To explore partnership opportunities, please contact: email@example.com
MAY 2017 | DUBAI, UAE
Emerging Risk Market Evolution Emerging Opportunities #GCCISDXB
A platform focused exclusively on the emerging challenges and opportunities in the GCC Insurance landscape
Live Polling on key issues affecting the regional insurance landscape
Informative presentations and panel discussions focused on the central theme of Customer Engagement
The “Connect by ME Global” Mobile Application
Network and meet with more than 200 key decision makers in the regional insurance industry
we make you look great
A custom publication is your organisations best marketing material,
and we create great publications.
To start a conversation about your publication.
A world-class support that creates great results for top-management teams and managers
Pendo CEO Pamela Pecs Cytron discusses how to extract insights from unstructured data in business debate interview
13 WARD HADAWAY SHINES IN SALE OF HOLIDAY COMPANY
GameChangers™ welcomes news and views from its readers. Correspondence should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about GameChangers™ visit www.acq5.com/posts/ gamechangers/ GameChangers™ Copyright © 2017 GameChangers™ No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without permission. SAFE HARBOR The interviews in this publication may contain certain forward looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations of the businesses profiled. These statements and forecasts involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend upon circumstances that will occur in the future. There are a number of factors which could cause actual results or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward looking statements and forecasts. The statements may have been made with reference to forecast price changes, economic conditions and the current regulatory environment. Nothing in these announcements should be construed as a profit forecast.
PRAXISIFM FUNDS GROUP APPOINTS TWO NEW DIRECTORS DUE TO BUSINESS GROWTH
Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg: Lessons on Leading a High-Growth Business
60 SANNE'S CORPORATE AND PRIVATE CLIENT BUSINESS ENHANCED BY NEW DIRECTOR
Political uncertainty drives consumer goods M&A to lowest level since 2011
M&A deal costs: VAT recovery demystified
TEAM David Rogan - President & Editor-In-Chief Jon Van Dyke - Editorial Director James Wiltshire - Publisher EDITORIAL J Robson - Editor-At-Large L. B. Kooler - Deputy Editor P Ramone - Senior Editor J LaRusso - Copy Chief M-C Fisher - Editorial Assistant B Sancheze - Senior Staff Writer ADVERTISING A Bott - Digital Advertising Director J Downey - Advertising Director Z Wolfel - Business Development Director C Thomas - Account Executive H Smith - Account Executive ADMINISTRATION A Kessler - Finance & Admin Director T Dolby - Technology Manager P Hughes - Operations Coordinator T. A. Black - Office Manager
GOOGLE, AMAZON AND NASA SNAP UP NORTH EAST INVENTION A device invented by a North East entrepreneur has been snapped up by some of the world’s largest and most prestigious organisations. Amazon, Google, GCHQ and NASA, are among those who have invested in the SergeantClip, a network and infrastructure cable management system, which can save companies millions of pounds in downtime and loss of service. The SergeantClip is designed to help IT engineers ensure that once a cable has been removed from a device it is replaced in the correct port, reducing the risk of human error, speeding up the process and potentially saving customers money. The clip is slipped around the cables, making it straightforward to plug them back into the right space once the work has been completed. Risk of plugging them back into the wrong port is literally eradicated. The device is the brainchild of 39-year-old IT expert Mark Costigan, from Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, who recognised the scale of the task facing engineers removing – and replugging - large quantities of cables.
“They have to put in a lot of painstaking work upfront to identify and document the correct ports to plug them back into,” said Mark, “and the potential for error in this situation is considerable.” “Someone innocently plugging a cable into the wrong port could literally bring an organisation to its knees and the implications of that can be far reaching. “The SergeantClip removes that possibility and at the same time significantly reduces the time – and the cost – usually involved with this kind of work.” Orders for the SergeantClip have come from organisations including Disney Cruise Lines and the Las Vegas Police Department and it is also being used by a number of educational establishments in both the UK and the USA. Mark’s hope is that, long term; the use of SergeantClip – which is manufactured in the UK - will become standard practice for all networking or cabling.
THE ACCESS CO-DEVELOPMENT FACILITY (ACF) ANNOUNCES THE FIVE AFRICAN RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 COMPETITION Access Power, a developer, owner and operator of power projects in emerging markets in partnership with EREN Renewable Energy a global independent power producer have announced the five shortlisted candidates of the 2017 Access Co-Development Facility (ACF) competition, the third edition of the innovative US$7 million funding and support platform for renewable energy projects in Africa. This year’s projects were selected from a pool of 82 qualifying projects from across the continent, representing a full spectrum of renewable energy technologies. The successfully shortlisted projects will progress to the final stage of the evaluation process where they will have the opportunity to present their projects to a panel of industry experts, comprised of senior representatives from Power Africa, InfraCo Africa, Proparco, the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and Access Power at the Africa Energy Forum in Copenhagen on June 7, 2017. A maximum of three projects will be selected to win a share of the US$7 million prize. The winners will be invited to sign a Joint Development Agreement with Access Power who will together with EREN Renewable Energy, take a majority equity stake and help fund third-party development costs, including feasibility and grid studies, environmental and social impact assessments, as well as due diligence fees.
With the topic of rural electrification in the spotlight during the recent World Economic Forum Africa Summit as one of the key catalysts for economic growth, the ACF is creating a route to market for sustainable energy projects that can combat energy poverty and provide long-term economic growth throughout the continent. From the 23 countries represented in this year’s edition, 18 have rural electrification rates below 30%, further highlighting the challenges faced by many African nations in providing power to those communities. West Africa is a region that has been highlighted as a key growth area for Access Power as well as for renewable energy technologies in general. This was reflected in this year’s applications with over a third of all projects originating from Ghana and Nigeria. Nearly a quarter of project applications hailed from Nigeria, home of the ACF 2015 winning 50MW Abiba solar project as well as the 2016 ACF winner, a 50MW Lagos wind project. The Abiba solar project is approaching financial closure while the Lagos wind project is into the development phase. Meanwhile across the Rift Valley, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda combined make up over a quarter of total project applications in a clear illustration of East Africa’s unique combination of favourable geographical conditions and an increasingly supportive regulatory environment for renewable energy.
The five shortlisted projects are as follows: • Zimbabwe: 75MW Kadoma Solar PV project • Tanzania: 30MW Kondoa Solar PV project • Rwanda: 9.7MW Rukarara Hydro project • Ethiopia: 75MW Beseka Solar project • Ghana: 48MW Winneba Wind project
Southern Africa has also been well represented with a 75MW solar PV plant from Zimbabwe being shortlisted. Zimbabwe in particular is a country with high yet largely untapped solar irradiance, representing an important opportunity for low carbon energy development in a country where only 33% of the population have access to electricity.
BRIEF For the third year in a row, solar projects formed the largest share of projects with just shy of 50% of all submissions. However, there was a diverse split across the remaining project technologies, with increases in the percentage of wind and hybrid technology projects compared to the previous year, demonstrating the ability of the ACF to attract projects of all sizes and across geographies and technologies. Vahid Fotuhi, Managing Director - Access Power commented: “The ACF 2017 is a unique platform that we at Access Power are truly proud of and one that continues to grow. This year’s applications reflect the changing renewable energy landscape across the continent and reemphasize the need for a platform like the ACF which provides support and funding for exciting projects that have the opportunity to change communities, livelihoods and drive economic growth. It is no coincidence that many of this year’s applications have come from countries with low [rural] electrification rates and increasing support for driving access to power across Africa further highlights the value of the programme.”
Christophe Fleurence, Vice-President Business Development – Africa, EREN Renewable Energy, commented: “As it channels international support to promote African talents and opportunities in countries with high growth potential, the ACF demonstrates how local entrepreneurs, private investors and public stakeholders can successfully work together to close bankable, affordable and sustainable power projects. The ACF perfectly illustrates EREN Renewable Energy’s commitment to supporting renewable energy in Africa through innovative ways. After commissioning the Soroti solar power plant in Uganda this year, we have started the construction of a captive hybrid solar project for a mining company in Burkina Faso. In addition, we are continuing our efforts to deploy rural electrification solutions through a transformational technology developed by our partner, Winch Energy.”
VISION247 XTREMEPLATFORM DEPLOYED IN AL MAJD OTT SERVICE FOR ARABIC COMMUNITIES • Vision247’s XtremePlatform deployed for the launch of Hadif - Al Majd TV’s OTT service for global communities • Hadif deploys the most advanced OTT service to deliver to apps and the web Broadcast specialist Vision247 has announced that its XtremePlatform has been chosen and deployed to power CMT Technologies client Al Majd’s new over-the-top (OTT) television service Hadif for global Arabic communities. Vision247 partnered with CMT Technologies, the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) leading solutions provider for IPTV/ OTT services, to deploy the new service. CMT and Al Majd selected Vision247’s XtremePlatform because it provides a fully customisable, true end-to-end OTT TV delivery solution, content delivery network (CDN) streaming and front-end player implementation. Hadif can be accessed via an operator administered content management system (CMS) with restriction capabilities for multiple user groups. Thanks to deployment of the XtremePlatform, Hadif is the first internet streaming solution to be synchronised by world-clock for global delivery of live TV with extremely low latency, ensuring broadcast quality delivery over the internet. Al Majd currently has more than 100,000 direct-to-home (DTH) subscribers. The service will support live TV, video-on-demand (VoD) and catch-up TV in English and Arabic languages. Hadif’s sophisticated electronic program guide (EPG) and VoD metadata enables community-generated ratings and recommendations, making it the most advanced OTT platform. The service offers apps for iOS, Android and the web and is set to expand into smart TVs and set-top-boxes in the next few months. The service provides both free-to-air and subscription content which is facilitated by all of the major internet payment services and also has a voucher code generator for promotions and offers. The Hadif service offers multiple innovative features including: • Cloud TV channel playout module with world clock reference and client side playlist execution • A pay system compatible with: Sage Pay; PayPal; World Pay; Pay Wizard; HyperPay; CashU • Enhanced EPG with instant catch-up feature • Social media sign up, sign in and sharing • Advanced reporting tools • Emoticon star ratings • Recommendations • Advanced user management Tanya Vidmar, Head of International Sales at Vision247 said “The Middle East and North Africa region is one of the fastest growing regions for pay TV, in both subscriber numbers and revenues. Our collaboration with CMT Technologies to launch Hadif will significantly enhance the TV services available to Arabic communities by providing a flexible, multiscreen service that can be
BRIEF viewed on traditional TVs as well as mobile devices.” Eng. Ahmad Aloweid, VP of business, Al Majd said: “The feedback from our customers suggested a desire for flexible multiscreen services. Hadif will provide Arabic communities across the globe with the most advanced OTT service on the market. Thanks to CMT and Vision247, our content can now be viewed regardless of location and TV availability.”
LAWYERS RETICENT TO MOVE JOBS AMID BREXIT UNCERTAINTY ACCORDING TO NEW RESEARCH Vacancies for private practice lawyers have fallen by 13% year-on-year according to new survey data from specialist recruiter, Clayton Legal. And the recruiter believes the fall in advertised positions can largely be attributed to lawyers being reticent to move roles in an environment of uncertainty. The survey, which was compiled based on the recruiter’s comprehensive data on advertised roles, also reveals the regional variations in vacancy decline. London has experienced the most acute drop with available roles down 26% year-on-year, while the North East and the South East experienced the smallest decline (3% and 4% respectively). Other regions where advertised positions fell were the South West (11%) and the North West (18%). The only region which did not note a drop in advertised positions was the Midlands where vacancies levels remained static year-on-year. Despite the overall picture looking somewhat gloomy, there were certain specialisms, which experienced increases in vacancy numbers. Lawyers specialising in family law, for example, were in particular demand across the South and North East where vacancies were up 50% and 65% respectively. Personal Injury specialists have also been highly
sought after with advertised roles up by 27% in the South West. The increased demand for specialist lawyers is indicative not only of increased workloads in these specialisms, but also a skills shortage attributed to lawyers remaining in their current positions for longer due to the uncertain environment Brexit has caused. Commenting on the results of the data, Lynn Sedgwick, Managing Director at Clayton Legal said: “Almost a year has passed since the UK decided to leave the EU and while we have certainly seen lawyers being less committed to a career move, the hiring picture as a whole remains generally healthy. And while there is clearly caution around Brexit, we are also seeing a change in the recruitment strategies of our clients. Many firms are hiring lawyers for newly created positions due to increased workloads instead of replacement hires that are associated with specialists moving between firms. And as Brexit becomes more of a ‘business as usual’ scenario, we’re confident the ‘wait and see’ approach will pass.”
TRANSATLANTIC SUCCESS FOR CLIENT REPORTING FIRM VERMILION Vermilion, a FactSet Company and a leading global provider of client reporting technology and services, has announced its success in major industry awards programs on either side of the Atlantic. Vermilion’s victory at the 2017 FTF News Technology Innovation Awards was a first for the company in the US. Exclusively asset management firms, consultants and other industry personnel determine the category winners, announced by Financial Technologies Forum and FTF News. The honor, for ‘Best Client Reporting Solution’, will be officially received on June 20 at Manhattan’s Dream Downtown Hotel. Meanwhile in Europe, Vermilion has triumphed in the Client Reporting software category at the WealthBriefing European AwardsThe trophy was presented on May 11 in London’s Guildhall. Vermilion sells primarily to asset managers, wealth managers, hedge funds and asset servicing firms. The London-based software firm has over 70 successful implementations on four continents under its belt. In November 2016 FactSet Research Systems acquired the firm. Ben McCormack, SVP Head of Region - Americas at Vermilion Software: “These awards reflect the fact that our clients remain delighted with our service even as our business continues to grow around the world. We would like to thank everyone who voted for us.”2017. The last twelve months have borne some important product enhancements for Vermilion, including a completely new user interface and an enhanced version of its pitchbook creation service, V:Pitch. The firm also recently announced a strategic alliance with Chicago-based automated commentary provider, Narrative Science.
GHANA POISED FOR STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS & PARTNERSHIPS TO SUPPORT NEW VISION ISFIN has teamed up with AB & David Africa, a pan Africa law firm which has offices in Ghana, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and affiliates in Liberia in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Burundi as well as a network of best friend firms that enable us assist clients and friends in 24 African countries. AB & David is recognised for its “commercial perspective” and also is the only firm in Africa to secure Lexcel certification, (a recognised international accreditation for law firms and departments, who meet the highest management and customer care standards) from the Law Society of England and Wales’ AB & David was recently privileged to have advised on the refinancing of a $750m oil and gas plant in Ghana and deal won 2016 IFN Africa Deal of the Year. Prof. Laurent Marliere, CEO of ISFIN, says, “Africa and particularly Ghana is an attractive country for investors due
to its stability and natural resources. The vision of the new government is to create a business friendly environment, accelerate industrialisation, modernise agriculture, improve infrastructure and enhance human capital. This new vision provides opportunities for private sector investment and partnerships particularly from the Middle East, Singapore and Malaysia. “Ghana Muslim population is projected to reach 5.3 million by 2020. A recent survey suggests that considerable number of Ghanaian Muslims would prefer to invest in non-interest bearing instruments or products or donate the interest from interest-bearing accounts to charity. There is therefore an opportunity for Islamic financial institutions to attract funds.
As the country is trying to close its infrastructural funding gap, Ghana will follow the lead of Malaysia or Indonesia and use Islamic financial products such as Sukuk (long term bond) to fund infrastructure and other sectors. Specifically, Ghana could attract the Middle East’s high investible surplus through Islamic banking and finance. For partners, David Ofosu-Dorte and Isabel Boaten, “our focus is simple: to ensure businesses and projects succeed in Africa by helping them minimize the risks associated with doing business in Africa. Our extensive experience gained from working with several businesses, public sector agencies, finance houses, multinational lenders, international organisations and individuals is an excellent resource that helps you do business in the complex Africa environment.
“We believe various opportunities exist in Ghana, not only in Islamic finance but in other halal sectors also. ” Adds Marlière.
Our ability to reduce the bureaucracy and minimize your project and investment risk is priceless value we give to our clients“.
PENDO SYSTEMS SURPASSES TWO MAJOR MILESTONES ON THEIR PATH TO GROWTH Pendo Systems has announced they’ve surpassed two major milestones as they prepare for their formal launch in Q3 2017: the successful completion of their first full deployment of the Pendo Data Platform for a major Global Bank; and their certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). Even ahead of its imminent launch, the Pendo Platform has garnered both recognition and awards such as the Swift Innotribe Top Innovator Award in 2015. Commenting on Pendo’s continued success since accepting the Innotribe Award, Kevin Johnson, Head of Innotribe Innovation Programmes, SWIFT, had this to say: The Pendo Platform revolutionizes the process of accessing data stored across millions of different document types. The Platform is used to gain access and insight to both structured and unstructured data sets, but it is the speed and accuracy with which the Platform can make unstructured data accessible that’s really turning heads. At the heart of the Pendo Platform is an Indexing and Classification algorithm that makes the data instantly searchable using natural search, thus turning millions of unstructured, and unsearchable documents into a structured database that makes visible mission critical information which was previously both difficult, and time-consuming to access. On a recently completed project for a major global bank, the Pendo Platform processed 48 million unstructured documents in just seven weeks, making them instantly accessible and easily searchable — a project that had previously been expected to take four years and an army of consultants to complete. Says Pendo Systems CEO, Pam Pecs Cytron, “The fact of the matter is, data you can’t access or interrogate adds cost to an organization, it’s only when you turn that data into information that you’re able to extract maximum value from it. That’s the beauty of our platform, access to the data you need to save your business money.”
Pendo Systems has also announced they have been certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s largest third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the US. The WBENC certification process imposes strict requirements to prove a business is woman- owned and managed before granting certification. The primary criteria for a business applying for WBENC certification are that it has a majority female ownership (at least 51% by one or more women) and is managed by women. In addition, women must have unrestricted control of the business, and a woman must hold the highest defined title in the company’s legal documents. Pendo is helmed by Pam Pecs Cytron, a veteran financial services executive who serves as Pendo’s CEO and Founder. “We are thrilled that Pendo has earned this honor. The certification process is appropriately rigorous and takes into account many factors including the growth and trajectory of the company,” said Mrs. Pecs Cytron.
MORE DEALS STRUCK IN AUCTIONS AS COMPETITION FOR ASSETS HEATS UP The number of companies worth between €25 million and €50 million sold through auctions more than doubled in 2016 Private-equity firms used auctions to buy and sell assets with greater frequency than ever before in 2016, according to a report by law firm DLA Piper. It’s becoming a seller’s market for secondary private-equity interests Buyers are willing to pay up for interests in buyout funds in the secondary market The popularity of private equity as a way to diversify portfolios has many investors searching the secondary market for interest in buyout funds raised by firms such as KKR & Co. and Blackstone Group. These buyers will have to pay up due to the heightened interest in the secondary market as way of gaining exposure to privateequity.
IT’S BECOMING A SELLER’S MARKET FOR SECONDARY PRIVATE-EQUITY INTERESTS Buyers are willing to pay up for interests in buyout funds in the secondary market The popularity of private equity as a way to diversify portfolios has many investors searching the secondary market for interest in buyout funds raised by firms such as KKR & Co. and Blackstone Group. These buyers will have to pay up due to the heightened interest in the secondary market as way of gaining exposure to private-equity.
â€œGamechanger: A visionary strategist bringing fresh and unique ideas to the table, an individual or business that stands out from the crowd with ideas that inventively change the way a situation develops.â€?
‘CLUB DEALS’ BACK IN VOGUE FOR PRIVATE EQUITY DEALMAKERS
AVIGNON CAPITAL ACQUIRES OPCW HEADQUARTERS IN THE HAGUE FOR €38M
Deal sizes are returning to their pre-2008 levels owing to the ‘dry powder’ accumulated by private equity firms.
Avignon Capital, the European property investment firm, has acquired a purpose-built property in The Hague, let to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), for €38m.
