The HFW Companies lands strategic growth partnership with Dallas-based civil engineering firm KFM

Apr 10, 2024

The HFW Companies, an expanding professional services firm in the architecture and engineering industry, has finalized yet another new strategic growth partnership in 2024, this time with Dallas, Texas-based civil engineering firm KFM.

Established five years ago, KFM already has grown to 75 employees, with offices in Dallas and Austin, Texas. More than 90 percent of its business currently stems from private development clients across the state who seek KFM’s civil engineering design expertise in retail, mixed-use, single-family, multifamily, industrial, and office development. In addition to civil engineering, KFM offers land planning, landscape architecture, and due diligence services.

KFM represents the ninth AEC firm to join HFW’s growing national network of HFW Partner firms since HFW’s inception in 2020 and the third Texas-based AEC firm to join. HFW’s long-term vision is to build a preeminent network of AEC legacy partners across a national footprint that provides a gateway to accelerated growth and leverages its partners’ collaborative expertise, according to Michael Hein, AIA, chief executive officer of HFW.

“We’ve been watching the principals of KFM build their business for some time, and we’re tremendously impressed by their drive, expertise, and a dynamic work culture that clearly motivates their team,” said Hein. “KFM has a strong reputation across Texas for its private development work, setting itself up for enormous future potential to expand into other metropolitan areas of Texas and beyond, as well as for new growth opportunities in public-sector engineering. As KFM’s new growth partner, we’re looking forward to supporting the firm’s efforts in pursuing those opportunities.”

KFM, meanwhile, has approached the HFW partnership opportunity as a deal that will allow KFM to more strategically build a sustainable and client-focused engineering practice that protects its clients’ interests and strengthens those relationships, according to Jim Knight, PE, one of three founding principals of KFM. The other founding principals include Charlie Fowler, Jr., PE, and Josh Millsap, PE.

“We see ourselves as sophisticated and discerning with regard to our business relationships,” Knight said of KFM. “Our new partnership with HFW will allow us to access greater resources, from productivity and management perspectives, to build even stronger relationships, better absorb changes in the economy, continue to meet client expectations, maintain good quality control, and even improve our time to delivery.”

KFM joins a growing portfolio of AEC firms that also includes locations in Las Vegas; Kansas City; Chicago; Des Moines and Waterloo, Iowa; Charleston, Hilton Head, and the Midlands of South Carolina; Augusta, Georgia; Houston, Texas; Austin, Texas; and multiple locations in Florida.

The HFW Partner firms comprise what Hein describes as HFW’s “House of Brands” concept. That is, a network of growth-oriented AEC firms sharing best practices, economies of scale, unique areas of expertise, and business development opportunities, while continuing to build their own legacy brands in their own regions and beyond.

Even as HFW has invested in KFM, Knight said he also views the new partnership as an investment by KFM in HFW as well, thanks to the HFW Partner network.

“We see this partnership as an investment by KFM in the collaborative strength and potential of the growing HFW Partner network,” Knight said. “We’re excited to leverage this partnership to expand our opportunities for new growth here and across the network.”

Zweig Group's Mergers and Acquisitions team advised HFW through this transaction. Zweig Group is the leading research, publishing, and advisory services resource for firms in the AEC industry. 

“Zweig Group is thrilled to be able to continue supporting the HFW story. In 2022, HFW won Zweig Group’s Top New Venture award," said Will Swearingen, vice president and director of research and advisory services at Zweig Group. "In the past several years, we've seen the management team at HFW grow its family of brands to nine companies across the U.S.”

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.