Mathnasium Taps Kevin Shen as Chief Development Officer

HW - Kevin Shen, Mathnasium

The Position was Created Following Roark Capital Group’s Acquisition of the Math Tutoring Franchise

Mathnasium, a leading math tutoring franchise, announced Kevin Shen as chief development officer (CDO). With this position, Shen oversees the math tutoring franchise’s development and implements growth strategies. He brings more than a decade of investment banking and franchising experience to the role. Following Roark Capital Group’s acquisition of the business, the CDO position was created to cover the scope of Mathnasium’s initiatives. 

“Being immersed in the franchising and investment banking world, I had always admired private equity-backed brands and have a ton of respect for Mathnasium CEO Michael Davis and his extensive experience working with top-notch companies. As I met more of the leadership team and franchisees, it became clear why this is the perfect time to join Mathnasium with its endless industry tailwinds,” Shen said in a statement.

He added that “it is also so easy to get behind the mission of changing lives through math. Our reputable global brand and the passion behind our franchisees is so authentic, it cannot be replicated.”

Kevin Shen, Mathnasium
Kevin Shen is the new CDO for Mathnasium. 

To Davis, Shen’s experience and alignment with Mathnasium’s mission and values make him a great fit for the position. “Our franchisees are seeing record-breaking enrollments as families seek additional local resources to help their children improve grades in math and reach new levels of understanding. Every new center ensures Mathnasium’s mission will get to more student’s, families, and communities,” Davis said. 

Shen’s Background 

Shen began his investment banking career with consumer and retail businesses, many of which were franchisors. “I saw very early on that the market loved franchise deals – the cash flows were very predictable, and they often had much more attractive economics and growth stories compared to other industries.” Prior to joining Mathnasium, he held a leadership role with Jackson Hewitt. 

Shen believes that his non-traditional development background will be hugely beneficial for this role. “It allows me to approach various questions and problems from a different lens than the rest of the team. With a greater diversity of opinions and thought processes, we often yield new solutions that the organization hasn’t considered before. The attention to detail and sense of urgency instilled during my investment banking years also helps me be a better partner to prospective franchise owners as they are going through their diligence process.”

After transitioning to the franchisor side, Shen worked in various capacities including franchise development for a large franchisor. “It has always been extremely rewarding to see folks from all walks of life join a system, learn the business, and take control of their own destiny.”   

Shen believes that prospects should do research and speak to people currently in the system to validate what they’re reading and hearing. “We’re always super happy to speak to prospective franchisees who ask thorough questions as that means they’re trying to make a well-informed decision.”

A Mission-Oriented Parent

In addition to being an experienced businessman, Shen is a parent who is passionate about his son’s education. “The latest headlines about COVID-related learning losses and math testing hitting a 20-year low scare me to no end. As I dug into Mathnasium and saw the common-sense approach to teaching kids math, the fantastic Net Promoter Scores from satisfied kids and parents, and strong unit economics in the FDD, it was a no-brainer for me. I start work every day extremely excited to share the Mathnasium story with prospective franchise owners!” 

Growing up, Shen had a love/hate relationship with math. “It all came easily to me through elementary school. But once I hit middle school, it was like a brick wall. I honestly wish my parents had put me into a program like Mathnasium; it would have saved us lots of frustration!”

Shen sought help from teachers and tried different tutors, but nothing really stuck; it was like a foreign language to him. “Mathnasium’s approach is really centered around using a language that makes sense to kids and a focus on keeping things fun. No one is sent home with homework or problems set to work on. All of that really translates in the metrics and testimonials that you’ll see if you check out our center’s reviews.”

Shen has a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Northwestern University and a master of business administration from The Wharton School.

Previous ArticleNext Article
Haley Cafarella is a passionate journalist and content developer. In her role as content and marketing specialist for IFPG, she creates original content for the franchise broker network's ongoing initiatives and writes articles for
Send this to a friend