UPDATED – The Inc. magazine list of the fastest-growing companies is out, and Wichita’s West Hills Capital is No. 79.
“We’re the fastest-growing company in the state of Kansas for the year,” says owner Joe Unger.
There are 56 Kansas companies that made this year’s list, including eight in Wichita. In addition to West Hills Capital, they are: All Things BBQ at No. 1,507; Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers at 2,165; Occidental Management at 2,357; Zernco at 2,493; RSA Marketing Services (now called RSM Marketing Services) at No. 3,422; Builders Plus Construction at 4,144; and Voice Products at 4,467.
Unger started his company, which buys and sells gold and silver and rare coins for investments, in Los Angeles in 2011 and incorporated in Wichita in 2012.
“We help people who have been wronged by disingenuous sales tactics and companies that … push people into the wrong products because they have hefty margins and commissions,” Unger says.
“We buy these products from people,” he says. “We get them into the right product. We help clients buy bullion, which is a noncollector’s version of gold and silver. They end up with a lot more metal in their portfolio, and they pay a lot slimmer margins.”
Unger says he previously worked at several companies that buy and sell precious metals and didn’t like what he saw.
“I thought I could do it myself. I could do it better.”
He moved the company to Wichita, where he once lived and where his wife is from, in part because he says he thinks the work ethic is better here, “especially (for) a company predicated off of giving value.”
Plus, he says, “I knew I didn’t want to raise my daughters in Los Angeles.”
Unger says West Hills Capital had $165,000 in revenue in 2012 and $6.4 million in revenue in 2015.
“We’ve grown exponentially over the years,” he says. “It’s just a testament of doing the right thing on behalf of people.”
The company has three employees, including Unger. He has mainly used contractors, but he says he wants to hire for a variety of positions, which he says will be “well-paying jobs.”
Unger is happy to make the Inc. list.
“It’s – I don’t want to say surreal. I’m proud. I’m definitely proud. I started this company with $600. We’ve done a lot of good.”