Ken Jones is the founder and CEO of Third Lake Capital, a worldwide private investment firm dedicated to the investment management and capital deployment for a Forbes 400 family who own one of the largest privately-held manufacturing companies in the world with more than $10 billion in annual sales. Since inception in 2013, Ken has led and executed the vision, strategy and growth of the firm which invests capital in a broad array of asset classes including alternatives, real estate, private credit, direct private equity and funds as well as co- chairing the firm’s investment committee. Ken is a principal stakeholder in the firm and a side-by-side investor in all investments. He is also an active board member for numerous portfolio companies and serves on various fund advisory committees for firms such as KKR, Goldman Sachs, Argand Partners and many others. Ken additionally serves in a senior executive role in the underlying family operating business providing essential leadership in the areas of retail, finance, human capital, risk control, regulatory compliance, real estate strategy as well as advising the Chairman and CEO on a variety of company-wide initiatives.
In 2016, Ken also founded Fairbourne Properties, a commercial real estate investment and management firm headquartered in Chicago where he continues to serve as the company’s chairman. Fairbourne manages nearly seven million square feet of commercial real estate across the U.S. and has $1.5 billion in AUM. Prior to founding Third Lake and Fairbourne, Ken was the executive vice president and senior managing director of CEA Group, a TMT and real estate-focused private equity and investment and merchant banking firm with offices in Florida, New York and London. While at CEA, he led, structured and advised on more than $7 billion in transactions.
Prior to joining CEA in 2005, Ken spent the previous decade in legal, government, and management positions in Washington, D.C. where he served as chief legal counsel and deputy chief of staff for former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and the Senate Rules & Administration Committee. He supervised the oversight of numerous legislative branch agencies including the Capitol Police, Smithsonian Institutions, Library of Congress, Congressional Media Galleries and Government Printing Office among others, with annual budgets totaling more than $3 billion and more than 5,000 employees. Ken also worked on national security and intelligence issues, held multiple top-secret security clearances (TS/SCI) and was instrumental in developing and implementing new continuity of government processes for the U.S. Government in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Prior to the U.S. Senate, Ken practiced law at the Washington D.C. law firm Patton Boggs. Among his clients were the President and Vice-President of the United States, national political campaigns, Fortune 500 companies and various federal officials. His work centered on public policy, campaign finance, Congressional ethics in addition to commercial litigation, constitutional law and corporate finance. Prior to private practice, Ken began his career in Washington, DC where he served as counsel to a national political party. During the 2000 Presidential election, Ken was counsel for the Bush-Cheney Campaign in Palm Beach and Washington, DC during the Florida presidential recount. Following the election, he was named chief counsel to George W. Bush’s Presidential Inaugural Committee. He has also served in senior leadership roles to six Presidential Nominating Conventions and two U.S. Presidential Inaugurations.
In 2012, Ken served as President and CEO of the Republican National Convention where he was responsible for the organization and day-to-day executive management of all host committee responsibilities for the convention. As CEO, Ken raised more than $100 million in public and private contributions and led the national coordination of logistics, construction, security, media, venue and hotel leasing, transportation, and dozens of convention-related events throughout America. The convention, which was the second largest media event in the world, has been lauded as one of the most efficiently and successfully run Presidential nominating conventions in the modern era and was concluded on-time and under budget with a multi-million dollar surplus.
In 2017, Ken served with legend Archie Manning as the Co-Chairman of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame dinner and currently serves on the NFF’s national board of directors. He was also recently named to the executive committee for the 2021 NFL Super Bowl Host Committee. Ken additionally serves on the board of trustees of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, is a member of the Florida Council of 100 and served as the 2018 chairman of the American Heart Association Tampa Bay Heart Ball. Ken has conducted hundreds of live on-camera interviews with numerous television networks including Fox News, ABC, NBC, CBS, C-SPAN and CNN and has been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Politico, Washington Post, Newsweek and USA Today. Ken grew up in a small rural Florida town with a population of just 2,000 people. He became a highly ranked junior tennis player in Florida, played competitively on national level and continues to train and compete to this day. He graduated with honors from Florida State University with a degree in communication and earned his law degree from the University of Florida where he was a member of Florida Blue Key and was the youngest-ever elected President of the University of Florida Law School Bar Association.