Office Envy: Northborne Partners
The five mergers and acquisitions experts who launched Northborne Partners in March 2021 come with long tenures at corporate investment firms. “When you have an organization of that scale, you have to have lots of rules, lots of forms, lots of layers of management,” says managing director and partner Paul Jevnick. “And there’s so much bureaucracy, it just took the fun out of it, frankly.”
That’s why Northborne Partners sought out office space in Minneapolis that emphasized fun and flexibility. It’s no accident the group avoided a downtown skyscraper in favor of a historic space on the fifth floor of the Colonial Warehouse building in the North Loop.
Built in 1885, the building’s rustic beams, floors, and exposed brick walls are incorporated into Northborne’s updated office with a cool-toned palette of black, white, and gray. Minneapolis design firm Studio BV juxtaposed the old with the new in both style and function. Traditionally, one might expect M&A negotiations to take place behind closed doors; Northborne’s offices and conference rooms feature glass walls. Open areas (furnished with sit-stand desks) prioritize collaboration for the firm’s junior analysts and associates, says Jevnick. “There’s so much learning that happens through osmosis, in terms of just absorbing and learning from the people around you.”
A central skylight allows natural light to pour through the entry, main conference room, cafe, and common areas. There’s also an in-office gym—although Jevnick jokingly admits it’s used as much for the wow factor for new recruits as for regular workouts by team members.
Attracting and retaining new talent was a serious consideration for the growing firm, which currently employs 24. Jevnick says the office is designed to be a place where people want to be for years to come. In fact, Northborne felt so confident about its direction, the firm signed a 10-year lease. “To us, the environment that we work in was much more important, and the risk, we felt, was minimal,” Jevnick says. “We felt confident that we could start a business that would have staying power.”
Who: Northborne Partners
Where: 212 Third Ave. N., Suite 500, Minneapolis
Size: 8,300 square feet
Designer: Studio BV
Photographer: Corey Gaffer Photography