the investment giant is bringing that same mindset to the local community.
CEO Justin Holbrook said his favorite part of what he does is creating amazing products and services.
“On paper, it can look dry, because it’s spreadsheets, you’re moving numbers from one column to another column, but what’s actually happening beneath the spreadsheet is creation,” Holbrook says. “You’re deciding where we are going to invest to make something that hopefully people will love. If you make something people love, if you are focused on your customers and you deliver great products and services, if you build an amazing workspace for your employees so that they’re happy and challenged and filled with a sense of mission, the numbers take care of themselves afterwards. So for me, that’s the secret of investment success.”
Since its founding, Global Growth’s investment team has focused on sustainable, long-term investment strategies that reflect its business principles. Global Growth owns about 100 companies throughout the world in industries such as health care technology, financial services, collectibles, alternative assets and communications.
“Global Growth invests in companies that create good,” the company said in an official statement. “Our companies make health care more effective and affordable, make credit more accessible, help people buy their first homes, bring life saving therapies to people in their homes, provide security for online transactions and much more. Each Global Growth company also supports its community in multiple ways.”
For 20 years, Global Growth was headquartered in North Carolina.
“But with business, like anything else in life, you need to evolve and change and we decided that we needed to go to a different place to find some fresh talent,” Holbrook says.
The next questions to answer were where is the fresh talent, what’s hot and where are people moving?
The CEO conducted expeditions in both Texas and Florida, but Orlando drew his attention because of the “amazing airport,” which would be beneficial to building connections with companies overseas.
“It turns out that Orlando is an amazing place to be able to get to internationally because of Disney World, which means it’s also a great place for investment firms to relocate to, especially if you have companies all over the world,” he says.
After a suggestion, Holbrook visited Winter Park and was then directed to Baldwin Park.
“When I walked in this area I knew this is the area that we need to be,” he said. “It’s the kind of place where you can live, work, play and eat. You can invite employees, and they can move and have neighborhoods and schools, a grocery store, everything in this tiny little community but it’s so well maintained. It’s got such an eclectic mix of shops and people here.”
To establish itself in Baldwin Park, the company is working on becoming contributors to the business community.
“It’s really important to me whenever we develop a presence in a new area to listen, to learn, to meet, to figure out how we can help,” Holbrook says. “We want to create global good.”
Currently, Holbrook is meeting with local leaders to listen, learn and understand the needs in the community. The company is hiring support staff members, project management team managers, financial analysts and business leads.
ABOUT THE CEO
Holbrook grew up in Oklahoma with four brothers. He earned his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and law degree from Harvard Law School before holding a variety of executive and senior positions in business, academia and the military.
Holbrook has co-founded multiple start-ups, built software for crowd-sourced content curation, directed a legal aid clinic for disabled veterans, spearheaded impact litigation supporting government procurement for life-saving Silicon Valley technologies and served as senior military legal adviser in special operations contingency environments.
He has been published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, the Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law, the Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere on subjects ranging from software platform privacy to religious legal systems to the liminality of combat trauma.
As CEO, Holbrook’s primary goal is the protection of Global Growth’s insurance policyholders and the rehabilitation of its insurance companies.
He has been with the Global Growth for 20 months.
“The job of any new CEO coming to an organization is first to be humble, to be curious, to learn, to listen and just to try and absorb as much information as possible,” Holbrook says. “It takes a lot of humility to join a company that is this big and successful and has been around for this long.”