William Vogelgesang is CEO and co-founder of Candlewood Partners, an investment banking company addressing the capital formation needs of the middle market, and South Franklin Street Partners, its private equity affiliate. Bill works with companies to help build long-term value as they pursue their own vision for success. Having experienced the strength of a stakeholder-focused business model, he has been active with employee-owned business and is a frequent speaker on the subject of ESOPs and employee ownership. In 2013, Bill started a practice area for Candlewood focused on purpose-driven or impact companies—those businesses that exist to provide both social as well as financial returns to their stakeholders. Sometimes known as Conscious Companies, these businesses are identified by a strong culture focused on benefiting all stakeholders and have heightened concerns about maintaining that culture when raising capital or looking for a merger partner.