Further, according to Joseph Cohen, a panellist at the 2017 Guernsey Funds Forum in London, it is resulting in a greater number of club deals in the buyout arena as private equity firms team up to complete their deals. “It’s estimated that there’s about £500 billion of capital waiting for deals currently,” said Mr Cohen, Founding Partner of Trilantic Capital Partners. With annual fundraising levels also returning to their pre-2008 levels, coupled with a slower deployment rate, Mr Cohen said it was inevitable that deal sizes were increasing. “You will see the very, very large transactions that by and large were not around post-2009 to 2012/2013. You’re also seeing the return of club deals. For a long time, club deals were a hallmark of the pre-2008 period within the buyout industry. It was actually seen as a dirty word post-2008. Now, unashamedly, it’s back with a lot of transactions and, clearly, you are seeing prices going up,” Mr Cohen told the 450-strong audience. He added that the availability of unitranche debt on relatively generous terms was fuelling much of the activity, a consequence of which was that prices for mediocre assets and businesses were higher than reasonably expected. Fellow panellist Ed Gander, Partner at Weil, said it was a ‘seller’s market’, and likely to remain that way for a while, particularly when taking into account recent interest rate announcements.
The property is located in the International Peace and Justice District of The Hague, home to numerous UN or UN-related organisations. It comprises 16,734 sqm of leasable floor area divided over basement, ground floor and seven upper floors, having been built-to-suit in 1998. OPCW is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force in 1997. As of today, OPCW has 192 Member States, who are working together to achieve a world free of chemical weapons. It is an independent, autonomous international organization, funded by the member countries, with a working relationship with the United Nations. The organisation has made recent improvements in order to upgrade the property’s Energy Efficiency Label: 80% of the office areas have been fitted with movement sensor light-switching, and the HVAC installations saw a complete renovation, upgrading its Energy Label to ‘A’. The building plays host to frequent visits by Heads of State and Heads of Government, and over the years has been the backdrop of several significant political summits, including the 2010 International Cyber Security Summit which was attended by 60 world leaders, and the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit. In 2017, the building is set to host several, regular high level meetings on Chemical Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. Patrick Flaton, CFOO at Avignon Capital, said:
“Because pricing has been so high in a number of sectors, there’s a lot of auctions that go on and there’s obviously only one winner. There are often four, five, six or seven bidders in these auction processes – only one gets the asset. The other four or five are left empty handed and have to go again,” explained Mr Gander. “There’s a great deal of activity out there, but because of the way pricing is going at the moment, it’s actually proved very hard for buyers. It’s definitely a seller’s market in most of the sectors.” The eighth annual Guernsey Funds Forum took place in London on 11 May. Hosted by Guernsey Finance, in conjunction with the Guernsey Investment Fund Association, it was moderated by ITV News anchor Alastair Stewart and featured renowned hedge fund manager Crispin Odey as keynote speaker.
“The deal to acquire the OPCW building presented us with an off-market opportunity to acquire a purpose-built asset that has a strong relationship with the UN and its member nations. “The Hague is widely-regarded as the ‘peace capital’ of the world and at Avignon Capital we are always keen to invest in properties that not only deliver returns, but have a wider positive impact on both society and the environment. “We look forward to continuing the expansion of our footprint both in the Netherlands and other European countries where we see growth potential.” Susanne van Dijkum, Lawyer at Haagstate Advocaten N.V said “We are very proud to have advised Avignon with its second commercial real estate acquisition in the Netherlands. Through this acquisition, Avignon has expanded its portfolio in the Netherlands with a truly unique property, which is a landmark in The Hague.”
This is Avignon Capital’s second acquisition in the Dutch market, following the purchase of the NH Amsterdam Zuid hotel for 48.5m in April 2017. The firm has identified the Netherlands as a focus area within its European expansion strategy, where it sees multiple real estate investment opportunities across a variety of sectors.
£13.5 MILLION BLOCK DRAWING GIVES IMPETUS TO AIM-LISTED FINANCE GROUP Private & Commercial Finance Group (PCFG), the AIM-listed finance group based in the City of London, has drawn down an additional £13.5 million against a £25 million funding facility to support its mobilisation following receipt of its banking licence. PCFG, which offers both hire purchase and finance lease facilities to consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises throughout the UK received its banking licence from the UK regulators, Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in December 2016. The block discounting facility has been provided by Aldermore, the specialist bank, and the drawdown is believed to be amongst the largest single drawings concluded in the market. The funding will help PCFG as it moves through the mobilisation period following receipt of its banking licence, with it’s launch of savings products to retail customers anticipated to take place in the summer of 2017. Since it was established in 1993, PCFG has helped over 60,000 customers with finance to purchase vehicles, plant & machinery and other equipment. The company’s finance portfolio now exceeds £125 million and it has 55 employees. Scott Maybury, Chief Executive Officer at PCFG, said: “I would like to thank Aldermore for their continued support of our business. We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with Aldermore since 2012 and their understanding of our lending markets makes them an ideal long term partner for PCFG.” Lee Rhodes, Commercial Director, Wholesale and Structured Asset Finance at Aldermore, said: “Our relationship with PCFG goes from strength to strength. We were thrilled to offer them our largest ever single block discounting facility and one of the largest facilities that we have seen in the market. As PCFG looks forward to a bright future thanks to its new banking licence, the funding we have provided will ensure that the company has the financial means to meet growing customer demand.”
WARD HADAWAY SHINES IN SALE OF HOLIDAY COMPANY LAW firm Ward Hadaway has been praised for its role in advising on the sale of an online travel agent to a Stock Market-listed group. The Corporate team based at Ward Hadaway’s Newcastle office provided legal advice to the shareholders of sunshine. co.uk on its sale to On The Beach plc for £12m. Based in Cramlington, Northumberland, sunshine.co.uk was started in 2007 and specialises in low cost holidays to destinations around the world, as well as associated services such as car hire and airport transfers. The company has enjoyed significant growth in recent years and in 2016 was named as one of the 50 fastest growing privately-owned companies in the North East in the Ward Hadaway Fastest 50. It has now been sold to On The Beach plc, which operates onthebeach.co.uk, one of the UK’s biggest online travel companies that services over a million customers a year. The Cheadle-based group floated on the London Stock Market in 2015 and also operates an online holiday business in Sweden. Katherine Hay-Heddle, Corporate Partner at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s team advising the shareholders of sunshine. co.uk on the deal, supported by Corporate Solicitors Clare French and Danielle Kelly. Members of Ward Hadaway’s specialist employment, tax, property, IT and data protection teams were also involved in advising on the transaction. Katherine Hay-Heddle said: “We are delighted to have assisted the shareholders of sunshine.co.uk on the company’s successful sale to On The Beach plc. “Our experience in advising on other transactions in the travel sector and in dealing with large public companies stood us in good stead when it came to this important move for sunshine.co.uk “We wish everyone at the company the very best for the future under the ownership of a well-known and highly successful group in the travel industry.” Zoe Stewart, finance director at sunshine.co.uk, said: “Katherine and the team at Ward Hadaway did an excellent job advising on the sale of the company. Their advice was prompt, professional and helped to ensure that the deal reached a successful conclusion.” Convex Capital provided corporate finance advice to the shareholders of sunshine. co.uk on the company’s sale. The transaction is the latest in a series of deals in the travel industry which Ward Hadaway has advised on.
iDEAL BRIEF and talent functions. Artificial Intelligence technologies and data analytics tools both hold significant opportunities for candidate sourcing, selection and retention. And with figures from LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Recruiting Survey finding that 46% of HR leaders are still struggling to attract candidates in high demand talent pools, it’s clear that organisations which embrace technology will have an edge over their competitors.”
Katherine Hay-Heddle, Corporate Partner at Ward Hadaway
Last year, the firm provided legal advice to the shareholders of Gateshead-based Business Travel on its sale to Sunderland-based Hays Travel – the UK’s largest independent travel agent - for an undisclosed sum. Katherine Hay-Heddle, who also led the Ward Hadaway team advising on the sale of Business Travel, said: “The travel industry is a fast-moving sector where there has been a lot of consolidation in recent years. “It remains a very active market with a number of larger companies looking for potential acquisitions to increase their size and influence in the sector. “We will be monitoring the situation closely and stand ready to provide our expertise and experienced advice to companies considering their next corporate moves.”
SALES DIRECTOR ACQUIRES SHARES AT REWARD FINANCE According to new research by global talent acquisition and management firm, Alexander Mann Solutions, 96% of senior HR professionals believe that Artificial Intelligence has the potential to greatly enhance talent acquisition and retention. However, concerningly, over half of professionals are not comfortable with the current pace of technological transformation in their talent function, with 57% believing the innovation within their organisation is too slow. In fact, despite the belief that Artificial Intelligence will enhance the efficiency of their department, just one in four HR leaders currently use such programmes in their HR or talent acquisition function. Laurie Padua, Director of Technology and Operations Consulting at Alexander Mann Solutions, commented on the need for a greater focus on innovation; “It is certainly promising to see that an astounding 96% of senior HR leaders understand the benefits of utilising Artificial Intelligence in their HR and talent functions. Artificial Intelligence technologies and data analytics tools both hold significant opportunities for candidate sourcing, selection and retention. And with figures from LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Recruiting Survey finding that 46% of HR leaders are still struggling to attract candidates in their HR
“With the ‘race to innovate’ intensifying across a wide range of professional sectors, and the business benefits of the early adoption of Artificial Intelligence programmes becoming increasingly clear, it is somewhat unsurprising that 57% of senior HR professionals are not comfortable with the current pace of transformation within their own function. However figures from our latest insight suggest that there is a disconnect between HR’s willingness to innovate, and tangible adoption of Artificial Intelligence technology. Companies who embrace change and are quick to adopt these technologies will have far greater access to in-demand talent pools, while those who fail to act are likely to fall behind.”
PANASEER RAISES $3.25 MILLION IN FUNDING ROUND Investment to fuel international expansion and product development Panaseer, a cyber security data analytics company, has announced that it has raised $3.25 million in further funding from existing investors Albion Ventures, Notion Capital, and Winton Ventures and new investors Paladin Capital Group and Evolution Equity Partners. The new raise brings total investment into Panaseer to $5.6 million. Panaseer offers a big data analytics software platform designed to automate identification, measurement, communication, and mitigation of cyber risk. The Panaseer® Security Data Lake gives data-driven CISOs the continuous visibility and automated reporting capability they need to seamlessly optimise cyber hygiene across their environments and rapidly answer cyber risk questions from executives and regulators. Earlier this year, Panaseer opened its first international office in New York, in response to strong client demand from its growing portfolio of global financial services customers. Panaseer raised $2.25 million in 2015 through a syndicated seed investment round. This new investment from Paladin Capital Group and Evolution Equity Partners – two established and globally focused private equity firms with deep expertise in cyber security – along with the continued support from Panaseer’s existing investors, further validates Panaseer’s product proposition, business model, and execution ability. Nik Whitfield, CEO, Panaseer: “We are delighted to welcome Paladin Capital Group and Evolution Equity Partners to our shareholder team and by the continued strong support we have received from our existing shareholders.
iDEAL BRIEF “This investment is also further validation of a major, unaddressed market problem that enterprises have too much data and too little insight into their cyber security hygiene. Longer term, it also supports our belief that organisations will turn to a single, consolidated knowledge platform for all their cyber security insight needs. By closing this funding with our new and existing shareholder partners, we can drive our strategic aims by enhancing Panaseer’s access to the US and European markets and complete our mission to solve business problems through deep cyber security domain and technology expertise.” Richard Seewald, Founder and Managing Partner, Evolution Equity Partners: “We are excited about the opportunity that Panaseer has ahead of it and its mission to become the leading platform providing insight into the effectiveness and value of security products for enterprise customers. Panaseer has already made significant achievements to help resolve this pain-point and we look forward to working with the company to enter new geographic markets and business segments. We welcome Panaseer to our portfolio of leading cyber security companies.” Christopher Steed, Managing Director, Paladin Capital Group: “We are extremely impressed by Panaseer’s remarkable growth, the rapid adoption of its analytics platform by enterprises, and its strong management team.
This investment will help Panaseer capitalise on the widespread demand for a solution that unifies security data silos and enables boards, CISOs, and security teams to gain the continuous, joined-up visibility of business risk from cyber that is so necessary for enterprises to operate resiliently and achieve success in a hyper-connected world.” Stephen Chandler, Managing Partner, Notion Capital: “We are delighted with the progress at Panaseer since we first invested 18 months ago. The company is addressing a massive market opportunity with a much needed and truly differentiated product offering. The positive reaction from the cyber security ecosystem and ‘big brand’ clients speaks for itself.” Ed Lascelles, Partner, Albion Ventures: “We are thrilled to be supporting Panaseer as it continues to establish itself as a leader in its field and a champion for the UK’s expertise in cybersecurity.” Nick Saunders, COO, Winton Ventures: “We are very pleased to continue our partnership with Panaseer as it leads the way in providing clear data analytics to cyber security decision makers.” Panaseer was advised by Osborne Clarke LLP on the closing of this new financing round.
MAVEN CAPITAL PARTNERS VCT FUNDS INVEST UP TO £1.5M IN SUPERCOMPUTING TECHNOLOGY SPECIALISTS EBB3 Investment will speed up the roll-out of ebb3’s 3D virtualisation solutions Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”), one of the UK’s most active private equity houses, has invested £1 million in ebb3, with the potential for an additional £0.5 million of follow-on funding. ebb3 is an innovative technology services business operating in a niche part of the high performance computing market. It delivers data intensive 3D graphical applications to customers on any device using High Performance Virtual Computers (HPVCs) and its solutions negate the need for businesses to maintain and run traditional fixed location computer workstations across their organisations. ebb3’s technology is able to drive heavyweight applications for the likes of computer assisted design (CAD) or computer generated imagery (CGI) work, delivering 3D graphics without compromising on performance. Its platform allows engineers or designers the freedom to work on any device, anywhere, at any time. ebb3 provides a full Managed Service solution combining the necessary hardware and support to customers. Traditionally heavy graphics applications have required expensive inflexible fixed location single-user workstations. Typical clients have not been able to successfully run their 3D applications through traditional cloud hosted providers with acceptable levels of performance. ebb3’s solution eliminates bottlenecks, improves efficiency and collaboration, reduces the need for travel, improves security and can be accessed from any device. For many customers it can also deliver cost benefits when compared to the purchase and maintenance of traditional workstation computers. The demand for real-time virtualised software solutions is forecast to continue to grow at over 25% per annum. Within ebb3’s niche segment, exponential data growth, and remote working will continue to drive strong demand for 3D graphical applications to be delivered virtually. The technology is being adopted by a number of industries including energy services, construction, and Formula 1 which are well aligned to their solution. The funding from the Maven VCTs will enable ebb3 to significantly scale its skilled workforce of solutions architects and implementation technicians, as well as converting the current pipeline of opportunities. Andrew Ferguson, Partner at Maven, said: “We are very excited to be supporting the team at ebb3 in the roll-out of this disruptive technology. ebb3 has a highly scalable business model with the potential for significant expansion and has already been embraced by key integrators. Given the growth we have seen in the wider market, we are confident that the demand for ebb3’s niche solutions will remain strong in the coming years.
iDEAL BRIEF The highly capable management team led by Mark Vickers has over a century of combined experience, a number of whom are market leaders in their respective fields. We have every confidence in their ability to drive the business forward and deliver shareholder value and we look forward to work together over the coming months and years.” Mark Vickers, CEO at ebb3, said: “We are proud to have secured Maven’s confidence and investment in ebb3. We were able to demonstrate the benefits of our solutions, which can now be used to help more customers make their business mobile, flexible and streamlined. Over the coming months, we look forward to recruiting more talented people to the team and increasing our ability to grow the business rapidly.” Key advisors to the transaction were: • Legal advice by Mills & Reeve, and additionally Gatley PLC • IT due diligence by Intuitus • Commercial due diligence by PMSI • Financial due diligence by HMT
VENDEP CAPITAL LAUNCHES A €40 MILLION VENTURE FUND TO BOOST GROWTH IN EARLY-STAGE SOFTWARE COMPANIES The fund with the target size of €40 million will invest mainly in Finnish startups offering software to B2B customers. The investors are Finnish institutional investors, foundations, family offices and private investors. By the first closing at the end of April, Vendep Capital Fund II has received capital commitments worth over €30 million from more than 20 investors. The fund with the target size of €40 million will invest mainly in Finnish startups offering software to B2B customers. The investors are Finnish institutional investors, foundations, family offices and private investors. Among the investors in Vendep Capital Fund II are for example Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd), KRR II, Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, AI-Partners, and Gerako. The role of Tesi and KRR II as lead investors and their continuing support were vital for the success of the fundraising process. Other investors include foundations, such as the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation and the Saastamoinen Foundation, and several private investors from Vendep’s first fund (Vendep Startup Fund I). A number of the private investors invest in and work with startups, which helps to increase Vendep Capital’s visibility to many sectors and improves deal flow. Vendep Capital’s General Partners have
made a commitment of €1 million in the fund. A typical initial investment will be in the range of €0.5-1 million. The fund’s strategy is to invest in startups offering software to B2B customers, usually on SaaS basis. The potential target companies are expected to have a significant number of customers, and their recurring monthly revenue should be at least €30,000-50,000, with a considerable proportion coming from international markets. Vendep Capital’s General Partners Jupe Arala, Hannu Kytölä, and Sakari Pihlava will all have an active role in the development of the portfolio companies. The goal is to accelerate growth and enable the companies to recruit the best professionals and attract the interest of international investors. In order to ensure international growth and the building of a successful international sales organisation and contacts with international investors, Vendep Capital will employ its partner network based in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and San Francisco. ”The Finnish venture capital market has a pre-series A funding gap. Startups have a hard time raising €0.5-2.5 million of financing that would help them reach the required size and validation for a series A investment round.
Our new fund has been established precisely to fill this gap. We are very happy to see that so many investors in our first fund have made commitments in the new fund as well. Our first fund’s portfolio includes several promising startups. Like AlphaSense, provider of a search engine for knowledge professionals, has exceeded our growth expectations and is the leading player in its field in the US. Right after this launch we are looking to strengthen our team by recruiting a new investment professional in our Helsinki office”, says Vendep Capital’s General Partner Sakari Pihlava. ”It is great to have a new venture capital fund in the Finnish market. Vendep Capital has a good track record as a startup accelerator in Finland and knows the market well. We are looking forward to new success stories”, says Riitta Jääskeläinen from Tesi. After the summer, Vendep Capital will organise the third B2B Camp day for current and potential future portfolio companies. The theme of the event is how to build a SaaS sales team in London and San Francisco. The purpose of the B2B Camp events is to share valuable practical experience with our existing and future portfolio companies.
