A private investment management firm specializing in the biometrics industry called L-1 Investment Partners LLC, Stamford, Conn., has been formed to acquire or make controlling investments in public and private companies.

L-1 plans to add strategic value by providing working capital and management oversight. Market research firms following the biometrics market are projecting annual growth rates in excess of 50 percent for the next several years, reaching a potential $4.5 billion for the industry by 2009, noted Robert V. LaPenta, chairman and CEO of L-1.

LaPenta has a track record as a builder of businesses formed over three decades of leadership experience at Loral Corporation/Lockheed Martin and L-3. Formerly president, chief financial officer and board member of L-3 Communications Corp., LaPenta was one of the three Ls of L-3 that founded the widely successful defense company.

According to LaPenta, timing is optimal. “Today the industry consists of hundreds of small entrepreneurial companies, typically undercapitalized and undermanaged,” he observed. “Our goal is to acquire well-positioned companies, then provide capital and management to build them into world-class companies that grow with the expanding global use of biometrics. Over the longer term, our vision is to consolidate these businesses into a leadership position in the biometrics sector.”