Focus on Private Equity

I work with private equity clients on a UK and international basis. The people I work with, I always look to find them people from the executive board, from chairmen, through to non-executives, CFOs, CEOs, and COOs, typically, is my usual placements.

 

The kind of clients that I work with, my biggest market, would probably be the mid-cap private equity. Also growth capitals in the VC marketplace, and also some large-cap firms that have got international presence, and also as well looking for particular help here in the UK.

 

It's an exciting sector to work in, because I work across a horizontal market, and I'm talking to private equity firms across a whole range of investments. One day I can be talking to them about an investment in a biscuit company, the next day about an oil and gas investment and something within growth capital, and then a very, very large asset that we could be talking about the following day. So every single day brings a different challenge, and it's a really, really good challenge for me to get wise, get smart, if you like, on each individual subject and how we can help them with their needs, and how I can bring in different people within Interim partners to help with the industry-specific knowledge as well.

 

With my clients, I always look to be their principal point of contact from Interim partners, but sometimes I'll talk to a client who might be sector agnostic, and by that I mean, they may invest in six, seven, eight, nine different subjects, but they're actually investing in the type of situation, i.e., it could be a growth play or a turnaround or whatever it may be. So what I will do in those particular situations is, let's say it's a manufacturing client, then I'll look to bring in our head of manufacturing to support me with a conversation. If they want to talk about a retail client that they're looking to invest in, or they currently have in their portfolio, then I'll bring in our head of retail. So I can always tailor our internal solution to what they're looking for.

 

We have a number of good successes where we've utilized our model here, where we've brought in the head of retail, the head of manufacturing, the head of food, into vaious different situations where we've looked to go into a business and replace their CEO on a turnaround basis. We've looked to place in the CEOs, CFOs pre-deal to help them get through the deal process. We have a number of testimonials and case studies that we've worked on where we've put in the exact team into a private equity or venture capital situation, either pre-deal, post-deal, turnaround, or actually just performance improvement that they're looking to achieve.

 

A typical assignment for me would be a client who is spending a lot of time currently in their portfolio, or they're spending a lot of time with their board, and they've realized the actual path that the portfolio company's on is not where the business needs to be. This is where a bulk of my time is spent. So the call will start from having a conversation with my existing client, a private equity house that I've known well and gotten to know over the years. You'll say, "We're thinking about making a change in our management team" It's the CEO, it's the CFO, it's the COO, it's one of those three, typically, where the conversation comes from. Unless we're talking about an assignment in the turnaround space, it could be an executive chairman, a CFO or a CEO.

 

But it usually starts by saying, "We've lost confidence," or "We're going in a different direction," or "The person who's currently in the role has sort of reached their limitations, we need to make the change." So they will then outline the problems, the concerns that they have, or the challenge ahead within the business. We'l l then look to use our internal network and resources with our different heads of practice to get the strongest network and the strongest short list that we can, and then to look to work in partnership with the private equity house, and our guys internally here, to get the best solution for them.