BACKED BY AMBIENTA, LAKESIGHT INVESTS INTO GERMAN MACHINE VISION COMPANY CHROMASENS Ambienta, the largest European private equity fund specialising in environmental investments, has announced the acquisition of Chromasens GmbH (“Chromasens”) by its portfolio company Lakesight Technologies Holding GmbH (“Lakesight”). Lakesight, based in the Munich area (Germany), is a buyand-build platform in the machine vision sector. Machine vision is a key enabling technology for industry 4.0 and, as such, is expected to further accelerate its penetration in manufacturing applications. Machine vision has substantial environmental benefits, as it is crucial in ensuring quality standards, reducing waste and unnecessary processing, and thus improving energy and materials efficiency. Chromasens, based in Konstanz (Germany), is an innovative and leading company in the machine vision market with a core expertise in line-scan technology, dedicated to the production of cameras, lights and custom imaging solutions. Chromasens has c. 60 employees, the majority of which are in R&D, and sales of c. €10 million. The company was established in 2004 as a result of a management buyout from Ocè Group led by the current managing directors Markus Schnitzlein and Martin Hund. Both managers have been reconfirmed in their positions. Chromasens’ acquisition provides Lakesight with a complementary portfolio of line-scan machine vision cameras and access to 3D and hyperspectral technologies. In addition, Chromasens will strengthen the innovation capabilities of Lakesight and contribute a rich portfolio of blue chip OEM customers. As a result of the acquisition of Chromasens, Lakesight has pro-forma sales of c. €40 million, with substantial further growth potential, both organically and through M&A. The machine vision market features extreme fragmentation. Lakesight aims to consolidate synergic players that can share sales channels, management, resources and growth strategies. Chromasens is the third company of the Lakesight group, as it joins Tattile, acquired in 2012, and Mikrotron, acquired in 2015. Tattile, based in Mairano (Italy), develops, produces and sells machine vision systems for industrial and mobility applications and has become a worldwide leader in cameras for intelligent traffic systems. Mikrotron, based in Unterschleißheim (Germany), is a manufacturer of vision solutions with a leadership position in high-speed cameras. Mauro Roversi, Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Ambienta, commented: “The acquisition of Chromasens is a further step towards the creation of a global leading platform in the machine vision sector which represents a pillar in the technological revolution of industry 4.0, with relevant scale, global reach and a diversified product portfolio.” Giancarlo Beraudo, Principal at Ambienta, added: “Chromasens fits perfectly with Lakesight as it is complementary on all levels, from the
product portfolio to the sales channels and the R&D capabilities.” Markus Schnitzlein, Managing Director of Chromasens, commented: “We are pleased to join Lakesight which we see as a strong partner that can sustain Chromasens in our next phase of development.” Martin Hund, Managing Director of Chromasens, added: “As part of Lakesight we will continue our growth path through investment in new technologies, developing projects with blue-chip customers and expanding our international sales leveraging Lakesight’s resources and sales network.” Lakesight was advised by the law firms Pöllath + Partners and NCTM, by KPMG for the financial and tax due diligence, by Vision Ventures for the business due diligence, by CBA and KPMG for the structuring and by Industrie Consult International as financial advisor. Crédit Agricole Cariparma (acting as Agent) and Banco BPM arranged the financing of the transaction, advised by the law firm Pedersoli.
BEECHBROOK MAKES TWO NEW INVESTMENTS FROM PRIVATE DEBT III Beechbrook Capital, the specialist direct lender, has completed two further investments from its most recent fund, Private Debt III. Beechbrook managing partner Paul Shea commented: ‘We are delighted to have added to the portfolio, investing alongside two high-quality private equity funds. Deployment continues to be on track as we approach the final close of the fund later this year.’ The fund has provided a mezzanine loan and equity coinvestment to support H2 Equity Partner’s acquisition of Search Consultancy, a UK award-winning recruitment business which provides both temporary and permanent staff. Patrick Kalverboer, managing partner, H2 Equity Partners, said: ‘We are pleased to have worked with Beechbrook in providing funding towards the acquisition. Their commercial approach was instrumental in completing this transaction within the tight timeframe.’ The fund has also provided a mezzanine loan and equity co-investment to part-finance the acquisition of Brand Addition by Elysian Capital. Brand Addition is Europe’s largest supplier of promotional merchandise. Elysian Capital investment director, Jack Jacovou, commented: ‘The Beechbrook team delivered a key part of the transaction financing. Their swift decision-making process was a clear differentiator and allowed us to manage the financing process effectively.’ The two transactions mark the fourth and fifth investments made by Beechbrook’s Private Debt III fund, which has now deployed €42.6 million.
YFM EQUITY PARTNERS BACKS MBO OF TEV
People from L-R: Ian Waterfield, YFM, James Carr-Smith, TEV, Tony Hammersley, TEV, Chris Chisman, TEV, Tariq Javaid, Garbutt + Elliott
YFM Equity Partners (“YFM”), the specialist private equity fund manager has backed the MBO of TEV Limited, one of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of cooling, heating and refrigeration equipment. TEV marks the third investment from the YFMEP 2016 Fund, which closed at the end of last month. TEV operates through two widely recognised brands, Marstair and Quartz, both of which offer quality, innovative, bespoke products which are unavailable in the mass market. Marstair supplies air conditioning and refrigeration equipment into a variety of end markets, such as retail, leisure, food manufacture and solutions for harsh climates. Quartz focuses on chilled water cooling solutions for commercial, residential and public sector applications. TEV manufactures in the UK and employs 56 staff at its headquarters in Brighouse, West Yorkshire. Over the past few years, TEV has delivered significant revenue and profit growth and the management team of Tony Hammersley, Chris Chisman and James Carr-Smith, supported by Chairman Chris Brown, is now looking to invest in sales and product to accelerate the growth across all areas of the business. Ian Waterfield, Investment Director at YFM said: “TEV has a strong reputation in this industry and has delivered consistent growth over the last few years. Its focus on energy efficiency in product design and the further tightening of environmental
regulations provides a positive backdrop for the Company to continue to leverage its experience and reputation to harness niche opportunities in the UK and overseas. “This is the third investment from YFM’s recently closed 2016 Fund, which was raised to invest in well-established UK businesses and to support management teams in delivering their ambitious growth plans.” Tony Hammersley, Managing Director at TEV said: “YFM is known for successfully growing UK manufacturing business and so we are thrilled with both their investment and the expertise which they will provide. We are looking forward to working closely with YFM to enable us to deliver our growth plans and reach the Company’s true potential.” TEV was advised by Tariq Javaid of Garbutt + Elliott and Chris Blantern of Schofield Sweeney. Legal advice to YFM was provided by Duncan Firman of Gordons LLP, financial due diligence was carried out by Jeff Gardner and Rob McCarthy of DSW Transaction Services, commercial due diligence by Robin Illingworth of Drystone Strategy Partners, and organisational due diligence and management assessment by Anna Cornwallis of Stratton HR. Santander Growth Capital team, led by Steve Harrison, provided debt finance. The vendors were advised by Oliver Hoffman of Mazars LLP and Sarah Walton of Weightmans LLP.
PRIMARY BACKS £62M MBO OF METAMARK Primary Capital has backed a £62m (€71.65m) MBO of Metamark from the founder shareholders. Metamark is a manufacturer and distributor of self-adhesive sign vinyl and digital print media in the UK, Europe and around the world. It employs 88 people at its manufacturing facility in Lancaster and distribution operations in Woking.
Hendrik Sämisch, co-CEO and co-founder of Next Kraftwerke: “We have seen significant growth of our company with the rise of renewable energy assets in the market and are excited about the continuing opportunities this trend will bring. With this investment, we are looking toward further growth (both organic and acquired) into new European markets, while maintaining a strong relationship with our existing partners and customers. We believe Eneco Group is the right partner for this, since we have a shared vision on the energy transition and its opportunities. Additionally, we are proud that all current shareholders will remain within the company.” The partnership is subject to approval by Germany’s national merger and competition authority, the Bundeskartellamt.
In the year ended 31st March 2017 Metamark had revenues of approximately £29m, with one third coming from export sales to 40 countries.
H.I.G. CAPITAL ANNOUNCES THE SALE ENECO GROUP INVESTS OF BRAND ADDITION IN NEXT KRAFTWERKE Metamark is Primary’s fifth investment from their Primary IV Fund.
Dutch sustainable energy company Eneco Group has acquired a minority interest of 34% in Germany-based Next Kraftwerke, operator of one of the largest Virtual Power Plants (VPP) in Europe. The investment will allow for the further strategic expansion of Next Kraftwerke in Europe and contribute to the joint ambition of Eneco Group and Next Kraftwerke to accelerate the energy transition by means of technology, enabling more renewable and decentralized energy. Next Kraftwerke, founded in 2009 in Cologne, has become one of the largest independent digital aggregators of renewable energy in Europe. The company has a strong position in the German market, with more than 4,000 decentralized assets aggregating more than 2,800 MW of energy capacity. The company offers its customers forecasting and trading of renewable energies, optimized production of distributed assets, and demand response solutions. By connecting to Next Kraftwerke’s VPP, customer assets can be used to balance the grid. Access to ancillary services markets provides customers with further financial benefits. Next Kraftwerke has recently been named one of Europe’s fastest growing companies by the Financial Times and is expanding throughout Europe with operations in Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland. Joeri Kamp, managing director Smart Energy at Eneco Group: “Eneco Group aims to play a leading role in the progress toward decentralized and sustainable energy production and consumption. Digitization and technologies such as Virtual Power Plants will help make this possible. The experience and expertise of Next Kraftwerke in this area will prove to be of great value. Furthermore, we will focus on how this partnership can further accelerate Next Kraftwerke’s international expansion and development of valuable services for its customers.”
H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private equity investment firm with over €20 billion of equity capital under management, has announced that it has sold Brand Addition (“Brand Addition” or the “Company”) to Elysian Capital (“Elysian”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Headquartered in the UK, Brand Addition is a leading global service provider in the design, sourcing and distribution of promotional merchandise to large corporates predominantly in the automotive, engineering, health and beauty, FMCG, technology and financial services industries. Following the carve-out from 4imprint in March 2011, H.I.G. teamed with Chris Lee and the senior executives of Brand Addition to successfully reposition the business, increasing the range of services and geographic reach, and shifting the emphasis to focus on large corporate clients under long term contracts. The acquisition of St Louis based Gateway CDI in January 2016 followed new office openings in Turkey, Russia and China. Today, Brand Addition offers the unique combination of a broad service delivery and global reach in what remains a highly fragmented industry. Carl Harring, Managing Director at H.I.G. Capital commented: “We have enjoyed working with Chris Lee and his team in what has been a successful investment for H.I.G. Assisting in the execution of the strategic plan via international expansion, the targeting of new customer channels and end markets plays to many of H.I.G.’s strengths. Brand Addition today has the global footprint to capitalise on its market leading service proposition. We wish Chris and the team every success in the future.” Chris Lee, CEO of Brand Addition commented: “We would like to thank the team at our outgoing investors H.I.G. Capital for their advice, encouragement and support over the last five years. Under H.I.G.’s ownership, we have successfully internationalised the business, concluding two acquisitions; most recently entering our largest market in the US early last year. We look forward to the continuation of our current growth with Elysian.”
USI EXPANDS BENEFITS PRESENCE IN MIDATLANTIC REGION WITH ACQUISITION OF THE EMPLOYEE BENEFITS BUSINESS FROM THE HARTMAN GROUP Hartman Employee Benefits, Inc., Joins USI, Top Five Employees Benefits Broker in Pennsylvania USI Insurance Services (“USI”) has acquired Hartman Employee Benefits, Inc., (“Hartman Employee Benefits”) from The Hartman Group. Hartman Employee Benefits and its employees will remain at the current Williamsport and State College, Pennsylvania, locations. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Hartman Employee Benefits’ solutions include brokerage consulting, benefits administration technology and services, group and individual health insurance, voluntary employee benefits and group insurance. Prior to USI’s acquisition of Hartman Employee Benefits, The Hartman Group, which was founded by W. Howard Hartman in 1932 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, consisted of The Hartman Agency, Inc., Hartman Employee Benefits, Inc., and Hartman Financial Services operating out of offices in Williamsport, State College and Duncannon. John J. Micale, USI MidAtlantic regional chief executive officer, said: “The team at Hartman Employee Benefits has a long history of industry expertise, world class customer service and unparalleled value. We see their shared-team approach, passion for execution and ability to deliver efficient outcomes as a perfect complement to our operations and with the USI ONE Advantage®. I am pleased to have Jens and his team join our growing family, and we look forward to advancing our benefits practice together in central Pennsylvania and to extending our presence as the preeminent insurance brokerage and consulting firm in the MidAtlantic region.” Jens Thorsen, president, Hartman Employee Benefits Inc., said: “Since our founding, it has been our mission to bring our passion and experience to our clients in a way that positively impacts their businesses. The USI ONE® platform ensures our clients will continue enjoying employee benefits that are better and different than our competition, plus now they will have access to USI’s expanded suite of property-casualty, employee benefits, retirement consulting and personal risk solutions. We are excited to be joining a company that is raising the bar on risk management and employee benefit programs, and we look forward to collaborating with John and his team on accelerating a path for growth in this strategic marketplace.” Michael Gaetano, president of The Hartman Agency, Inc. said: “It is our responsibility to our clients and all stakeholders, including the communities we serve, to offer robust solutions that have a positive economic impact in this ever-changing area of healthcare and health insurance. We are confident USI ONE complements our key tenets of creating measurable value for clients, and it is a strategic pathway for delivering timely and effective benefit programs that will remain supported by Hartman Employee Benefits’ trusted and talented professionals.”
GRIDIRON CAPITAL ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH LEAFFILTER™ New Canaan CT — Gridiron Capital, LLC (“Gridiron Capital”) a private investment firm, is pleased to announce an investment in LeafFilter™ (or “the Company”), the leading provider of gutter protection solutions to residential homeowners in North America. Headquartered in Hudson, OH, LeafFilter™ has been rated the #1 professionally installed gutter protection system on the market. LeafFilter™’s system protects homes from the damages of clogged gutters, including foundation damage, structural issues, and other water-related problems. LeafFilter™’s gutter guards have been scientifically designed to create optimal gutter protection for residential homes. The Company designs, sells, ships, installs, services, and warranties the product directly to the consumer, through its captive field office networks. LeafFilter™ also offers a lifetime, transferrable warranty, adding resale value for future home sales. The Company has developed a powerful sales & marketing platform to drive growth and demand for its top-rated, patented gutter protection solutions. Matt Kaulig, Owner & President of LeafFilter™ stated, “We are extremely proud of the Company we have built over the past 12 years
and are excited to partner with Gridiron Capital as we enter our next phase of growth. Our team was eager to work with Gridiron Capital who shares our entrepreneurial and performance driven culture and has significant experience partnering with founder-owned businesses. Gridiron Capital’s strategic, marketing and operational expertise will be instrumental to accelerating our growth and allowing us to provide more to our satisfied customers. We’ve already experienced significant growth since partnering with Gridiron Capital in September 2016. It’s proving to be a tremendous relationship.” Tom Burger, Managing Partner of Gridiron Capital stated, “Having significant experience with our own family-owned businesses, we are impressed by the strong foundation Matt has built with LeafFilter™. The hard work and dedication of him and his team mirror the same values and culture we have at Gridiron Capital. We are looking forward to helping to build and grow an already outstanding company.” Joe Saldutti, Managing Director at Gridiron Capital, added, “We were able to work collaboratively with Matt and his team prior to the investment to map out a clear growth strategy and plan for the resources needed to scale the company. We’re excited to have the opportunity to partner with the LeafFilter™ team as they continue to build and expand their business.”
MOURANT OZANNES ACTS ON TOP THREE PRIVATE EQUITY TRANSACTIONS IN FIRST QUARTER 2017 Mourant Ozannes, a leading offshore law firm, advised on three of the most significant private equity transactions in Europe during the first quarter of 2017, according to the league tables published by global deal research agency, Pitchbook. Pitchbook’s latest report, entitled 1Q 2017 European PE Breakdown, includes the largest PE exit and the largest PE fund closing. Mourant Ozannes lawyers led on the offshore aspects of three of the top deals, including the sale of Delta Topco Limited’s Formula One business to Liberty Media Group ranked first among “Select Largest European PE-Backed Exits,” and two top-ranked fund closings highlighted in “Select Largest Closed European PE Funds”: Crescent Mezzanine Partners VII (“Fund VII”), which closed January 12 at more than US$4.6 billion, and HgCapital 8, which closed February 15 at £2.5 billion.
Mourant Ozannes Partner and International Head of Funds, Ben Robins, said: “It has certainly been a busy quarter and we are very proud to have been involved in the largest closing identified by Pitchbook so far this year, exceeding an initial fundraising target of $3.0 billion and representing the largest private mezzanine offering in Crescent Mezzanine’s history.” “The private equity market remains buoyant despite underlying issues with significant levels of dry powder. Sentiment across the private equity industry globally remains upbeat as we near the half year point.” Mourant Ozannes’ private equity specialists advise clients across the entire life cycle of the asset class, from fund formation, through investment, to exits and beyond. The firm’s team of more than 40 professionals handles complex, cross-border matters for many of Europe’s highest-profile and most prestigious funds and transactions.
Ben Robins Mourant Ozannes Partner
In April 2017 Chambers and Partners at the Chambers Europe Awards named the firm ‘Offshore Law Firm of the Year’. PitchBook is a leading research firm that gathers, analyzes and distributes data on venture capital, private equity, and merger and acquisitions. Its quarterly report, produced in partnership with Merrill Corporation, covers deal flow, exits, and fundraising across Europe.
IK INVESTMENT PARTNERS TO ACQUIRE MESSERSCHMITT SYSTEMS IK Investment Partners (“IK”) has announced that the IK Small Cap I Fund has reached an agreement with the founder to acquire Messerschmitt Systems AG (“Messerschmitt Systems” or “the Company”), a leading provider of access control and customised guest room management systems for the global hotel industry. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed. Founded in 1994, Messerschmitt Systems has gained a reputation for combining system integration and product design, providing its clients with cutting-edge solutions which increase guest comfort and save energy. More than 2,000 hotels worldwide trust the Company’s multifunctional ‘Room Management Systems’ and innovative ‘Access Control Systems’. Founded by Hartmut Messerschmitt, the Company has grown into a leader within its niche with a fully integrated value chain from development, engineering and manufacturing to supply, installation and the related aftersales market. “For more than 20 years, Messerschmitt Systems has set the standards in access control and guest room management systems for the premium and upscale hotel industry. It has truly been an extraordinary journey to take part of. The Company now enters its next phase of development, with Jürgen Roth as the CEO and IK as their partner. This gives me great confidence in the future of the Company,” said Hartmut Messerschmitt, Founder of Messerschmitt Systems. “As the founder and former CEO of Messerschmitt Systems we would like to thank Hartmut Messerschmitt for his outstanding contribution to Messerschmitt Systems over the many years. Messerschmitt Systems is well-positioned to further capitalise on the growth opportunities in our sector by entering into new geographies and developing our business model. We are pleased to be working with IK given their considerable experience of growing businesses and international network,” said Jürgen Roth, CEO of Messerschmitt Systems. “We had identified Messerschmitt Systems as a business with a very good product and service portfolio as well as a strong niche market position in an attractive market environment driven by hotel developments and renovations, resulting in a long-term profitable growth track record. The Company has a well-diversified customer base as well as a platform for international expansion. We thank Hartmut Messerschmitt for his trust in IK to continue the development of his company and we are excited to support Jürgen Roth and his team to further strengthen the Company’s position and drive growth,“ said Anders Petersson, Partner at IK Investment Partners and advisor to the IK Small Cap I Fund.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL ENHANCE TALENT ACQUISITION; SAY 96% OF SENIOR HR PROFESSIONALS According to new research by global talent acquisition and management firm, Alexander Mann Solutions, 96% of senior HR professionals believe that Artificial Intelligence has the potential to greatly enhance talent acquisition and retention. However, concerningly, over half of professionals are not comfortable with the current pace of technological transformation in their talent function, with 57% believing the innovation within their organisation is too slow. In fact, despite the belief that Artificial Intelligence will enhance the efficiency of their department, just one in four HR leaders currently use such programmes in their HR or talent acquisition function. Mann Solutions, commented on the need for a greater focus on innovation; “It is certainly promising to see that an astounding 96% of senior HR leaders understand the benefits of utilising Artificial Intelligence in their HR and talent functions. Artificial Intelligence technologies and data analytics tools
both hold significant opportunities for candidate sourcing, selection and retention. And with figures from LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Recruiting Survey finding that 46% of HR leaders are still struggling to attract candidates in high demand talent pools, it’s clear that organisations which embrace technology will have an edge over their competitors.” “With the ‘race to innovate’ intensifying across a wide range of professional sectors, and the business benefits of the early adoption of Artificial Intelligence programmes becoming increasingly clear, it is somewhat unsurprising that 57% of senior HR professionals are not comfortable with the current pace of transformation within their own function. However figures from our latest insight suggest that there is a disconnect between HR’s willingness to innovate, and tangible adoption of Artificial Intelligence technology. Companies who embrace change and are quick to adopt these technologies will have far greater access to in-demand talent pools, while those who fail to act are likely to fall behind.”
