When Frontenac was founded in 1971 the Laird Norton Company, a family office that was then our sole investor, was asked to name the firm. Laird Norton chose to pay homage to its long-standing involvement in lumbering by recalling the Frontenac, a paddle-steamer that once transported logs along the Mississippi. She was said to be the sturdiest ship in the fleet and able to “float on a light dew” – an apt metaphor for a company in the risk capital business.
The paddle-steamer itself was named after Count Louis Frontenac (1622-98), courtier and Governor of New France, who helped France expand its empire in the New World.
Our namesakes include Quebec’s Chateau Frontenac, the Kingston Frontenacs hockey team, and the city of Frontenac, Missouri.