BUSINESS Visionary Eye Partners Sets Sights on Northeast Markets By Mark Tosh Thursday, November 15, 2018 12:30 AM BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Visionary Eye Partners (VEP), a practice management company backed by Toronto’s Imperial Capital Group, has completed the acquisition of five separate eyecare practices over the past few months, the firm’s co-chief executive officer Nick Williams told Vision Monday. The most recent practice to be acquired and to come under the VEP umbrella is Palisades Optometrics in Leonia, N.J., which is operated by Dr. Ronald F. Luxenburg. Williams said the acquisition fits with VEP’s strategic plan to continue expanding along the Northeast seaboard region. The office space in Leonia is “strikingly beautiful,” Williams said, and Dr. Luxenburg is a strong addition to the VEP team. Other recent VEP acquisitions are: Kips Bay Optical of New York City; Wilson Eye Center of Valdosta, Ga.; Eye to Eye Care of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; and Look Optical, which operates five locations in and around Denver. Williams said all of the deals, including the transaction with Palisades Optometrics, were for 100 percent ownership stakes in the acquired practices. Visionary Eye Partners was formed in September 2017 (with the former HW Holdings as its core) with Williams, his partner Adam Rosengren, who also is a co-chief executive officer, and Imperial Capital as the sole shareholders, Williams said. The firm also is the parent company of 22-location All About Eyes, which is based here in Bloomington. (Visionary Eye Partners also has “a common ownership” with Identity Optical Lab, a leading independent digital lab, Williams said.) “We are very excited to announce the launch of Visionary Eye Partners,” Williams said. “VEP has a deep history of operating experience and knows firsthand the unique dynamics of managing optical practices, having founded 22 separate All About Eyes locations over a 12-year span. Our experience has informed our partnership approach to acquisitions as we create tailored solutions for optometrists in the continued growth of their practices.” Williams said Visionary Eye Partners will provide a “robust support and optimization system through acquisition, offering synergies and enhanced buying power to help practices grow and thrive. Providers are able to focus on patient care, while VEP helps to manage operations and support services.” “Given our extensive operating experience within the optical industry, we’re uniquely built to support and advise in any practice setting,” Rosengren added in the announcement. Among the highlights of the recent acquisitions, Dr. Luxenburg of Palisades Optometrics has over 30 years of experience as an eyecare provider servicing patients in the Bergen County area of New Jersey. He is an expert in treating hard to fit contact lens patients and corneal disease, according to the Palisades website. At Kip’s Bay Optical, Dr. Kenneth Scherick, the founder, has a 42-year lineage in the eyecare sector. He is a respected doctor who, in addition to practicing as an optometrist, is a faculty member at New York University Medical Center and frequently lectures to groups, such as the World Congress of Ophthalmology and American Optometric Association. Wilson Eye Center was founded in 1981 by Dr. Steven Wilson and has grown over the last 37 years from a single doctor to one of the largest single-door practices in the country, according to VEP’s announcement of the recent transactions. It has undergone four separate expansions. The most recent expansion, in 2009, nearly doubled the size of the office, which now totals 12,000 square feet with 12 exam rooms and a 2,000-square-foot optical dispensary. Dr. James Kani and Dr. Mansur Nurdel founded Eye To Eye Care in 2006, and the practice now has a “strong optical presence in Highlands Ranch, Colo.,” the announcement noted. Look Optical, with five locations, is based in the Denver metro area, and offers “unique opportunities to expand regionally,” the announcement noted. Look Optical began as a family venture in 1981 with two opticians who are brothers, Jay and Leon Talyai, as the owners. Dr. James Kani and Dr. Manur Nurdel purchased Look Optical in 2001 and turned it into an optometric practice, the announcement said. Leon Talyai stayed with the practice to monitor the quality of jobs coming from the labs. In connection with the transactions, Anne Kavanagh of Kavanagh Consulting provided financial advice to Wilson Eye Center.