BROCKHAUS PRIVATE EQUITY ACQUIRES A STAKE IN TRAVEL INDUSTRY SOFTWARE SPECIALIST PEAKWORK AG Trend towards global digitalisation in tourism creates marked growth potential Brockhaus Private Equity, an independent growth investor focusing on innovation and technology leaders, has acquired a stake in Peakwork AG. The software specialist provides a high performance platform for travel distribution and leads the way in digitalising the global tourism sector. Headquartered in Dusseldorf, the company has over- seas representations in the US, the UK and Singapore. Peakwork will use the new ownership structure to enhance its proprietary technology and press ahead with its global expansion. The cross-industry fund “Brockhaus Private Equity III“ acquired a stake in Peakwork via a capital increase and the purchase of shares from existing shareholders, who will continue to hold a majority stake in the firm. As a leading provider of software solutions for the travel industry, Peakwork is a key trailblazer in the global trend towards digitalising the tourism sector: Peakwork’s unique Player- Hub-Technology®, allows for travel offerings – ranging from package tours to individual ho- tel offers and flights – to be distributed online and be made available to consumers in real time via all sales channels, such as Google, Kayak, Tripadvisor or Facebook. Any data request from end users can be answered within milliseconds via Peakwork’s technology, a feat made possible through the background processing of billions of data sets. This unrivalled speed is a major reason why global tourism and online companies such as Google, Facebook and Tri- padvisor are relying on this technology and have chosen Peakwork as their strategic partner. “Peakwork holds a special place among Germany’s fast growing technology firms“, explains Marco Brockhaus, founder and CEO of Brockhaus Private Equity. “The company offers a disruptive and highly scalable platform in an extremely dynamic market. The situation is remi- niscent, among others, of Wirecard and 360T, two extraordinary success stories we helped to shape as an investor. Our investment in Peakwork seeks to continue in this tradition“, comments Brockhaus. Ralf Usbeck, CEO of Peakwork AG, adds: “As well as taking our software to the next level of automation, we are currently on the brink of entering further new markets in Asia. At the same time, we are greatly strengthening our partner platform through the addition of global travel and hospitality offerings. The investment by Brockhaus Private Equity will help us gain extra speed, just as our first investor, TUI Ventures, has enabled us to grow more quickly.“ Frank Rosenberger, TUI Group’s CIO: “Our shared role as committed long-term investors in Peakwork provides us with excellent opportunities to accelerate our growth. Peakwork’s groundbreaking IT solutions and its highly scalable business model are helping TUI expand into new markets, such as China or Brazil. In addition, they enable us to develop a digital framework for tourism that will benefit the entire industry.“
BGF BACKS ONLINE WEDDING GIFT LIST PLATFORM PREZOLA The Business Growth Fund (BGF) has backed the online wedding company Prezola with a £3m investment. Launched on Valentine’s Day in 2012 by husband and wife team Dom and Ali Beaven, the business has already sold over a million wedding gifts. BGF’s funding will be used to develop mobile app technology that will allow customers to create and share their wedding plans and gift lists online and on the move. David Kelly, who has held a series of board positions at companies like Amazon and lastminute.com, will join Prezola as chairman.
BROCKHAUS PRIVATE EQUITY ACQUIRES MINORITY STAKE IN PEAKWORK Growth investor Brockhaus Private Equity has acquired a minority stake in travel industry software business Peakwork. The investment has been made via a capital increase and purchase of shares from existing shareholders, who will continue to hold a majority stake in the firm.
enabled us to grow more quickly,” Ralf Usbeck, chief executive officer of Peakwork, said. Peakwork’s software allows for travel offerings – ranging from package tours to individual hotel offers and flights – to be distributed online and be made available to consumers in real time via sales channels including Google, Kayak, Tripadvisor or Facebook.
“The investment by Brockhaus Private Equity will help us gain extra speed, just as our first investor, TUI Ventures, has
Headquartered in Dusseldorf, Peakwork has overseas representations in the US, the UK and Singapore.
CONSORTIUM ADVISES THE LENDERS ON A SYNDICATED LOAN GRANTED TO GRUPO MONGE Consortium advised the lenders on a syndicated loan for US$120,000,000.00 granted to different entities comprising Grupo Monge in Panama, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Grupo Monge is a regional company dedicated to the sale and financing of home and electrical appliances, furniture, and other household items, with headquarters in Costa Rica and presence and operations in the aforementioned countries. Grupo Monge operates under the following brands: El Gallo Más Gallo, Monge, El Verdugo, Prado and Serpento, and currently has more tan 500 stores. In addition, it has several social assistance programs and scholarships for low income students in Central America. The loan was granted by the following entities: Bancolombia Puerto Rico Internacional Inc., Banco Industrial S.A., BAC Florida Bank, Banco Cuscatlan de El Salvador, S.A., Banco Aliado, S.A., BHD International Bank (Panama), S.A., Banco Internacional de Costa Rica, S.A., Banco Panama, S.A., BAC International Bank, Inc., Bancaribe Cuaraçao Bank N.V., Towerbank International, Inc.,
Unibank, S.A.,Banco Ficohsa (Panamá) S.A., Brickell Bank, Bi-Bank, S.A., and Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, S.A., which also acted as Administrative Agent for the Lenders. The financing documents are comprised by: (i) loan agreement, regulated under the laws of New York, (ii) guaranty agreement, regulated under the laws of New York, (iii) subordination agreement, regulated under the laws of New York, (iv) promissory notes for each Lender, according to their individual commitment, regulated under the laws of New York, and (v) promissory notes for each Lender, according to their individual commitment, regulated under the laws of Costa Rica. The different offices of Consortium Legal acted as local legal advisors for the Lenders, and were in charge of the negotiation and review of the New York law financing documents under a local law perspective (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica). The firma was also in charge of coordinating with Grupo Monge and the Lenders, the documentations and compliance with
all conditions precedent required for the disbursement of the loan, including corporate resolutions, powers of attorney, among others. Additionally, each office was in charge of issuing a closing legal opinion for the benefit of the Lender regarding the scope of the transaction from a local law perspective. Also, Consortium Legal – Costa Rica was in charge of the negotiation, preparation and review of the promissory note regulated under Costa Rica law. Additionally, Consortium Legal – Costa Rica acted as regional coordinator and contact between all of the Consortium offices, the Lenders, Grupo Monge, and all other legal firms involved in the transaction. Being a syndicated loan regulated under the laws of New York, with promissory notes regulated both under the laws of New York and the laws of Costa Rica, and with borrowers and lenders located in different jurisdictions, this required that during the process of negotiation, preparation and review of the financing documents, legal and other relevant aspects of all relevant jurisdictions were reviewed and agreed.
Also, due to the number of parties involved in the transaction, and being that Consortium Legal – Costa Rica acted as lead coordinator and centralized point of contact between them, the negotiation and coordination process was very dynamic. Consortium advised the lenders through a team consisting of Partners Mario Quesada Bianchini, Randall Barquero León, Rafael Alvarado, Oscar Samour, and Rodrigo Taboada, Senior Associate José Ramón Paz Morales and Associates
Susana Raventós Chaves, María Isabel Briz, Felipe Aragón and Andrés Cuadra. Holland and Knight LLP acted as Legal advisors to Lenders in New York through Laura Guemes and Stephen Double. Arifa acted as Legal advisors to Lenders in Panama through Fernando Arias. Garrigues acted as Legal advisors to Lenders in Peru through Jorge Fuentes.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as Legal advisors to Grupo Monge in New York through Pablo Richards. Vector Legal acted as Legal advisors to Grupo Monge in Costa Rica through Jessica Salas. In-house Lawyers: • Jorge Luis Real. • President of Loan Structuring Alejandro Jaramillo. • Vicepresident of Loan Structuring Andrea Cuadrado.
LOGIX COMMUNICATIONS TO ACQUIRE ALPHEUS COMMUNICATIONS Business Combination Creates One of the Largest Metro Fiber Operators in Texas LOGIX Communications (“LOGIX”), a market-leading fiber-optic bandwidth infrastructure services provider based in Texas, has announced the completion of definitive agreements to acquire Alpheus Communications (“Alpheus”) from its current private equity owners, The Gores Group and Scott Widham. Alpheus is a leading provider of metro-regional fiber, data center and managed network solutions to enterprise customers and wholesale customers in Texas. With the acquisition of Alpheus, LOGIX will add 2,800 route miles of long haul fiber and 1,900 route miles of metro fiber to its existing network. “The acquisition of Alpheus further strengthens LOGIX’s position as a leading fiber-optic communications provider in Texas,” said Matt Murphy, LOGIX interim CEO and Partner at Astra Capital Management. “The combined company will serve over 12,300 enterprise and carrier customers with a complete portfolio of data, voice, managed and data center services. With an extensive fiber footprint in four of the fastest growing cities in the country – Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio – LOGIX immediately becomes one of the largest fiber operators in Texas, offering superior local customer care and support to its clients.” “For over 20 years and throughout our partnership with Gores, Alpheus has built an outstanding reputation as being very flexible and responsive to customer needs when low-latency and uptime are essential,” said Alpheus CEO Scott Widham. “By combining operations with LOGIX, we are creating a powerful regional provider of scale in Texas. The combined networks and products will allow us to offer the very best to our carrier and growing enterprise customer base. LOGIX shares our dedication to superior, locally based customer care teams and total commitment to network reliability. Together, we anticipate strong growth and success for our clients and employees.” Mark Johnson, Managing Partner at Astra Capital Management and member of the LOGIX board of directors, added, “Alpheus’ network complements LOGIX’s operations by adding significant fiber assets, five data centers, managed services, a wholesale business, agent channel and a high-quality customer base enabling LOGIX to accelerate the growth of its operations.” The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017, following the satisfaction of customary regulatory closing conditions. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey will serve as lead arranger and bookrunner for the acquisition financing. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
MAITLAND LANDS IN SCOTLAND WITH EDINBURGH ACQUISITION Global advisory and administration firm continues ambitious global growth project with acquisition of the Edinburgh subsidiary of R&H Fund Services (Jersey) Limited. Maitland, the global advisory and fund administration firm, has announced the acquisition of the Edinburgh based R&H Fund Services Limited from Jersey-based fund administrator R&H Fund Services (Jersey) Limited. The move is the latest chapter of an impressive period of global expansion for Maitland, following the acquisition of UK-based Phoenix Fund Services and the opening of offices in Miami and New York. R&H’s Edinburgh office is primarily focused on the Investment Trust sector and currently service eight funds, representing a total Assets under Administration of
approximately £2bn a total Assets under Administration of approximately £2bn (bringing Maitland’s total AuA worldwide to over £220bn). The deal will allow the business to draw on Maitland’s considerable size, resources and global expertise - including its market-leading ACD and AIFM solutions - while providing Maitland with a foothold in the UK’s second largest financial centre. There will be no disruption to the R&H Edinburgh team. Its existing staff - who are widely known and respected locally and internationally, for their skill and expertise - will continue in their current roles. From a client perspective, it will be business as usual with additional opportunities and resources that result from being part of the wider Maitland firm.
Steve Georgala, CEO of Maitland, said: “Given its importance as a regional financial centre, Edinburgh presented itself as a logical next step in our ambitious global growth programme. The excellent track record of R&H Fund Services’ Scottish business, make it a perfect fit for us, and an ideal base from which to bring the wider Maitland offering to the Scottish market. We believe that our combined strengths will open up significant opportunities for growth.” Martin Cassels, Director of R&H’s Edinburgh business added: “Since we started our Scottish operation in 2011 we have prided ourselves on the quality of service we provide, which has been borne out by the reputation we have acquired. Our commitment to our clients remains as strong as ever, and by joining the wider Maitland firm we will be able to draw on its size and resource to enhance our offering in a number of key areas, particularly ACD and AIFM solutions. We look forward to a bright future together.”
OVER 3,000 DEALMAKERS HAVE THEIR SAY ON M&A ACTIVITY Intralinks Deal Flow Predictor Sentiment Survey Every quarter we poll dealmakers worldwide to identify what keeps them up at night and to gain their insights into M&A activity and pipeline. This time, over 3,000 dealmakers responded. What’s going well? The M&A industry looks strong, from a volume and value perspective. We found 46 percent of global dealmakers expect to participate in more deals over the next six months than in the previous six months; and 48 percent expect the total value of announced deals in their region to be higher over the next six months, compared to the previous six months. What’s keeping dealmakers awake at night? Two words. Donald Trump (and his new US administration). Now, this does not seem surprising considering Trump’s new trade reforms and protectionist rhetoric. Conversely, Britain’s impending departure from the European Union is not a major concern for global dealmakers, just Europeans. However, 40 percent of global dealmakers believe Britain’s triggering of Article 50 will decrease cross-border M&A activity between the UK and their region. At the time of writing, UK Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap general election, seeing the pound surge by 1.6 percent (probably on the premise that a softer Brexit may be on the cards). Many blue-chip companies benefitted from a weak pound post the Brexit vote; so if it continues to perform strongly, this may stall UK deals temporarily. Also, 51 percent of dealmakers globally think the recent interest rate rise by the Federal Reserve (Fed) will not impact M&A activity in their region. Even if the Fed revises rates a few times this year, they’ll still be low. Interest rates are part of the “perfect storm conditions” for the M&A industry. Low interest rates, low
inflation and sluggish economic growth mean companies do more M&A transactions, and small, incremental Fed adjustments shouldn’t impact M&A appetites. What about China? China’s latest outbound M&A figures from Q1 2017 are causing some concern, with value dropping by $23.8bn, according to Thomson Reuters. But Asia-Pacific (APAC) dealmakers are the only ones worried about the impact of the Chinese economy on the M&A industry, with the exception of Japan: Japanese respondents thought a sluggish Chinese economy is less of a concern than President Trump’s administration. Clearly other global regions believe they can engage other buyers from elsewhere without Chinese involvement. Can data breaches really lead to deal failure? In our last industry survey blog, we discussed how much valuation could be discounted if there was a data breach at a target company – and our estimate was up to $3bn. This quarter, some global respondents indicated that a deal would not go ahead at all should a target company experience a breach: At least a fifth of respondents in Latin America (LATAM), Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and APAC believe a bidder would withdraw if there was a data breach. In Japan, this number surged to 35 percent. Only 15 percent believe this would be the case in North America (NA), which is a signal that cybersecurity challenges are not a top priority for dealmakers in the region. If NA companies want to attract global buyers, we would strongly advise they review their cybersecurity due diligence during a cross-border deal, as other regions are taking data breaches and cybersecurity issues more seriously in 2017.
NEW ISLE OF MAN ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT SCHEME DEALS • Nimbus Medical Holdings Limited has been awarded funding to support its InterCare® integrated technology platform, relocating its premises and creating new jobs on the Island • New start-up Scout4’s app for construction workers has also received EDS investment • More than £1.2 million of funding has been committed to help bring new businesses to the Island and expand existing on-Island firms. New Isle of Man Enterprise Development Scheme (“EDS”) investments have been completed in the last month, SPARK Impact Limited (“SPARK”) has confirmed. Nimbus Medical Holdings Limited is one of the businesses which have been awarded funding to continue to develop and expand its InterCare® system. It allows medical professionals to monitor patients remotely, enabling them to live safely at home. Founded in Merseyside in 2014, the technology firm has received equity investment as part of the EDS to support its expansion plans. As a result, Nimbus relocated to premises in the Isle of Man in late 2016 and has already created three new jobs on the Island.
Another business to recently receive EDS support is start-up Scout4. Registered in the Isle of Man, the new company has launched an app-based marketplace for the UK construction industry, called Jobhawk, which in just a handful of weeks has attracted hundreds of users. Several other agreements have also been reached and funding of more than £1.2 million has been committed to help bring new businesses to the Island and expand existing on-Island firms. Mark Borzomato, Investment Director at SPARK said: ‘There continues to be a great deal of interest in the EDS, coming from a number of sectors, including healthcare, eCommerce and technology. The huge potential of the EDS is being realised and we are actively involved in further discussions which we hope will lead to more deals being completed soon.’ SPARK was appointed in March 2016 by the Isle of Man Government Department of Economic Development to run the Accelerator and Relocator elements of the £50 million Enterprise Development Scheme (EDS). Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for the Isle of Man Department of Economic Development, commented: ‘The EDS is already starting to show promising results, with the first deals resulting in real business growth on the Isle of Man. We are truly an ‘Island of Enterprise and Opportunity’ with an established ecosystem of business support, finance and supplementary services to help new and existing companies grow.’ Nimbus has developed the InterCare® integrated technology platform which enables the elderly and chronically ill to safely live at home rather than in a hospital or care home
setting. InterCare® utilises sophisticated software to allow medical professionals to set healthcare parameters, such as blood pressure and temperature, which can be monitored remotely by the computer system and can alert the medical professional on an exception basis when the parameter is outside the expected. The platform not only improves care and quality of life for the patient, but can contribute to savings which average 37% in the recent trial. NHS trusts in the north of England are already using InterCare®, and Nimbus is ready to roll out the system to more users. Chief Executive Officer John Curtis, who has moved to the Island, said: ‘We have relocated the business to the Island, where we can take advantage of the excellent infrastructure and expertise of the business community to grow Nimbus.’ Start-up Scout4’s Jobhawk is a new concept for the industry, matching construction workers such as carpenters and bricklayers with major subcontractors, with an app which easily allows them to find jobs, apply and get hired. Chief Executive Officer Steve Langkamp said: ‘The Isle of Man is an excellent location for an e-business like Jobhawk. We’ve had super support from the Bridge Angel Network and many local businesses, including KPMG, Middleton Katz, Keystone Law and Greenwave Accounting. ‘In a very short time we have seen hundreds of skilled tradespeople and many subcontractors sign up to Jobhawk, including major UK industry names like Pantera Carpentry, Wolfe Bricklaying Contractors and T&K Timber Engineering. ‘With the firm foundation of the EDS equity investment we will be looking to expand our team and grow the business further from the Isle of Man.’
USI EXPANDS BENEFITS PRESENCE IN MIDATLANTIC REGION WITH ACQUISITION OF THE EMPLOYEE BENEFITS BUSINESS FROM THE HARTMAN GROUP Hartman Employee Benefits, Inc., Joins USI, Top Five Employees Benefits Broker in Pennsylvania USI Insurance Services (“USI”) has acquired Hartman Employee Benefits, Inc., (“Hartman Employee Benefits”) from The Hartman Group. Hartman Employee Benefits and its employees will remain at the current Williamsport and State College, Pennsylvania, locations. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Hartman Employee Benefits’ solutions include brokerage consulting, benefits administration technology and services, group and individual health insurance, voluntary employee benefits and group insurance. Prior to USI’s acquisition of Hartman Employee Benefits, The Hartman Group, which was founded by W. Howard Hartman in 1932 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, consisted of The Hartman Agency, Inc., Hartman Employee Benefits, Inc., and Hartman Financial Services operating out of offices in Williamsport, State College and Duncannon. John J. Micale, USI MidAtlantic regional chief executive officer, said: “The team at Hartman Employee Benefits has a long history of industry expertise, world class customer service and unparalleled value. We see their shared-team approach, passion for execution and ability to deliver efficient outcomes as a perfect complement to our operations and with the USI ONE Advantage®. I am pleased to have Jens and his team join our growing family, and we look forward to advancing our benefits practice together in central Pennsylvania and to extending our presence as the preeminent insurance brokerage and consulting firm in the MidAtlantic region.” Jens Thorsen, president, Hartman Employee Benefits Inc., said: “Since our founding, it has been our mission to bring our passion and experience to our clients in a way that positively impacts their businesses. The USI ONE® platform ensures our clients will
continue enjoying employee benefits that are better and different than our competition, plus now they will have access to USI’s expanded suite of property-casualty, employee benefits, retirement consulting and personal risk solutions. We are excited to be joining a company that is raising the bar on risk management and employee benefit programs, and we look forward to collaborating with John and his team on accelerating a path for growth in this strategic marketplace.” Michael Gaetano, president of The Hartman Agency, Inc. said: “It is our responsibility to our clients and all stakeholders, including the communities we serve, to offer robust solutions that have a positive economic impact in this ever-changing area of healthcare and health insurance. We are confident USI ONE complements our key tenets of creating measurable value for clients, and it is a strategic pathway for delivering timely and effective benefit programs that will remain supported by Hartman Employee Benefits’ trusted and talented professionals.”
