Watson Family Investments seeks companies and managers who are prepared to deliver.

The flying public and the American warfighter deserve and demand a world-class aerospace & defense supply chain that is passionately committed to leading technology, safety, and efficiency.

Watson Family Investments is a family-funded private equity firm that makes equity investments in the aerospace, defense and industrial manufacturing sectors. The partners of Watson Family Investments have been helping build businesses in the A&D and industrial sectors for over 20 years. Collectively, we have invested approximately $2.5 billion in 25 businesses, including commercial & military aerospace components and systems, electronics, engines, MRO, air frame structures, metal finishing, as well as in several other industrial manufacturing sectors.
Defense & Industrial Mfg.
Transaction Type
Control Equity
Corp Carve-outs
Growth Capital
Differentiated Approach
We focus on companies that provide solutions to complex problems. We seek to make investments in companies where we believe we can help them continue to do this on a larger scale, whether this requires additional capital for capacity or capability expansion, improved manufacturing processes and automation, or help expanding customer relationships and access. Ultimately, we strive to help our companies to become increasingly relevant, strategic partners in their industry segments. The following are some primary business tenets that have led to tremendous business success for the partners of Watson Family Investments.
BuildingBuilding Meaningful Businesses

Our goal is to be a critical partner to our customers. This means solving the toughest problems, meeting impossible delivery dates, and investing in capacity to support new processes and customers. Do these things, and growth will come.

UrgentUrgent but Patient

We support a culture that is urgent in action, but patient for results. We are experienced operators and our expectations are based on reality and not some financial model. As a family office, our time horizon is well aligned with the long-term strategic goals of our partner companies.

FastShare Bad News Fast

Problems rarely go away on their own. The Watson Family has been making business decisions for over 60 years and we have made our share of mistakes. We believe in making fast and informed decisions. But this only works if we are equally quick to recognize mistakes and correcting course.


There is no more powerful business tool than authentically caring for and respecting employees and partners. This results in trusting and open communication where great progress is possible.

Watson Family Investments is a family-funded private equity firm that makes control equity investments in the aerospace, defense and industrial manufacturing sectors. Our team includes private equity and aerospace executives with significant operating and investing experience coupled with deep rooted relationships and expertise in our targeted industries. We focus on U.S. lower middle-market businesses that share many of the following characteristics.
History of Solving Complex Problems for its Customers
Culture that values all Stakeholders and Operates with the Highest Level of Integrity (employees, customers, suppliers, & community)
Mission Critical Products/Services and High Barriers to Entry
Deep Rooted Customer Relationships that Yields Recurring Revenue
History of Reasonably Consistent Earnings
Identifiable Growth Opportunities
Fuel Tank
Portfolio Companies and Select Investments
Watson Family Investments has built Noble Aerospace, one of the largest aerospace & defense metal finishing businesses in the country. Noble consists of two operating business, Embee Processing and All Metals Processing.
The Partners of Watson Family Investments have led the acquisition of 25 businesses with a value of approximately $2.5 billion over the past 20 years.
Co-Founder Noel Watson (In Memoriam)
Watson Family Investments was founded by Noel Watson & his son Derek Watson in 2015. With an engineering degree fresh in hand, in 1958 Noel drove straight from North Dakota to California in search of his first engineering job and some sunshine. He got the sunshine, but ended up selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. Soon enough he was hired at a small engineering consulting firm, Jacobs Engineering. Forty years later, Noel was considered one of the top CEO’s in the country as he led Jacobs through a period of extraordinary growth from $200 million of revenue to over $11 billion. Noel had a relentless passion for his employees’ safety and well-being, which was equaled only by his desire to solve problems for his customers. Noel had the ability to encourage incredible performance from his teammates while being compassionate, honorable, and approachable. Much of our approach to business and partnership is rooted in lessons from Noel and we honor his memory by implementing many of his guiding business principals.
Noel Watson
Derek Watson
Partner and Founder

Derek has over 20 years of private equity investment experience, working closely with complex industrial manufacturing and A&D businesses...

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Michael Coburn

Michael is an experienced aerospace & defense CEO with involvement across the supply chain...

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Brad Morton
Strategic Advisor

Brad has held senior executive roles at AlliedSignal, Honeywell and 10 years as President of Eaton Aerospace...

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  • Watson Family Investments
  • 4695 MacArthur Court,
  • 11th Floor
  • Newport Beach, CA 92660