Insights from Parker Street

Check back each month to hear observations and updates from Andrew Casson, Managing Partner of The Fresnel Companies.

Fast Forward Through a World on Pause

Greetings Fresnel Partners & Friends,

Like millions of people around the world, I’ve been working remotely the past two months during the global pandemic. In order to ensure we keep our team and community healthy, our offices in Newburyport, Massachusetts, remain closed as directed by the state. We were fortunately able to transition everyone to a work-from-home environment, and we have put processes into place to ensure we can continue to operate in this manner for the foreseeable future.

The tragic loss of life caused by the virus combined with the economic crisis is unprecedented—something I’ve never experienced in my lifetime. Yet, it’s within this current environment that the Fresnel partners and I have remained realistically optimistic. Partly because the economy was fundamentally sound before it was turned off, and partly because our team is relentlessly pursuing opportunities and will not deviate from our course.

As I mentioned in the previous edition of The Lens, during the early days of these crises the partners and I chose a course that required more acceleration, driving the development initiatives of future-proof businesses, stop-gapping ourselves where needed, and identifying growth channels and the potential for new business. All of these efforts are still within the parameters of our overall philosophy for success. These include:

  • Value investing for the long term
  • Investing in proven concepts and cash-producing companies
  • Building legacy wealth for generations

Staying true to our core mission and remaining resolute, gives us the foundation to make smarter choices quickly, decreases risk, and allows for new opportunities. In fact, one of the most striking realizations for me during the entire COVID crisis is not how clear the skies became, or how quiet the streets are on a weekend afternoon, or even that the first thing my 79-year-old father asked for after recovering from the coronavirus was to have Chinese takeout. Instead it has been just how incredibly busy we have been at The Fresnel Companies.

We’ve officially launched Torus Global, a complementary business to both Cipherium and Emergent International Payment Systems that links disparate transaction infrastructure through a unified rails system that creates a seamless worldwide network. (Look for a separate intro this month.) We’re also papering an agreement with a technology partner to add additional shopper engagement and data-capture components to the Tring in-store entertainment solution. Very soon, we’ll also provide specific updates on new agreements Emergent is fostering that will continue to propel this enterprise forward.

I know full well that we have a journey in front of us. There will be obstacles and even stormy seas during this next portion of the voyage. However, our destination is clear, and the team required to complete the journey is working tirelessly every day on behalf of our investors. Please reach out to us directly with any questions and stay safe and healthy.


Andrew B. Casson