SHOOSMITHS ADVISES SHAREHOLDERS OF TSC INSPECTION SYSTEMS ON ITS ACQUISITION BY EDDYFI TECHNOLOGIES National law firm Shoosmiths has advised the shareholders of TSC Inspection Systems, which include long standing client Octopus Investments, on the company’s acquisition by market-leading Eddyfi Technologies. Headquartered in Milton Keynes, TSC has significantly contributed to electromagnetic testing technologies over the last 30 years. TSC’s ACFM technology is accepted as one of the most reliable methods of detecting surface-breaking cracks in steel structures and metallic components and is specified by owners and operators of safety-critical infrastructure worldwide. Established in 2009 and headquartered in Quebec, Canada, Eddyfi Technologies provides test instruments for the inspection of critical components and assets in a range of markets including oil & gas, nuclear, aerospace and heavy industries. Its acquisition of TSC reinforces Eddyfi’s presence in the UK and broadens the
company’s portfolio of technologies and addressable markets. The Shoosmiths team was led by corporate partner Alastair Peet with senior associate Alistair Hammerton and paralegal Alice Sedgley assisting and tax partner Kate Featherstone advising on tax related aspects. Grant Paul-Florence, Head of Intermediate Capital, Octopus Investments, commented: ‘Eddyfi’s extensive resources and investment will ensure the further development of TSC’s innovative technologies and accelerate its market share, particularly in the oil and gas offshore applications. ‘Shoosmiths has once again provided invaluable legal advice to ensure the most beneficial deal was achieved for the TSC shareholders and we look forward to continuing our strong working relationship on future projects.’ Alastair Peet added: ‘We are really pleased to have advised Octopus
Investments and the other shareholders of TSC on this transaction and assisting in securing the best possible outcome for all parties involved. We wish Eddyfi and TSC the best of luck in their future endeavours.’ Shoosmiths’ corporate team advises public and private companies, management teams, investors and debt providers through the business life cycle. Shoosmiths work with businesses from start-up and first round finance through to mergers and acquisitions, MBO and MBI transactions, development funding and on exits, by way of sale, listing or private equity investment. Nationally, the corporate team is ranked in first place by deal volume in Experian’s 2016 MarketIQ UK & Ireland M&A league tables. The team was recognised for its mergers and acquisitions expertise at the 2015 M&A Awards, winning the Law Firm of the Year category.
NBPE ANNOUNCES VALUATION UPLIFT FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCED ACQUISITION OF PATHEON NB Private Equity Partners (“NBPE” or the “Company”) has announced an increase in valuation of its second largest equity position, an investment in Patheon (NYSE: PTHN). This follows Patheon’s announcement on 15 May 2017 that it was to be acquired by Thermo Fisher for $35 per share. As of 31 March 2017, Patheon represented approximately 2.3% of NBPE’s diversified portfolio, with a fair value of approximately $17.3 million. At the acquisition price of $35 per share, NBPE’s position is valued at approximately $22.9 million, resulting in a valuation uplift of approximately $5.6 million, or $0.12 per Share to NBPE’s 31 March 2017 carrying value. On 15 May 2017, the closing price of Patheon was $34.60 per share. Patheon is a pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization. NBPE initially invested in Patheon in March 2014 alongside JLL Partners. Thermo Fisher’s acquisition of Patheon represents a purchase price of approximately $7.2 billion, including the assumption of approximately $2.0 billion of net debt. The transaction, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals, the adoption of certain resolutions relating to the transaction at an Extraordinary General Meeting of Patheon’s shareholders, and completion of the tender offer.
VALITOR ACQUIRES IPS LTD TO STRENGTHEN ITS PRESENCE IN PAYMENT SOLUTIONS PROVISION. IPS TO BE INCORPORATED INTO VALITOR’S SUBSIDIARY ALTAPAY • Valitor acquires IPS Ltd to strengthen its presence in payment solutions provision • IPS to be incorporated into Valitor’s subsidiary Altapay Valitor, a global leader in Fintech banking services provision has announced the acquisition of IPS ltd, a UK based leading secure payment solutions provider with immediate effect. The acquisition will see the consolidation of IPS’s powerful technology into Valitor’s own e-commerce solution, through its subsidiary AltaPay, one of Europe’s most innovative online, mobile and point of sale payment companies. As a result of this acquisition, Valitor’s and AltaPay’s customer base will now benefit from one global payment provider to streamline all online, mobile and in-store payments and provide a complete omni-channel payment solution. This omni-channel solution gives customers a full overview of all transactions and allows them to implement the same type
of terminals across outlets in all countries with fully automated financial reconciliation. Crucially the solution helps merchants dramatically reduce both the cost and scope of achieving PCI DSS Compliance. Commenting on the deal Valitor CEO, Vidar Thorkelsson said, “This acquisition is an important strategic move for Valitor. The rapid expansion of Fintech based solutions in the mobile, online and point of sale sector means that to stay ahead of our competitors we need to continue to offer our customers and partners the best possible technology and services. The acquisition strengthens Valitor’s leading position in the marketplace.” “The wealth and experience that IPS will now bring to Valitor is significant and will enhance Valitor’s already strong reputation in the payment provision sector,” concluded Thorkelsson. The terms of the acquisition have not been released.
SHOOSMITHS ADVISES SHEARWATER GROUP ON MULTIMILLION POUND REVERSE TAKEOVER National law firm Shoosmiths has advised the founders of SecurEnvoy Limited on the sale and reverse takeover into AIM listed Shearwater Group PLC. As the initial acquisition under Shearwater Group’s transformation strategy, the £20 million consideration was satisfied by the payment of £10 million in cash and £10 million through the issuance of 200 million Ordinary Shares of the Company at a price of 5 pence per share. The acquisition constituted a reverse takeover pursuant to Rule 14 of the AIM Rules for Companies. The Shoosmiths team was led by corporate partner Rachel Turner with solicitor Michael Patterson and trainee solicitor Simon Chapman assisting. Tax partner Kate Featherstone and solicitor Rebecca Hawkins advised on tax and commercial solicitor Esther Wilkins on employment. Andy Kemshall, co-founder of SecurEnvoy, commented: ‘We have worked with Shoosmiths for some time now and their organised and commercial approach was key to the successful delivery of this deal for us. I’m looking forward to working with the Shearwater team and unlocking the full potential of the SecurEnvoy product set.’ Steve Watts, co-founder of SecurEnvoy, added: ‘Thank you Rachel and Michael for representing us in this sale. A super job, well done, and we appreciate your focus and enthusiasm to get this one past the post.’ Rachel Turner added: ‘It has been a pleasure working with Andy and Steve on this deal, which for them is the culmination of years of innovation and hard work. The transaction ran relatively smoothly, which is primarily down to the excellent fit of SecurEnvoy with Shearwater Group and the shared vision for the future of the Company. We look forward to watching the continued success of SecurEnvoy following completion.’ Last month Shoosmiths was named Law Firm of the Year at the Thames Valley Deals Awards 2017. Awarded in recognition of Shoosmiths’ excellence in advising on a variety of deals, all three Deal of the Year categories went to deals that Shoosmiths advised on. Shoosmiths’ corporate team advises public and private companies, management teams, investors and debt providers through the business life cycle. Shoosmiths work with businesses from start-up and first round finance through to mergers and acquisitions, MBO and MBI transactions, development funding and on exits, by way of sale, listing or private equity investment. Nationally, the corporate team is ranked in first place by deal volume in Experian’s 2016 MarketIQ UK & Ireland M&A league tables. The team was recognised for its mergers and acquisitions expertise at the 2015 M&A Awards, winning the Law Firm of the Year category.
â€œGamechanger, what we define as an individual or business that aims to create a new model that leaves the older model obsolete. Gamechangers impact how the game is played from one objective and ruling model to a completely new vision â€“ changing the face of how we know something.â€?
BEECHBROOK CAPITAL OPENS MANCHESTER OFFICE Specialist direct lender Beechbrook Capital, which backs small and medium-sized businesses in the UK with a turnover of between £10m and £100m and EBITDA of more than £1m, has opened its first regional office, in Manchester. The office, in Hardman Square, Spinningfields, will support the UK SME Credit fund, which provides finance to UK SMEs. The Manchester office will be run by investment director Matt Kenny, who joined Beechbrook at the beginning of April. His previous roles include three years as an investment director with LDC, originating and leading mid-market private equity investments, and more than six years in financial services advisory work with, first, Ernst & Young and then Lloyds Banking Group. Jon Herbert, Beechbrook managing director in charge of the firm’s UK SME Credit fund, said: ‘The opening of our Manchester office demonstrates the importance we attach to maintaining close and enduring relationships with SMEs and advisers across the north of England. We know there is strong demand for the growth capital we offer and the Manchester office will play a big role in expanding the range of high-quality investment opportunities available to the fund.’ Beechbrook Capital held a final close of its first UK SME Credit fund at the beginning of the year with commitments in excess of £150m. The fund has already completed eight investments and is now 44 per cent committed. The two most recent investments were plan.com, a business communications provider with offices in the Isle of Man and Manchester, and Infomedia, which enables brands to charge digital purchases to customers’ mobile phone accounts.
CPA GLOBAL NAMES PHIL FEARNLEY CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER Phil Fearnley joins leading IP Technology Company from BBC CPA Global® announces the appointment of Phil Fearnley as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Phil joins the executive team to lead CPA Global’s development of breakthrough technology to redefine the future of IP. Toni Nijm, Chief Innovation & Technology Officer, will transition to the role of Chief Product & Strategy Officer, leading product innovation and future strategy. Phil is a seasoned veteran in digital transformation, bringing strong leadership and a track record of innovation in platform technology to CPA Global.
As Digital Director for the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), Phil has successfully overseen some of the most innovative and complex digital transformation projects. Among a wide range of projects, Phil led the development of the BBC iPlayer, the BBC News app, and responsibility for the Digital London Olympics in 2012. “This is a significant appointment for CPA Global. Phil is proven in delivering ground breaking digital transformation through the deployment of platform technology” says Simon Webster, CPA Global’s CEO. “This crucial position demonstrates our continued commitment to developing and delivering outstanding integrated technology for IP professionals that transforms how they work.” “Digital innovation through design is my passion.” comments Phil. “When I spoke with CPA Global about the way IP professionals’ roles could be impacted by platform technology, I really bought into the company’s disruptive vision. I am looking forward to executing the technical and operational leadership that will support the design and development of The IP Platform. CPA Global’s vision to empower IP professionals with breakthrough digital services will transform the IP industry and I welcome the chance to be part of this next-generation technology.”
DROOMS CONTINUES TO EXPAND INTO NEW MARKETS • European market leader for virtual data rooms continues to grow its business abroad • Corporate finance and M&A team subject to international expansion Drooms, the leading provider of Virtual Data Rooms in Europe, is steam rolling ahead with its plans to continue expanding. Chris Beckmann (54) and Martin Alamri (42) joined the company in spring this year, strengthening Drooms’ growing corporate finance and M&A team on an international basis. Beckmann, who will assume primary responsibility for the taskforce, began his career at the start of the 1990s in the US, and has since worked as a corporate consultant and independent entrepreneur in Germany. Experienced in the business of VDRs, his responsibilities have spanned multiple markets including but not limited to Germany, Poland and Scandinavia. Continual growth at international level Within the framework of its internationalisation plans, Drooms is also in the process of opening more regional offices. In March, Drooms opened a subsidiary, Drooms Cloud España S.L., in Spain. Business activities will be systematically expanded in Spain, where a number of large corporate finance and real estate companies already use the Drooms platform and in Portugal from the new office in
Madrid. With the opening of offices in Amsterdam in April, Drooms’ presence in the Benelux countries is also increasing. The company has made further additions to the team in Munich too. Over 25,000 companies worldwide have carried out confidential processes using Drooms’ virtual data rooms – the total value of these transactions amounts to over EUR 300 billion. Strong market position based on new technological developments and focus on innovation Drooms’ internationalisation strategy goes hand in hand with a new technology, which addresses the need for automated workflows and increased efficiency, especially when it comes to due diligence. In this regard, Drooms relies on artificial intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing for process optimisation and risk analysis. “Over the past few years, we
have continually increased sales and expanded our market share. We see a lot more potential in international markets. In using AI in data rooms and developing automated transaction processes, we are stimulating great interest among many industry experts, thereby diversifying our operations,” commented Jan Hoffmeister, Co-Founder and Chairman of Drooms. In 2015 and 2016, Drooms was awarded the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Award due to its strong sales growth. Drooms employs over 100 staff from 23 countries and is represented internationally by various locations in the most important European markets. In addition to the company’s presence in London, the SaaS provider operates via offices in Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Milan, Madrid and Zug.
FRP ADVISORY PROMOTES TO DIRECTOR EMILY BALL AND YASMIN BHIKHA Promotions strengthen FRP Advisory’s corporate recovery services across the Midlands FRP Advisory LLP, the business advisory firm, has further strengthened its UK operation with the promotions to director of Emily Ball and Yasmin Bikha, both based in the Leicester and Nottingham offices. Emily and Yasmin are experienced restructuring advisors with broad connections across the East Midlands and both are licensed insolvency practitioners and qualified accountants. Both are promoted from senior manager to director after each completing six years at FRP Advisory’s Leicester office. The promotions bring to six the number of partners and directors across FRP Advisory in the East Midlands offices of Leicester and Nottingham, and to 10 within the Midlands region including Birmingham. Chris Stirland, partner at FRP Advisory, said: “The welcome promotions of Emily and Yasmin, bring a combined 20 years of corporate recovery and restructuring experience to the senior management of FRP Advisory, and are a response to increased client demand for their expertise in advising across industry sectors throughout the East Midlands, and their deep understanding of both business owners and managers, advisors and the lending and investment communities across the wider Midlands and central England regions. At FRP Advisory we value the diversity of our workforce but ultimately clients judge us without fear or favour according to the quality of our advice and in Emily and Yasmin we are privileged to have consummate professionals who achieve results for our clients. Their skills, combined with their strong relationships locally with accountants and solicitors together with national and regional businesses and banks, will enable us to continue to strengthen the full breadth of services that FRP Advisory is able to provide to both company management and the full range of high street banks, asset based lenders and other finance houses.” Emily Ball has over a decade’s experience in corporate restructuring experience including the past six years with FRP Advisory. A qualified accountant and member of the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), Emily joined FRP Advisory as assistant manager in 2011 after an initial career with another regional insolvency and restructuring firm. Emily passed her Joint Insolvency Examination Board exams in March 2014 and became a licensed insolvency practitioner with the IPA (Insolvency Practitioners Association) in April 2017. She has extensive experience in business recovery and turnaround. Yasmin Bhika focuses on corporate insolvency and recovery work and has over a decade’s experience in financial and corporate advisory across the full spectrum of business recovery work. Yasmin joined FRP Advisory in November 2010 as a senior administrator, after working for four years within the insolvency team of a regional East Midlands firm, advising on both personal and corporate insolvencies. Yasmin is a qualified accountant and member of the ICAEW. Having graduated with the highest mark in the country among ICAEW members sitting the March 2016 annual joint insolvency examinations, Yasmin received a special award from the ICAEW in recognition of her outstanding achievement, Yasmin also gained her licence in April 2017.
JAMES SAVAGE JOINS YFM EQUITY PARTNERS
James Savage added: “I have long been impressed with YFM’s expertise in the private equity space and am delighted to join the team to help manage and grow the businesses in which we invest. Amid market uncertainty, there is a wide range of opportunity for smaller British businesses and I look forward to securing and developing these.”
ZEDRA EXPANDS INTO U.S. WITH NEW OFFICE AND SENIOR HIRE • Key hire will strengthen ZEDRA’s presence in the region and expand its reach • ZEDRA is committed to delivering industry leading solutions globally • Tomás Alonso has a tremendous reputation and will play a key role in ZEDRA’s future development In a year where ZEDRA has already seen the hire of a new Managing Director for its London office and the appointment of two new Business Heads in Singapore and Jersey, it can now announce that Tomás Alonso has joined its employment as Managing Director of Zedra Corporate Services Inc., working from its new Miami office.
James Savage, Portfolio Director, YFM Equity Partners
Alonso will come on board to increase and build the Group’s market presence and raise awareness in North and Latin America as well as support sales and representative needs for ZEDRA’s corporate, funds and private clients. He will also be responsible for developing and overseeing the business growth opportunities and for cementing ZEDRA’s proposition and position across North and Latin America.
YFM Equity Partners (YFM) has announced the appointment of James Savage as Portfolio Director. Based in the London office, James will focus on actively managing YFM’s growth and buy-out investments as part of the portfolio team led by David Bell.
Tomás Alonso brings over 20 years of experience in management and business development in the corporate and financial service industry and has a proven track record in selling corporate and fund solutions to multinational groups and UHTN individuals and their families.
With over 12 years’ industry experience, James joins from Barclays’ Principal Investments team (formerly Barclays Ventures) where he was Vice President, working on a range of transaction types, situations and across sectors with a primary focus on value creation and realisation.
“We are delighted to have Tomás join us at ZEDRA during this exciting time as we increase our Pan-American presence,” says Niels Nielsen, ZEDRA CEO. “His unique experience, global network and industry knowledge will be fundamental and of great value as we develop our business and look for new opportunities both here and further afield.”
Prior to this he advised private equity sponsors and management teams at BDO LLP. David Hall, Managing Director of YFM said: “We continue to see increasing opportunities to invest in the UK lower mid-market and, off the back of a strong 2016, we look forward to building on our success. James boasts a wealth of experience in our industry and will be a welcome addition to the London team.”
Having a presence in Miami will strengthen ZEDRA’s footprint in the region by providing a cohesive foundation for and sustainable, long-term growth. With approximately 500 staff worldwide based in 14 global offices, ZEDRA is one of the fastest growing Trust and Corporate Fund services providers. Tomás holds a Spanish law degree and Masters in Law in Taxation from the University of Miami. He holds a further degree in Business Administration.
His previous experience includes working for such distinguished law firms as Garrigues & Andersen in Spain, as well the offices of Arthur Andersen and Deloitte in Miami. Prior to his role at ZEDRA, he worked as the Head of Corporate Clients - Americas of Amicorp at their Miami office, having previously served as Managing Director of Amicorp U.S. from 2004 – 2013. He is a member of the Madrid Bar Association and of the International Bar Association, as well as the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). Tomás also holds a place on the Registered Trust and Step Practitioners (TEP). Niels concludes, “North and Latin America is an important area for us and a presence in Miami further reassures ZEDRA’s confidence in this fast-developing region. Tomás Alonso has successfully operated in the Americas for more than 15 years and is the right man to help us establish key service solutions in this important strategic region”.
Clive Briggs joins as an additional Regional Sales Director for IGF Invoice Finance, based in IGF ’s Manchester office. Responsible for developing client relationships throughout the North West, Clive joins the firm with over 30 years’ experience across the banking and alternative finance sectors. Clive Briggs, Regional Sales Director for North West, comments: “The North West is an area which lends itself to entrepreneurial, industrial businesses and Manchester is undoubtedly at the heart of that. I’m delighted to be joining IGF and to help the region’s SMEs get the funding needed to continue bolstering the local economy.” John Onslow, CEO of Independent Growth Finance, adds: “With 2017’s expansive growth strategy firmly underway, we feel extremely confident these senior hires will only aid IGF’s ambitious growth potential. Their varied experiences are a welcome addition to the firm and will prove crucial in the success of our regional expansion.”
