April 21, 2022
Profile by Sanford is now Profile Plan Nutrition + Wellness, one of many moves in recent months following an acquisition by a North Carolina-based company.
Ten Oaks Group, a family office investment firm, acquired Profile from a for-profit arm of Sanford Health earlier this year.
The company’s niche is in divestitures, which attracted it to the opportunity with Sanford and Profile, said Stephen Phillips, an operating partner who is now Chairman of Profile’s board.
“The company has the attributes of a business that can grow and be successful for many years to come,” he said. “As a family office, rather than a typical private equity group, Ten Oaks can take a long-term view because there is no time pressure from outside investors.”
Profile CEO Nate Malloy remains CEO of the new organization. There are 30 corporate employees based in Sioux Falls, as well as store employees, and the organization is hiring, Malloy said.
“Basically, I would say everything remains the same, and our mission to change people’s lives one relationship at a time and to be a solution for people to live healthier lives, none of that changes,” Malloy said.
“What’s exciting is the opportunity for us to continue to invest in things that will evolve our model and allow us to reach more people with more programming.”
Profile’s business model largely focuses on a science-based approach to weight loss and management, with an emphasis on health coaching; a line of meal replacement shakes, bars and foods; and a delivery service added last year offering freshly prepared meals.
“My first impression of Profile is very positive,” Phillips said. “The Profile program works and produces life-changing results for members. The team is highly competent and deeply committed to the company’s mission. There are a lot of good things to build on.
Malloy and his team support 23 independent franchisees representing approximately 70 of 95 locations. Corporate stores now belong to Profile Plan. The company “is not actively looking to add new franchisees at this time, but it is certainly part of the process we are going through to evolve our business model and first and foremost support our existing franchisees and their business and help them grow,” said Malloy. “As we move forward, we will definitely consider growing our franchise side of the business. What that looks like, we’re still working on it.
Other opportunities include potential partnership with other health systems and health insurance companies, allowing local operators or new franchise owners “to be the local operators in conjunction with these types of partnerships,” continued Malloy. “And we are also exploring the idea of a virtual franchise opportunity.”
The profile continues to be a resource for Sanford suppliers, he added.
“I would say the relationship is still very good, and we expect that to continue,” he said. “We’ve always had some sort of specific offer or benefit for being a Sanford Health employee, and those same benefits will continue, and we will continue to provide opportunities for Sanford employees to engage with our program.”
From Ten Oaks’ perspective, “Strategically, we view the Profile coaching and nutrition program as the heart and foundation of many simultaneous growth channels,” Phillips said. “This will include further development of company-owned stores, additional commitment to the franchise network and new partnerships with healthcare providers, healthcare payers and fitness networks.”
The company has also been “very impressed with the virtual coaching capability” created during the pandemic, he said, adding that nutrition coaching can be more convenient and open up new avenues for growth.
“It’s too early to say exactly where this will lead, but it will definitely help the company grow,” Phillips said.
“Opportunities will certainly include continued investment in company-owned stores and the franchise network, as well as developing partnerships with healthcare providers and fitness brand networks. Because we have a program that really works, we have many potential avenues for growth.
Profile Company staff members work out of offices on the Good Samaritan Society’s national campus, but will be relocating to offices north of 85th Street and Avenue Louise in the coming months.
The company continues to innovate, added Malloy. It recently introduced a beef jerky snack to its food line and a cookie and cream shake. The Profile Fresh range of ready-to-go food delivered to homes is also “off to a good start”, he said. “We have plans to continue to evolve this. It’s a great product, it’s convenient and it tastes great, so I think we have a lot of potential with this food line.
Malloy and his team largely operate independently, he and Phillips said. Malloy said the Ten Oaks team “is initially focused on creating value and helping me and the management team identify resources we should consider adding, whether new team members or external partners and resources, so we’re in the middle of that process now.”
The relationship took off quickly, Phillips added.
“Profile has a great team,” he said. “Nate Malloy and his management team have day-to-day responsibility for running the business, and they have the autonomy and authority to do so. Our Ten Oaks team are responsible for the initial set-up of the business as an independent business and for helping to provide helpful advice and support where we can. It’s a good combination of skills, experience and resources, and it works well.