INDEPENDENT GROWTH PROMINENT PRIVATE FINANCE HIRES THREE EQUITY DUO JOINS CITY HEAVYWEIGHTS IGF, the leading commercial finance provider for SMEs, has announced the appointment of three senior hires at its offices in London and Manchester with a new ABL Director and two Regional Sales Directors joining the firm. Joining IGF Business Credit as ABL Director for London and South East, Jamie Gould has over 35 years’ experience in the alternative finance sector with previous roles at Bibby Financial Services, GE and Smith & Williamson. His primary focus will be to develop the firm’s introducer network in the region, as well as being responsible for wider business development strategies. Jamie Gould, ABL Director for London and South East, comments: “The reputation and background of the IGF team are well known across the industry, and it’s fantastic to join the business during this incredible growth phase. I’m looking forward to working with such an experienced team.” Responsible for sourcing new business and progressing sales across North London and the Home Counties, Chris Mitcham specialises in invoice finance. He joins IGF Invoice Finance with over 15 years’ experience in commercial finance, following similar Sales Director roles at Skipton Business Finance, Close Business Finance and Abbey National. Chris Mitcham, Regional Sales Director for North London and Home Counties, comments: “Each business has its own individual funding challenges, particularly as routes to the mainstream lenders become tougher. IGF has a strong reputation for taking time to understand its clients’ needs and I’m looking forward to joining the team.”
SKADDEN IN LONDON Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has announced that leading private equity lawyers Richard Youle and Katja Butler will join the firm’s European Private Equity Practice as partners in London. Mr. Youle and Ms. Butler will add a significant dimension to Skadden’s global private equity and corporate platforms. Mr. Youle, one of the UK’s most eminent private equity practitioners, was the co-head of both the global and EMEA Private Equity Groups at his previous firm, from which Ms. Butler is also joining. His practice focuses on private equity, and he advises private equity houses and financial sponsor clients on all forms of leveraged M&A and portfolio assistance, including restructuring advice. One of the UK’s rising private equity stars, Ms. Butler focuses on transactional private equity, particularly issues impacting capital structures, and she assists portfolio companies between buy-out and exit. Pranav Trivedi, head of Skadden’s London office, said, “Richard and Katja will assume fundamental roles in driving our private equity practice forward, working with other members of our PE team and our M&A, capital markets, investment management, real estate, banking and tax lawyers.” Scott V. Simpson, Skadden’s co-head of Global Transactions, said, “This is a very exciting move for the firm. Richard and Katja will greatly enhance our ability to advise on high-end PE work in London and across Europe, complementing our
broader corporate capabilities globally.” Mr. Youle added, “Skadden has one of the most envied corporate practices in the world and an exemplary qualityfocused team that is simply unmatched. Katja and I look forward to collaborating with the firm’s London lawyers, as well as my new colleagues across the global platform.”
Skadden represents private equity firms in connection with all aspects of their businesses, including structuring and organising fund sponsors and their investment funds; executing acquisitions, financings and exit transactions; and providing corporate, securities, financing and litigation advice to portfolio companies. Most recently, Skadden was ranked as a leading firm in private equity by IFLR1000 2017.
HSBC EXPANDS ASIA-PACIFIC MID-MARKET LEVERAGED FINANCE TEAM TO CAPITALISE ON M&A GROWTH IN THE REGION HSBC Commercial Banking has announced the appointment of Sheldon Wong as the new head of its expanding Middle Market Financial Sponsors (MMFS) team in Asia-Pacific, aiming to capitalise on the region’s growing level of mergers and acquisitions. As Head of MMFS Asia-Pacific, Wong will build on the success of HSBC’s MMFS South-East Asia unit, which he has led from Singapore since the six-strong team’s formation in January 2016. In his new role he will manage and hire specialist bankers in leveraged and acquisition finance to support mid-size financial sponsors that raise local, regional or global private equity funds ranging from US$250m to US$3bn, and that seek to acquire companies with enterprise values from US$50m to US$500m. Commenting on his appointment, Sheldon Wong said: “Strengthening our support to mid-sized private equity investors will enable more of our clients to invest in great companies across the Asia-Pacific region, which in turn will help those companies grow faster. Given the growth in the number of private equity transactions in this region over the last few years, and how many of those deals involved mid-market financial sponsors, we see an exciting opportunity for our customers and for HSBC.” The new MMFS team will be responsible for coordinating the coverage, origination and execution of middle market, private equity-led transactions across the region. It will work closely with HSBC Structured Banking teams in each market, and with other MMFS teams globally, to ensure customers benefit from the full value of HSBC’s capabilities and international network. Wong has over 20 years’ experience in corporate and investment banking in Europe and Asia-Pacific, and joined HSBC in June 2014 as Head of Structured Banking in Singapore. Prior to HSBC, he worked in Hong Kong for 10 years as Head of Leveraged & Acquisition Finance Asia-Pacific for Unicredit. The Global MMFS business has teams in all of the developed mid-market private equity markets globally, including EMEA and North America, working with both global and regional sponsors to both underwrite and hold opportunities alongside sponsors.
MAVEN MAKES FOUR NEW APPOINTMENTS TO ITS NORTH WEST TEAM IN SUPPORT OF THE NORTHERN POWERHOUSE INVESTMENT FUND Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”), one of the UK’s most active private equity houses, has announced the appointment of three new Investment Managers and a dedicated portfolio administrator to its North West investment team, in support of NPIF Maven Equity Finance, which has a North West focus and is managed by Maven for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF). Martin Clark, James Darlington and Jeremy Thompson will be responsible for transacting new NPIF equity investments, whilst Nikola Clarke will provide portfolio support to NPIF investee businesses. These appointments will supplement Maven’s established, highly experienced Northern England investment team, which has been completing SME transactions across the North for almost 20 years. With Maven also having recently announced the opening of an office in Preston, these new appointments further strengthen the team investing in SMEs across the North of England and
Maven’s ability to work closely with businesses to achieve their growth plans. Martin Clark - Investment Manager Martin has joined from Manchester Growth Company, where he worked as an Access to Finance Specialist, and also has extensive experience in the banking and asset based lending sectors. His appointment will strengthen Maven’s presence across the Greater Manchester and Lancashire areas. Martin Clark crop 3 Jeremy Thompson - Investment Manager Jeremy comes to Maven from global integrated law firm Squire Patton Boggs where he was a corporate lawyer in a senior corporate finance role. He has broad transactional experience including private equity, M&A, IPOs, acquisitions and disposals across a range of sectors, and his appointment will enhance Maven’s presence across the North West in support of NPIF.
James Darlington - Investment Manager James has joined Maven from EY Manchester, where since 2014 he has been a senior corporate finance executive working on the Capital and Debt Advisory team, responsible for helping businesses with investment readiness and fundraising. James will bolster Maven’s experienced northern investment team in supporting client funds.
across the North, primarily across Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Cumbria and Cheshire & Warrington, but also able to invest in Yorkshire & Humber and Tees Valley (Maven will be working in partnership with MSIF which will be delivering the funding for businesses based in the Liverpool City Region).
Nikola Clarke - Portfolio Administrator Nikola has joined Maven from Enterprise Ventures, where from 2011 she worked closely with the investment team to provide administrative support and deliver fund objectives for the North West Fund for Venture Capital and the North West Fund for Mezzanine. She has extensive experience of working with SMEs, and in the financial and fund management sectors Nikola Clarke
“We are very pleased to welcome Martin, Jeremy, James and Nikola to the Maven team. They will each bring valuable experience in managing high-quality SME investments across the North of England, enhancing a highly-resourced investment team and adding to the wide range of sector specialisms already established within the team.
Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund In February 2017 the British Business Bank (BBB) announced the opening of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) focused on the Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). NPIF is intended to support businesses with an operational trading base in the North, providing funding of between £50,000 and £2 million to each SME, and investing across a range of sectors. Maven was appointed to manage the £57.5m NPIF Maven Equity Finance which will invest in high-potential businesses
Ryan Bevington, Fund Manager for NPIF Maven Equity Finance, said:
Maven has a strong record of providing financial backing to dynamic British businesses, as well as providing proactive, strategic support to help them achieve their business plans. These appointments will help the team to identify the most exciting investment opportunities across the region and provide comprehensive portfolio support in the delivery of the NPIF.” The project is supported financially by the European Union. Attracting investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
HAWKSFORD STRENGTHENS LEADERSHIP IN CORPORATE SERVICES WITH TWO KEY APPOINTMENTS Hawksford has bolstered its corporate capabilities with the appointments of Stephanie Rose as Global Head of Corporate services and Becci Newman as Director. Miss Rose will lead corporate services globally partnering with the global heads of Private Client and Funds to ensure a comprehensive approach across all offices and all service lines. Mrs Newman and Daniel Hainsworth will jointly lead the corporate services team in Jersey. ‘I’m looking forward to growing the corporate portfolio at Hawksford while evolving and expanding the service offering. With our brand refresh, our focus will be to work collaboratively across all offices to enhance a global service line approach for our three core services lines – Corporate, Private Client and Funds. Building on my experience in the sector, I look forward to delivering our global strategy while building a successful and progressive story around the Hawksford brand,’ said Miss Rose, who began her financial services career with HSBC and moved to Elian in 1999, where until recently she was head of the corporate services team in Jersey. With more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services sector, Miss Rose has been the lead on numerous high profile client relationships and has been actively involved, as a board member, across listed, private equity, mezzanine, private equity sponsored, international infrastructure and real estate companies. Her experience as a board member spans the financial services, media, technology, intellectual property and natural resources fields. Mrs Newman has more than 18 years’ industry experience, specialising in the administration of complex corporate transactions. Prior to joining Hawksford she was at Elian, and has also worked in a range of managerial and senior administration roles at Kleinwort Benson, Bedells and Mourants. ‘I’m looking forward to joining the high quality team at Hawksford and working with Daniel to evolve and expand the corporate services offering under Stephanie’s leadership,’ she said. Mrs Newman has been active, as a board member, across a number of large, private equity backed, international infrastructure and real estate companies, as well as entities in the technology and intellectual property fields. She has also held board positions
on SPVs involved in securitisation and financing structures. Hawksford Group Chief Executive, Michel van Leeuwen said: ‘Stephanie and Becci’s accumulated years of experience in the industry will be of enormous benefit to our team across the globe and ensure a unified approach to our rapidly growing Corporate Services division. Hawksford has an ambitious organic and acquisitive growth strategy across our service lines of which our corporate division is of paramount importance. Having the right people in the right positions, adding to the global expertise-based ‘bandwidth’ at Hawksford, is strengthening the foundation for our continued success.’ Hawksford is an international Corporate, Private Client and Funds business.
HAWKSFORD REBRANDS GLOBALLY AS IT EXPANDS ITS OFFERING IN ASIA Following the significant expansion of its services in Asia, Hawksford is launching a refreshed brand, which will better convey its offering to its global client base. With clients in 115 countries, the international corporate, private client and funds business has created a fresh, universal image, which will help it to deliver on its global growth ambitions. ‘As an international business, we recognise the need for a universal brand which is synonymous with Hawksford’s purpose and vision, to always look to the future, embrace change, and constantly deliver efficient and valuable solutions that enable our clients to make the most of every opportunity available to them. It’s not just a brand refresh – internally we have refreshed our way of thinking and working, consistently refining, so that we can continue to deliver robust structures and excellent service standards to new and existing clients,’ said group chief executive, Michel van Leeuwen. Hawksford recently secured a trust licence in Singapore, and is now able to meet the needs of private and corporate clients seeking high quality, regulated trust services in one of Asia’s premier financial centres. ‘One of our key business objectives is to grow the business – both organically and through acquisitions – and expand our international footprint in strategic markets. We have taken the time to listen to and understand our clients’ requirements and ambitions and have aligned our offers to be both responsive and also to anticipate their needs,’ added Mr van Leeuwen.
Michel van Leeuwen, CEO, Hawksford
As part of the rebrand, Hawksford has fully upgraded its digital platforms, including its free-to-access business information portals GuideMeSingapore.com and GuideMeHongKong.com These websites have been restructured and redesigned to make it simpler for entrepreneurs, SMEs and businesses to search for relevant and up-to-date guides and information about starting and running a business in Singapore or Hong Kong.
INDEPENDENT GROWTH FINANCE HIRES THREE CITY HEAVYWEIGHTS IGF, the leading commercial finance provider for SMEs, has announced the appointment of three senior hires at its offices in London and Manchester with a new ABL Director and two Regional Sales Directors joining the firm. Joining IGF Business Credit as ABL Director for London and South East, Jamie Gould has over 35 years’ experience in the alternative finance sector with previous roles at Bibby Financial Services, GE and Smith & Williamson. His primary focus will be to develop the firm’s introducer network in the region, as well as being responsible for wider business development strategies. Jamie Gould, ABL Director for London and South East, comments: “The reputation and background of the IGF team are well known across the industry, and it’s fantastic to join the business during this incredible growth phase. I’m looking forward to working with such an experienced team.”
Responsible for sourcing new business and progressing sales across North London and the Home Counties, Chris Mitcham specialises in invoice finance. He joins IGF Invoice Finance with over 15 years’ experience in commercial finance, following similar Sales Director roles at Skipton Business Finance, Close Business Finance and Abbey National. Chris Mitcham, Regional Sales Director for North London and Home Counties, comments: “Each business has its own individual funding challenges, particularly as routes to the mainstream lenders become tougher. IGF has a strong reputation for taking time to understand its clients’ needs and I’m looking forward to joining the team.” Clive Briggs joins as an additional Regional Sales Director for IGF Invoice Finance, based in IGF ’s Manchester office. Responsible for developing client relationships throughout the North West, Clive joins the firm with over 30 years’ experience across the banking and alternative finance sectors. Clive Briggs, Regional Sales Director for North West, comments: “The North West is an area which lends itself to entrepreneurial, industrial businesses and Manchester is undoubtedly at the heart of that. I’m delighted to be joining IGF and to help the region’s SMEs get the funding needed to continue bolstering the local economy.” John Onslow, CEO of Independent Growth Finance, adds: “With 2017’s expansive growth strategy firmly underway, we feel extremely confident these senior hires will only aid IGF’s ambitious growth potential. Their varied experiences are a welcome addition to the firm and will prove crucial in the success of our regional expansion.”
MAITLAND BOARD APPOINTS FORMER PAPER GIANT CEO, DAVID HATHORN Former Mondi CEO also takes up role of Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee. Global advisory and fund administration firm Maitland has appointed David Hathorn, until recently the CEO of FTSE 100 packaging and paper giant Mondi plc, to the Maitland Board as a Non-Executive Director. Mr Hathorn will also act as Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee of Maitland International Holdings plc. The appointment comes amidst a period of significant growth for Maitland who recently expanded their reach to 17 offices globally and follows the 2015 non-executive director appointment of Maureen Erasmus, an advisory partner at global management consultancy Bain & Company. Mr Hathorn has an illustrious international career spanning some 30 years, 25 of which were with Mondi. He served as CEO of Mondi for 17 years until May 2017. During this period he was instrumental in Mondi’s international expansion and led the group through a demerger from Anglo American plc in 2007. Until 2007 Mr Hathorn was a member of the Anglo American plc Executive Committee from 2003 and was an Executive director of Anglo American plc from 2005, serving on the boards of a number of Anglo group companies. Based in South Africa, he is also the Chairman of Kore Potash Limited, an ASX listed company. Michael Solomon, Maitland Chairman said: “We are privileged to welcome someone of such calibre and experience to our Board. We have had a professional working relationship with David for more than 20 years. He brings to the boardroom not only significant corporate leadership experience but also more intimate insights into the firm from a client perspective.” David Hathorn, Non-Executive Director at Maitland, continued: “Maitland is a fast-growing and dynamic organisation with a unique business model across private client, fund and corporate services. I am proud to serve on the Board of a business which is at the forefront globally across its various business areas.”
PILLSBURY’S LONDON OFFICE EXPANDS WITH ADDITION OF HIGH-PROFILE FINANCE PARTNERS Trevor Wood, Chris Harrison to Establish General Bank Finance Capability for Firm in the UK In a marked expansion of Pillsbury’s global Finance practice and London office, the firm has announced the addition of highly respected finance law practitioners Chris Harrison and Trevor Wood as partners. Wood starts comes to the firm from Mayer Brown. Harrison, the former Co-Managing Partner and Head of Morgan Lewis’s Business and Finance practice in London, will join later this month. “Chris and Trevor’s respective reputations for innovative thinking and exceptional client service precede them,” said Firm Chairman David Dekker. “Both are outstanding lawyers, who will help us advance the firm’s strategy in a number of ways, growing our London office, expanding our UK-based finance capabilities and adding greater depth to our global finance team. We are extremely excited to have them join us.” Wood represents banks, funds and other financial institutions, mezzanine providers, agents and trustees, and sponsors and borrowers in secured and unsecured financings. His principal focus is on international trade, export and commodity finance, receivable transactions, non-performing loan sale and purchase, real estate finance, leverage and acquisition finance and general corporate finance. Over the years Wood has also advised on numerous restructurings both in the UK and internationally. He counts CarVal Investors, Deutsche Bank, European Bank of Restructuring and Development, HSBC and Zenith Bank as some of his major clients. Harrison has more than two decades of experience representing financial institutions, underwriters, investment fund sponsors, corporate and government entities on cross-border leveraged finance and debt capital markets transactions. He regularly works on the most complex leveraged finance and debt capital markets deals around the world across a broad array of industries. He also advises on transactions involving enterprises in the energy, transportation, real estate, telecommunications, media and financial services sectors. His key clients include Stifel Nicolaus Europe, Javelin Global Commodities Ltd., Equities First Holdings LLC, Pimco Europe Ltd, Silverfin Development Company Ltd, White Wolf Properties Ltd, Investec Bank PLC, JSB Energy Partners Ltd and EVRAZ East Metals AG, among others.
“These hires will provide a major boost to our already strong global finance practice,” said Finance Practice Section Leader Mark Lessard. “London is unquestionably one of the most critical financial centers in the world. Trevor and Chris’s recruitment significantly improves our client offering there and better positions the practice for significant and rapid growth.” In addition to being an important expansion of the firm’s global Finance practice, the additions of Harrison and Wood represent a major step in Pillsbury’s ongoing efforts to broaden its London offering. With the two highly-regarded practitioners in place, the firm will have more than 25 London-based lawyers—including 10 partners—and is in a much stronger position to service the finance and corporate needs of its UK clients. “Not only are Chris and Trevor excellent lawyers in their own right, they instantly establish a strong foundation from which the UK-based finance and corporate practices can grow,” said London Office Managing Partner Debra Erni. “Their additions represent a big step forward for Pillsbury in London, and we could not be happier to have them here.” Recognized among the leading financial services practices in the U.S., Pillsbury’s finance team counsels 200+ financial institutions—including many of the world’s largest banks—as well as other financial institutions, insurance companies, investment funds and public and private corporate borrowers. Combining in-depth industry and regulatory knowledge with wide-ranging experience, our lawyers are ideally suited to help clients manage risk, navigate business, legal and regulatory challenges, leverage opportunities and get deals done.
SILVERFLEET CAPITAL BUILDS ITS TEAM IN LONDON, MUNICH AND PARIS Silverfleet Capital (“Silverfleet”), the European private equity firm, has announced four new hires to its investment team who will be based across the firm’s offices in London, Munich and Paris. Johan Boork has joined Silverfleet in London as an Associate and will also work closely with Karl Eidem (Co-head of the Nordic region) based in Stockholm. Jan Kux and Guntram Kieferle both join Silverfleet’s Munich office as an Associate and Analyst, respectively and Constance d’Avout joins the firm as an Associate in Paris. Johan Boork, a Swedish national, previously worked within the Nordics coverage team of UBS Investment Bank in London. Johan graduated from the Stockholm School of Economics with an MSc in Finance and holds a BSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from the Chalmers University of Technology and a BSc in Financial Economics from the University of Gothenburg. Jan Kux joins the firm from J.P. Morgan where he worked in corporate finance out of J.P. Morgan’s offices in Frankfurt and latterly London.
Jan graduated from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich with a BSc in Business Administration. Guntram Kieferle initially joined Silverfleet as an intern in 2016 following his graduation from Munich University of Applied Sciences with an MSc in Finance. Guntram also has a BA in International Business Studies from the University of Applied Sciences, Kufstein.
YFM EQUITY PARTNERS APPOINTS INVESTMENT DIRECTOR
Constance d’Avout was previously at EQT Partners in London where she worked in the credit funds team. Constance is a graduate of EM Lyon in France with a Masters degree in Management. Neil MacDougall, Managing Partner of Silverfleet Capital commented: “We are very pleased to welcome Constance, Guntram, Jan and Johan into our team at Silverfleet Capital. Their appointment reflects our continued commitment to develop strong investment teams in each of the regions in which we invest. So far we have made four investments out of the €870 million fund we closed in mid-2015 and with an expanded team we expect to add to that portfolio soon.”
PETER MÜHLFELDER IS A NEW BOARD MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL CURRENCY ASSOCIATION Peter Mühlfelder, Head of Business Area Security at Leonhard Kurz, has been elected into the board of the International Currency Association (ICA). With two other newly appointed members, he will be part of the ICA’s seven-person executive committee for the next two years. Kurz, a leading supplier of foil-based security solutions for banknotes, is a founding member of the ICA, which was formally established in 2016. The aim of this association, which primarily represents currency printers and their suppliers as well as further service providers, is to lend a strong voice to the currency industry and to offer a collective platform. “I am honored, and very much look forward to this new task,” says Peter Mühlfelder. “Kurz has been an important contributor to the security and aesthetics of banknotes for many years. Building on this experience, we can effectively support the ICA in highlighting the importance of cash, presenting and promoting its advantages, and increasing trust in currencies worldwide.”
Andy Thomas, Investment Director, YFM Equity Partners
YFM Equity Partners (YFM) has announced the appointment of Andy Thomas as Investment Director. Based in the Manchester office, Andy will be focussed on sourcing and leading new investments as part of the Northern team led by David Gee. Andy joins from Maven Capital Partners, where he helped to establish the Greater Manchester Loan Fund as well as undertaking private equity and VCT investments. Prior to Maven, Andy worked at RBS in various structured finance roles, most recently leading the Williams and Glyn Corporate Transactions Team. David Hall, Managing Director of YFM said: “Andy has considerable experience successfully originating and executing new deals and subsequently managing these investments. Opportunities for UK investment are steadily growing, as evidenced by the recent close of our first buy-out fund, YFMEP 2016; Andy is a great addition as we continue to strengthen the YFM team to harness such investments.” Andy Thomas added: “YFM has an impressive footprint in the private equity and VCT market and I am delighted to be joining the team to help further grow the firm’s portfolio. The market is rife with businesses looking to develop their potential and I look forward to sourcing the most promising opportunities and leading these investments.”
SANNE’S CORPORATE AND PRIVATE CLIENT BUSINESS ENHANCED BY NEW DIRECTOR APPOINTMENTS
SANNE new CPC directors, L-R Anton Seatter, Mark Fleming and Daniel Pringle
SANNE has appointed three new directors to its Corporate & Private Client (CPC) businesses as it continues to enhance client services and grow the business. The global provider of fiduciary, outsourced alternative asset and corporate administration and reporting services has appointed Anton Seatter as Director - Corporate & Private Client, Mark Fleming as Director – Private Client and promoted Daniel Pringle to the position of Director – Private Client. Anton, Mark and Daniel bring more than 50 years of industry experience to SANNE’s CPC businesses and add further expertise to our service offering. Based in SANNE’s London office, Anton will represent all of SANNE’s CPC divisions, namely corporate & institutional, executive incentives and our ultra-high net worth (UHNW) private client business. With 20 years of industry experience, Anton will work closely with UK-based advisory networks and clients to develop and enhance those relationships, combined with a further ‘on the ground’ understanding of their priorities and challenges and will strategically profile SANNE to capitalise on growth potential in the UK market. Anton, a chartered secretary, joins SANNE after holding various senior positions in the finance industry, including TMF and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and has extensive experience with global corporate and institutional clientele, asset managers and UHNW family offices. SANNE has further bolstered its CPC business with the appointment of Mark Fleming in is Private Client division. Named as one of Jersey’s future leaders by Citywealth, Mark is well known for his deep expertise in overseeing complex trust and other fiduciary structures for global cross-border UHNW families and their family offices, with a particular focus on the UK and Americas. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (FCA), an ICSA Associate (ACA) and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (TEP). Mark joins SANNE after holding senior director level positions in the finance industry, including Crestbridge and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in Jersey.
Daniel Pringle, having joined SANNE in 2015 from Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), was promoted this month from within SANNE’s Private Client business to director. Daniel has over 16 years’ industry experience in managing trust and other fiduciary structure of global UHNW families. Daniel is an ICSA professional and has been recognised with distinction for his outstanding achievements. Mark and Daniel will report to Phil Le Vesconte (Head of Private Client at SANNE). Mr Steve Sokic, Managing Director of SANNE’s corporate and Private Client businesses, said: ‘I’ve known both Mark and Anton for many years, they are top quality professionals and I sincerely welcome them to SANNE. Whilst attracting top talent externally continues to be important, development of talent from within our business and continuity of client relationships are also integral elements of our strategy at SANNE, and I would also like to congratulate Daniel on his well-deserved promotion.’ Mr Sokic added: ‘As a global and professional fiduciary and administration business, we’re committed to ever deepening our expertise and services – that is principally achieved through top class people. Attracting senior talent like Anton and Mark to SANNE, as well as Daniel’s promotion, will add great value to our clients and their family offices and advisors. These appointments will further strengthen our already strong value proposition and profile in markets globally and help further grow our business.’
RAFAEL BAZÁN JOINS ARAOZ & RUEDA AS HEAD OF BANKING & FINANCE DEPARTMENT He joins the firm to lead this area of practice after 4 years as a partner at Baker & McKenzie Spanish firm Araoz & Rueda has hired Rafael Bazán, formerly a partner at Baker & McKenzie, to lead and strengthen its Banking and Finance practice. Rafael has more than 20 years of extensive experience in all kinds of national and cross-border transactions involving corporate finance, acquisition finance, asset finance and restructuring of companies in crisis, advising both banks and affected companies in all sectors, with a special focus on the real estate, financial and industrial sectors. In the last five years he has advised both selling banks and investors in transactions involving the acquisition of many of the most significant non-performing loan and asset portfolios in the market. He also has extensive experience in regulatory issues involving supervisory authorities. Before joining Baker & McKenzie, he worked twelve years in the Banking & Finance departments of Alonso Ureba, Bauzá y Asociados and Ramón y Cajal Abogados (the last nine years as a partner). Prior to this, he spent six years working as legal counsel at HSBC Bank plc. (Spain) and Citibank, and was non-director vice-secretary for Iberpay (Sociedad Española de Sistemas de Pago, SA), the managing entity for the National Electronic Clearing System. For Pedro Rueda, co-founding partner “his deep knowledge of the banking and financial market, together with his skills and recognized experience in complex transactions, many of them international, constitute a great asset for our firm in an area that is constantly involved in our corporate transactions, which are increasingly more sophisticated and that require, therefore, a global vision”. Rafael Bazán affirms that “the firm commitment of Araoz & Rueda to position itself among the leading legal advisors in the financial sector as well as the excellent professionals integrating the team, have been decisive factors to take this new challenge in my professional career, with the certainty of being able to offer the best service to our customers. “
PRAXISIFM FUNDS GROUP APPOINTS TWO NEW DIRECTORS DUE TO BUSINESS GROWTH CONTINUED business growth has led to the appointment of two new directors at PraxisIFM Funds Group in Guernsey. Shaun Robert has joined, as a director of International Fund Management Limited and Lorna Morton becomes a director of Praxis Funds Services Limited. Mr Robert has more than 25 years’ experience throughout fund administration, transfer agency, fund custody, trustee and AIFMD depository lines of business. He is a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments and has previously sat on the Guernsey Investment Fund Association Custodian and Depositary Sub-Committee. Mr Robert’s previous positions include fund administration manager with Close Fund Services Limited, deputy head of Credit Suisse Fund Administration (Guernsey) Limited and head of J.P. Morgan Custody Services (Guernsey) Limited. ‘Shaun is a highly experienced director and will be a key asset to PraxisIFM Funds Group. His depth and breadth of knowledge in fund structures and strategies is extensive and he will be able to offer advisors and boards fund and risk management solutions and also assist with governance of the day-to-day business,’ said Chris Hickling, managing director, of International Fund Management Limited.
Lorna Morton and Shaun Robert, Directors
Ms Morton, who is a member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, joined Praxis Fund Services Limited having spent around ten years as a lead relationship manager for a large private equity client. After qualifying with a small practice in Scotland, she spent four years with KPMG in Guernsey as an auditor of financial services businesses. She also spent 18 months in the firm’s Sydney office, before returning to the island in 2003. ‘With more than 14 years’ experience in Guernsey in management roles providing fund administration and related services to a variety of open and closed-ended structures covering a wide range of alternative asset classes, Lorna is a very welcome addition to the board. We are looking forward to working with her,’ said Julia Wilkes, managing director, Praxis Fund Services Limited. International Fund Management Limited and Praxis Fund Services Limited are part of the PraxisIFM Funds Group. During 2016 the PraxisIFM Funds Group was successful in winning the mandates for 75% of investment company IPOs on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange. The PraxisIFM Funds Group is part of PraxisIFM Group Limited which is one of the largest independent financial services operations based in the Channel Islands and is listed on the International Stock Exchange. The Guernsey-registered business, with assets under administration in excess of $40bn and revenues of more than £30m, has around 300 staff across 10 jurisdictions.
â€œGamechanger: A visionary strategist bringing fresh and unique ideas to the table, an individual or business that stands out from the crowd with ideas that inventively change the way a situation develops.â€?
Dell XPS 13
The Laptop, “The Dell XPS 13 is the best laptop money can buy”.
The Fitness tracker, “The no-screen wonder”
The Camera, “A stunning camera that’s perfect for enthusiast photographers”
The Games Console, “Sony’s souped-up PS4 Pro is amazing for 4K TV owners”
The Tablet, “The best iPad, giving you plenty of power and maximum bang for your buck”
The VR Headset “HTC Vive wins the first battle in the VR war”
Samsung Galaxy S8
The Smartphone “The best smartphone in the world – it’s a work of art”
Samsung Q9F QLED
The TV, “These spectacularly bright TVs reveal the full majesty of the latest HDR content”
Hues OF of vert GREY Keeping it airy with elephant’s breath
Maison du Monde –
“Stone” Mottled light grey 5-seater cotton left hand corner sofa
Perspective Coffee Table
Taraxacum Ceiling Light
Cox & Cox-
Elisee Mobilier De Compagnie -
Pure Breed Console Table, Matt Grey Available from ibride Design Dâ€™Auteur
Farrow & Ball Paint,
Elephantâ€™s Breath Gamechangers 50
â€œGamechanger: A visionary strategist bringing fresh and unique ideas to the table, an individual or business that stands out from the crowd with ideas that inventively change the way a situation develops.â€?
A world-class support that creates great results for top-management teams and managers Our readers have decided that Martin Lagerström at Statistics Sweden is an ACQ5 Global Awards 2017 Winner! They gave his work on strategy, management and leadership top-score ratings in our poll. Moreover, comments in the poll like “He and Statistics Sweden is without doubt the go-to resource for the latest trends, knowledge, skills and know-how in these issues” made us to want to learn more. We invited Martin to tell us more about the why´s, what´s, how´s and outcomes of this work. How does it feel to be an ACQ5 Global Award Winner? I am honored that so many of your readers have voted on me as a game changer and strategic advisor of the year in this field. It is another acknowledgement of the quality of this work. Especially since ACQ5 is the largest program of its kind in the market, and are based on customers views. In addition, your models of assessments are fact-based and structured. The top-score ratings on your criteria along with the nice reviews from your readers injects rocket-fuel in me to continue to improve my work. What do you mean by another acknowledgement? I have won other awards recently. Besides that, many firms from both Sweden and all around the world want to learn more about this support. International platforms such as UNECE, Eurostat etc. have showed the same interest as well. What´s even more important is that it has led to international missions in this area. One recent such mission (two years) I had was to Statistics Serbia. And as quoted by their Director General: “Thanks to Martin’s plan for action, the agency has achieved outstanding results. Besides that, top-management and managers have been much more engaged to take initiatives and actions. The quality results to our users has improved as well.” Exposure such as this, as well as winning ACQ5 Global Award will help us to further success and more opportunities. What do they want to learn? They are interested to learn more about why these methods work, what methods to use, and how to use them and outcomes. They also want to learn how they can measure the effects of it in the right way. They are particularly interested in hearing more about the outcomes from my customized support to top-management teams over time and its results, says Martin What is the support about? “The support I have created is tailor-made for true excellence. It helps organizations, top-management teams and managers how to use fact-based methods to accomplish
great results. Both for the managers themselves, their employees, their customers, their business and in their lives. It is based on my underlying principle: “As managers lead themselves, they lead others. As they lead others, they lead the groups. As they lead groups, they lead teams. As they lead teams, they lead entire businesses and organizations”. It is like the links in a chain. It hangs together. My custom-built support creates great results for each link in this chain, says Martin. What does the support contain? The support is extensive. It consists of three different leadership programs and one long term support for top-management teams and managers. Each leadership program is for 20 days excluding training, tests, assignments and other issues. The long-term support is a specially made support that I offer over time for top-management teams and managers. It is this support that gives the best outcomes. It helps top-management and managers in how to go from words into action and to achieve great results. Can you tell us more about this tailor-made support? Before I start to work with top-management teams I really take time to help them to clarify their needs, expectations, goals and psychological profiles etc. Then I align the managers goals to common goals for the entire management team. Not in the usual way, but goals that steer and motivate to action and results. That is to say, goals that fulfill all the goal principles from mental training. Only then do I tailor-made a support both for the head managers and the entire team. This support is divided into a starting session followed by five to 15 tailor-made sessions over a period of two years. The sessions are combined with assignments, both before, during and after each session. In this way competence is transferred from words, actions to results, which fare much faster results. Why have you created it? First, it would not have been possible for me to create all this
Many top-management teams and managers has achieved great results from MartinÂ´s work. 53 Gamechangers
without the full support from our Human Resources Director and Director-General. They invest strongly and long-term in our managers and staff. Unfortunately, it’s not so common, though it’s the smartest thing you can do. Facts are that with the current ways of working, our and most other organizations only manage to utilize about 20-40 percent of managers and staff’s true potential. Think about what a huge waste that is! Reasons for this are e.g. poorly defined goals, strategies, roles, responsibilities, methods, systems and processes. This applies both within and between departments, as well as up and down the organizations. To solve these problems Statistics Sweden offered me a free-role to create this support. Since 2012, it has led to powerful effects. Both for our organization and for other agencies. Especially the tailor-made support to top-management and managers. It helps them to go all the way from what to how, and to achieve measurable outcomes for each single link in my chain.
What results have top-management and managers achieved? My clients are better to tell you about this says Martin. Some samples are given below from different top-management teams and managers testimonials, i.e. in their own words • Through our work with Martin, we have avoided unnecessary and very costly reorganizations. Only these are savings whose value can be counted in several million Swedish kronor for us. • I have learned what drives, and challenges me, as well as what my fears and “blind spots” are ; and above all, how to build on my strengths and correct my weaknesses in order to become a much better leader. • We have learned how to prepare, implement and follow up changes so that they lead to concrete and measurable improvements. • Martin´s two-year coaching program, explicitly designed for me, has accelerated my growth as a person, manager, and leader. Furthermore, he customized a seven-month program in mental training for me to increase my growth even further.
The support I have created is tailor-made for true excellence.
• I use the mental training I’ve learned to achieve goals with less effort, increase mental strength, and to cope with stress; applying crucial life skills to perform and feel better in all aspects. • We have learned how to reach a consensus among top-management and to create action and results when it comes to such questions as “What do we want to achieve? What are the benefits of the change for our users and employees compared to today?”, “How do we know we have succeeded to change for the better? “In addition, we have learned how we should communicate the change to better motivate managers and employees in the organization. • We have learned how to set goals that guide and motivate us to action and better results. We have also learned how to measure the effects of the right things, in the right way and with high quality for all parts of the chain
Why does the support create results?
• We have learned how to develop groups into high-performance teams, and how we measure the effects of it, such as effectiveness, efficiency, productivity and job satisfaction.
It is no coincidence at all says Martin. I have used proven Excellence Models from many different areas. I have then transformed theory to practice with the best know-how approaches. All the approaches that are included in the support are
• My management group has evolved into a management team with an efficiency of 81 percent. Only 20 percent in Sweden and the United States succeeds to achieve this. It is also noticeable about the managers’ efficiency and job satisfaction.
1. research-/fact-based 2. proven to be best-practice within each area 3. practical to use (know-how) 4. comprehensive to both breadth and depth 5. system-based
• We have learned how we lead, govern, develop, follow up, and constantly improve our processes to our stakeholders in a different and much better way. That is to say, we have learned how to transform W. Edward Deming’s management principles into practice in a good way. These management processes go beyond high-performance teams, i.e. that’s the last step in Martin’s support.
“I can also say that I am walking my talk as I have applied these methods with great results myself. Both as a manager, senior management consultant as well as being a former elite sports champion. They just help to feel and function better in life”, adds Martin.
I am very grateful to our agency for believing in me, and that they offered me this opportunity. It’s a labour of love, concludes Martin.
Statistics Sweden Box 24300, 104 51 STOCKHOLM Besöksadress: Karlavägen 100 Mobile: +46(0)70-240 43 32 Phone: +46(0)10-479 43 32 E-mail: email@example.com www.linkedin.com/in/MartinLagerström
WO R LD VI EW
Business leaders urged by international experts to finance a low-carbon future or risk economic ruin Unbridled economic growth in many leading economies will have disastrous economic and social consequences and lead to irreversible environmental destruction, a group of global experts warns today. As heads of state gather for the start of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, the expert group (see Notes to Editors below) calls on world leaders to put human wellbeing before unregulated economic ambition, noting that the relentless pursuit of economic growth is undermining not only the environment but also the very prosperity and benefits it aims to achieve in many countries, not least in emerging markets. The group states that while rapid economic growth has generated unprecedented improvements in human welfare in recent decades, many policies that continue to maximise growth without enforcing environmental controls are now reaching a point of diminishing social returns. The group, convened by Oxford University’s Green Templeton College’s Emerging Markets Symposium (EMS), includes leading economists, scientists, policy-makers and entrepreneurs. Their report, published today, calls on political and business leaders to reverse the traditional economic consensus that environmental initiatives harm economic growth and business, instead encouraging them to be in the vanguard of change. Investing in low-carbon and health-friendly economies has the potential to reconcile profits with employment generation, while also protecting the planet for current and future generations.
It also argues that decision-makers have often been more concerned about the cost of interventions to limit environmental damage, seen to hurt business and growth, than about the price tag associated with not doing what is needed. The group makes three key recommendations to business leaders: • Explore innovative ways to invest in transitions to low-carbon and health-friendly economies, working with institutions such as the World Bank and regional development banks. • Develop new sources of financing, including ‘climate finance’ from high-income countries to help emerging markets and others adapt to climate change, and support the upfront investments needed to switch to renewable energy. • Strengthen corporate governance in emerging markets so they too can grow faster by focusing on eco-innovation. New research shows companies focusing on eco-innovation in Europe are growing at an annual rate of 15%, at a time when many of their competitors are struggling. Premier League footballer, Mathieu Flamini, a symposium participant and major investor in breakthrough technologies to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and petroleum-based products, says: “This report underlines the urgency of companies and investors turning their attention to solving the great environmental challenges of our era. Companies all over the
WO R LD VI EW
world now have a huge opportunity to work on solutions that can be transformative for economies and profitable in the long-term for investors. Our company was founded to be just such a solution in the bio-chemicals field. It is businesses such as these that will succeed in securing a sustainable future - for our planet and themselves.” Death, disease and destruction: the consequences of environmental negligence In particular, the report notes, global environmental threats are posing an increasingly acute danger to human health - especially in major emerging markets such as China and India, but also in the world at large: • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 23% of deaths worldwide are due to modifiable environmental factors - most prominently air pollution, which is the single greatest cause of disease and death in poorer countries and emerging markets. A number of studies have now documented how emissions from public and domestic energy systems combine in fine particles that penetrate the lungs, causing heart and lung disease, cancers and an increased risk of dementia. • Air pollution alone accounts for around seven million deaths worldwide: outdoor air pollution is responsible for some three million deaths a year and a further four million deaths occur as a result of household air pollution. These figures compare with 1.1 million deaths in 2015 from HIVrelated illnesses, and just over 11,000 deaths in the most recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, both of which rightly attracted significant global attention and funding. • The World Bank estimated air pollution cost the world economy some US$ 225 billion in lost labour income alone in 2013; and health-related economic losses from haze in the city of Beijing amounted to US$ 3.7 billion in just one month. The world-renowned economist, Jeffrey D Sachs, Professor at Columbia University and Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, warns:
“A quarter of all deaths worldwide are currently directly or indirectly attributed to environmental ill health. We cannot continue to stick our heads in the sand. Increasing air and water pollution, the spread of new diseases, and drugresistant infections are already crippling our health and social systems. Urgent and radical action is needed, including investing significantly in preventing environmental health challenges, changing the way we grow and produce food, and, of course, switching to renewable energy sources.” Addressing new priorities Reducing the heavy death toll from environmental depletion and degradation will often require radical changes in political priorities, as well as individual behaviour. For example, a recent analysis estimated that households accounted for 81% of the total use of fresh water reserves. However, many households lack information on how to reduce their environmental impact. Much attention to date has also focused on reducing coal burning by industry and power plants to achieve greenhouse gas targets. While these issues remain of critical concern,
new evidence shows that agricultural pollution, mainly from the fumes of livestock waste and nitrogen-rich fertilizers, now outweighs all other human sources of fine-particulate air pollution in many countries. Intensive farming has significant negative implications for human health and is a driving force in the decline of bio-diversity: • Excessive use of antibiotics in intensive livestock production is a major contributor to the spread of antimicrobial resistance; in the European Union and United States, agriculture accounts for over 75% of overall antimicrobial consumption; • Nearly 80% of de-forestation in emerging markets in Latin America is linked to the development of cattle farming in the Amazon; • Producing, processing and distributing meat accounts for up to 40 times more toxic gas emissions (including nitrous oxide and methane) than vegetables and grains. Professor Rainer Sauerborn, Director of the Institute of Public Health at the University of Heidelberg, comments: “We have to stop worrying about the costs of reducing environmental pollution and start being concerned about the immeasurably higher human and financial costs of not doing what is needed. For example, there is no good reason for us to continue to rely on animals as a main source of protein when plant-based alternatives are both more beneficial to our health and our environment. “The good news is if appropriate action is taken to reduce environmental risks, up to 30% of cardiovascular diseases and lower respiratory infections, 50% of diarrhoeal diseases and 20% of cancers can be prevented.” At a troubling time in international efforts to manage the challenges of environmental change, the report urges global leaders, including in China, India and Europe, as well as local authorities and businesses across the world, to join together to implement and build on the Paris Agreement, an important milestone not only in climate change but potentially also in the history of public health. The EMS report underlines that the need to limit large-scale environmental damage is about much more than the climate and energy policies being discussed in Hamburg. Debates can no longer solely focus on economic costs but must also include new assessments of the costs to human health and well-being, including from air and water pollution, waste mismanagement, soil degradation and diminished bio-diversity. The most effective strategies involve controlling environmental damage at its source – in a number of countries industrial emissions in air and water have been regulated, lead has been removed from gasoline, and highly toxic pesticides have been replaced by safer substitutes. These and other such interventions can provide a basis for accelerated global action.
WO R LD VI EW
What needs to be done – summary of recommendations The EMS report lays out a number of recommendations for future action, many of which have catalytic global, national and local environmental, health and economic benefits. These include: • Global leadership: Creating a new global coalition of government, business, civil society and individuals to develop a strategic vision of a long-term equilibrium between economic activities and natural systems; such a coalition should also lay the ground for binding global agreements to ensure better management of immediate environmental threats to people’s health and well-being. • National governments: Redressing current inadequate tax and subsidy systems that work against environmental and health improvements – in 2015, for example, the International Monetary Fund estimated that fossil fuel companies benefitted from global subsidies of US$ 5.3 trillion, over half of the total health spending of all governments; doubling the share of renewable energy by 2030, thereby not only reducing air pollution-related disease but also creating 24 million jobs and increasing global GDP
by 1.1%; adopting a broad ‘one health’ system that both the social and environmental determinants of health; and increasing the current meager percentages of health budgets currently spent on prevention (just 3%, even in wealthy OECD countries) to assist in achieving the WHO-proposed goal of reducing non-communicable diseases by 25% by 2025. • Local authorities: Supporting the role of local leaders as vehicles of change, e.g., mayors were the loudest voices lobbying in favor of the Paris Agreement; this type of action can become a source of inspiration for other districts and local authorities. • Civil society: Exploring new forms of collaboration between international non-governmental organizations and national organizations in emerging markets to strengthen the case for change locally. • Media: Urging mainstream and social media companies to take on more pro-active roles as gatekeepers in the face of campaigns led by particular vested interests that aim to undermine facts or disseminate ‘alternative facts’ (fake news).
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: Lessons on Leading a High-Growth Business The COO shares insights on taking risks, scaling at Google, and working through differences with Mark Zuckerberg. Leading a high-growth company and scaling it into a tech empire involves working through countless challenges: You need to constantly innovate, adapt with the economy, navigate relationships with executives, evolve your team, and more. Sheryl Sandberg knows this experience intimately, from her time as Google’s VP of global online sales and operations — during which she scaled the company’s online sales team from four to 4,000, driving two-thirds of the company’s revenue — through her past nine years as Facebook’s chief operating officer. To get to where she — and Facebook — is today, Sandberg has learned hard leadership lessons about growing a team and a company. Tune in to Masters of Scale for an exclusive interview with Sheryl Sandberg. In the fifth episode of Masters of Scale, the podcast hosted by famed entrepreneur Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and partner at the VC firm Greylock, Sandberg shares some of her most vital learnings from the tech world’s arduous trenches. The episode, “Lead, Lead Again,” also features exclusive insight from Bill Gates, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and more. Subscribe to Masters of Scale for access to this and future episodes, and listen to a preview below.
Read on for Sandberg’s three key lessons for managing a growing business, and get an insider’s look at her time at two of today’s most powerful companies. 1. Take risks to adapt your workforce to changing needs. Businesses evolve at a rapid clip, especially in the tech industry — and a 10-person startup’s needs are drastically different from those at a company of 10, 100, or 1,000 times that size. Early in her business career, Sandberg learned that managing a startup means that promises you make are going to be broken, and plans will be changed. As Hoffman notes in the podcast, you can’t stop the onslaught of challenges, but you can identify the moment when they force you to pivot — and act accordingly. “My team [at Google] was four people and they were very worried [how] we were going to grow,” Sandberg says. “So my first day I said, ‘Don’t worry. We’re all going to interview everyone.’ Two weeks later the team was 12 people and it was completely unreasonable to have a person interview with 12 people. So this promise I had made to make them feel good about scaling, I took away in a week.” As a business grows, leaders face hard choices. Sometimes, they have to let go of staffers who were key to a startup’s early days but aren’t experienced enough to manage growing teams. Or, they must hire for roles that don’t exist yet, as Sandberg had to do when building her team at Google.
WO R LD VI EW
One solution that solves many ills is the strategic reskilling of employees to adapt to new priorities, which Facebook did in 2012. At that time, the company’s products were designed for desktop use, but people were transitioning to primarily mobile use faster than it could keep up with. Sandberg recalls: “Mark [Zuckerberg] stood up at the company all-hands and said, ‘We’re going to be a mobile first company,’ and he did it incredibly well. But you know what happened the next day? Nothing. People still came in with their desktop screenshots because that’s what they knew how to build. So a couple of meetings in, Mark just said, ‘You know what? No more meetings unless you’re mobile screenshots first.’ Just by making that shift, he made the shift in the company. We really had to force it. The company really got on board but it meant retraining a lot of engineers.”
When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was scouting Sandberg to potentially join the company, the two spent months speaking for several hours a week to determine whether she would be a good fit. “To say I had multiple conversations with Mark is kind of the understatement,” Sandberg says. “He was a late-night guy. He didn’t come into the office particularly early so he would come over for dinner at 8. I would literally have to kick him out at 11 or 12.” During this time, Sandberg’s husband, the late Dave Goldberg, offered advice that still resonates with her today. “Mark and I didn’t agree on a lot of substantive things at that point,” Sandberg recalls. “Dave told me, ‘Don’t work any of those out. You never will.’ He said, ‘What you want from Mark is process agreement on how you will work things
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talks leadership lessons with Reid Hoffman on the Masters of Scale podcast. Photo by Jacqui Ipp.
The entire organization’s shift to mobile involved a massive risk, from both a business and workforce perspective: pausing all new product features for an astonishing two years, and throwing engineers off the deep end into unknown territory. However, this willingness to adapt and confront limitations again where the industry was headed allowed for the change the company needed to get ahead. 2. Disagreements are a given — how you handle them is a choice. When you’re joining a new company, it’s all but guaranteed that you won’t always see eye to eye with your future boss. But establishing a strategy for working through those inevitable disagreements will make your work more constructive, which benefits the whole business.
out. Because even if you work all the questions you have out now, they’re going to change.’ ”Sandberg and Zuckerberg agreed to schedule twice-weekly meetings to give each other honest feedback and work through their disagreements, which they’ve now been doing for nine years. A company’s goals, priorities, and challenges are constantly changing, but one thing you can keep consistent is your approach to finding a solution. 3. Promote a culture of constant feedback at all levels of the business. As Hoffman notes in the Masters of Scale episode, the best managers don’t spot changes on their own — their team surfaces problems up to them. The challenge, Sandberg has learned, is getting them to speak up.
WO R LD VI EW
When Sandberg was building her team at Google, she realized she had been holding up the hiring process — and her reports already knew that, but didn’t tell her. “I thought to myself, ‘I’ve become a bottleneck and you didn’t tell me, and that’s on me,’” she says. “I realized I had to make it safe to speak up when I’m messing up.” She faced a similar issue at Facebook, when her request of “No PowerPoint in my meetings” was misunderstood as “No PowerPoint in any meetings, ever.” To straighten it out, “I got on the stage [at Facebook’s global sales conferences] and said, ‘One, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. Two, it is on me that if you all thought that was a stupid idea, you need to speak up and tell me. Of course you have PowerPoint with clients. Clients love PowerPoint. I don’t,’” she says. “It was just a really good lesson that I needed to be super careful that things didn’t get taken too far, but also that I needed to make sure people could speak up.” Sandberg champions openness, and being resilient through embracing and learning from failure. “You have to build in a
culture where, when I think you need to do something better or you think I need to do something better, we tell each other and tell each other directly and work it out,” she says. “You have to embrace organizational failure. You have to sit down and debrief when things go wrong. Why did they go wrong? What can we learn and what can we do better? It’s organizations that hide things under the rug that don’t create the resilience because they don’t learn.” For more inspiring insight from Sandberg — with cameos from Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and more — subscribe to Masters of Scale and listen to the full episode. At General Assembly, get help scaling your business through innovative, career-building courses in web development, design, data, marketing, and business — online and at campuses across the globe. Assess job candidates and your employees’ skills through GA’s Credentials division, and find out how you can invest in your employees’ skills and growth through our corporate training programs.
Original Source: The Index
M&A deal costs: VAT recovery demystified HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recently published updated guidance on the VAT recovery of deal costs, which will come as good news to everyone involved in M&A. The VAT recovery of deal costs has long been a tricky terrain to navigate, with HMRC often challenging the VAT recoveries applied by businesses. This is an area of VAT where the amount of money at stake is often substantial, and it is therefore crucial businesses are up to speed with the latest case law developments and policy. So what are the important factors to consider, and where are the potential sticking points? HMRC conditions The latest updated guidance takes into account recent case law precedents and sets out the key conditions holding companies must meet in order to be entitled to VAT recovery. The holding company must: 1. Have an “economic activity” 2. Have contracted for the supply (or had the contract novated to it) 3. Have used and paid for the supply 4. Have a VAT invoice addressed to them The common areas of difficulty in interpreting the above conditions and what it means in practice are covered in more detail below. Management charges HMRC have confirmed that in addition to any other business activities it may undertake, the holding company will have an economic activity where it makes or intends to make (this needs to be evidenced) supplies of management services for consideration, to its subsidiaries. It is worth noting that any management services must be genuine and be for more than a nominal amount. In addition, any management charges that are contingent on the future profitability of the subsidiaries will not entitle the holding company to VAT recovery. If not all subsidiaries are charged management charges, the VAT recovery must be apportioned accordingly. Loans to subsidiaries Although the provision of loans will also form an economic activity, this would be an exempt supply and would not in itself allow for VAT recovery unless the supplies are made and received by members of a VAT group.
WO R LD VI EW
Direct and immediate link HMRC have confirmed that for VAT to be recoverable the costs on which it is incurred, including acquisition costs, must have a direct and immediate link to taxable supplies conducted as part of the economic activity. VAT will only be recoverable to the extent that those costs are used for the taxable activity. Therefore, if a holding company is only providing loans to its subsidiaries (and the holding company is not part of a VAT group with its subsidiaries), it will not be entitled to VAT recovery as this would be an exempt supply. If a holding company provides taxable management services, to all its subsidiaries (and the holding company is not part of a VAT group with its subsidiaries) then any VAT incurred on acquisition costs relating to the holding in those subsidiaries will be deductible.
Kamlesh Chauhan, Senior VAT Manager, haysmacintyre
VAT grouping It should be noted that joining a VAT group does not, of itself give rise automatically to an entitlement to recover VAT. It does not create a taxable activity or create a direct and immediate link between all input costs of a holding company and the taxable outputs of other VAT group members. A link should exist between the holding company and the other VAT group members so that the costs are properly and naturally attributable to the VAT groupâ€™s taxable outputs. This can possibly be through the provision of management charges or loans, as long as the loans support the making of taxable supplies, by the holding company to the subsidiaries. Extension of taxable activities HMRC have confirmed that it is not always necessary for a holding company to make management charges to its subsidiaries. This applies where a shareholding is acquired as a continuous extension, including buying a similar business or a complementary one, of a taxable activity and that taxable activity is to continue, HMRC have agreed that this can have a direct and immediate link to those activities and be recoverable. If the transaction involves a company to be purchased as an investment, the holding company must make, or intend to make, supplies of management services to its subsidiaries in order to be in a position to attribute these costs to a taxable supply to enable VAT recovery.
WO R LD VI EW
Summary Overall, it is reassuring that HMRC have relaxed their position slightly and VAT recovery can be achieved more easily than before, as long as certain steps are taken. The first being to ensure that any bid vehicle, (future holding company), will have a taxable economic activity or will provide loans to subsidiaries as part of a VAT group, and that this can be evidenced at the time the costs are incurred. It is also important that the intention to make supplies is actually fulfilled in due course otherwise HMRC may still query the original VAT recovery at a later date. We come across many businesses involved in recent acquisitions who have chosen not to reclaim any VAT on deal costs for their business as a result of the uncertainty. Alternatively they may have restricted their VAT recovery unnecessarily in the past in order to ensure that there wasnâ€™t a risk of potential challenge from HMRC. For these businesses, this is now an opportune time to reconsider the VAT treatment that has been adopted for the last four years and to review whether it may be possible to recover any of the VAT that was originally restricted. To truly maximise the possible VAT recovery of deal costs, we would always recommend businesses seek advice on their VAT position at an early stage.
By Kamlesh Chauhan, Senior Manager at haysmacintyre
WO R LD VI EW
New research finds a more supportive climate for active currency management and reveals significance of transaction costs • Divergence in European and US interest rates and greater scrutiny of costs driving change as bfinance spots a trend towards active currency overlays • Conclusions of a new paper: ‘Managing Currency Risk in a Two-Speed World’ A more active approach to managing portfolio-wide currency risks, and in particular a greater appetite for active currency overlays, is being shown by institutional investors, driven by divergence in European and US interest rates, geopolitical unrest and greater scrutiny of costs. A highly tailored provider assessment framework is essential with currency overlays and institutional asset owners looking to pursue active overlay strategies should carefully consider both upfront fees and transaction costs as there is a wide disparity in both. These are the key findings of the latest market Intelligence report from bfinance, ‘Managing Currency Risk in a Two-Speed World’, which also includes insight from FX transaction cost specialist New Change FX. Three major trends are driving this change The paper, notes three major drivers of change and the greater adoption of active currency overlays, the hybrid blend of currency hedging and modest active return targets. Firstly, an emergence of a ‘two-speed world’ as interest rates in the US and Europe diverge, which is creating a more supportive climate for trend-following currency strategies after a decade of poor performance. Secondly, closer scrutiny of both active and passive currency management costs due to the more fee-conscious investment landscape and the anticipation of more stringent cost reporting requirements under Mifid II. Thirdly, more frequent geopolitical macro events have boosted FX volatility. Dynamic hedging and multi-strategy are now the primary styles of active currency overlay Two primary styles of active FX currency overlay are currently prevalent – dynamic hedging and multi-strategy. Dynamic hedging, is a pure trend-following strategy where practitioners ‘dynamically’ adjust hedge ratios to underhedge stronger and over-hedge weaker currencies: such strategies only perform well when currencies ‘trend’. The advent of a ‘two-speed world’ as interest rates diverge with those in Europe remaining low and US rates rising has created a more supportive environment for these approaches. Multi-strategy styles theoretically deliver excess return regardless of whether currencies ‘trend’ and apply a range of more fundamental models alongside momentum signals. The main examples of this are value, which is often purchasing power parity (PPP) based, carry, which is the most widely applied currency factor and macro, which examines economic fundamentals.
Large disparity in fees and even greater differences in transaction costs revealed by independent assessment The hidden costs in currency management have also been identified and, while front-end fees are widely dispersed with the more expensive providers being twice as high as the cheaper offerings, transaction costs vary by more than 400% and are harder to assess in a transparent common framework. Over the long term, better transaction costs can mean paying less than 3% of overall AuM in currency trading, in comparison with losing 15% or even 25% through poorer practices, as shown through an example portfolio representing the average UK pension pot. Managers offering lower headline charges have proved to have higher average transaction costs and vice versa, making it even more vital not to take fees at face value and consider the overall package of expenses. These differences are strongly correlated with the type of provider with banks generally offering principal relationships, executing all trades through their own institutions, while others operated on an agency basis with open architecture for execution. Different forms of currency management Investors need to take into account their whole portfolio when selecting suitable FX managers as active currency management has been playing an increasingly critical role in other asset classes. This includes alternative risk premia strategies, now considered a mainstream asset class, where currency represents a key source of returns alongside equities, fixed income and commodities; CTAs, which have surged in popularity thanks to their diversification profile against more traditional risk assets also now incorporate a strong element of currency; and active fixed income managers which have increasingly been expected to use currency as a key source of return while yields have remained depressed. Key takeaways for institutions from the report: Bfinance offers three takeaways: Active currency overlay strategies fall into two main families: dynamic hedging and multi-strategy with the latter offering a more all-weather approach but with greater complexity. Investors should avoid one-size-fits-all ratings. A manager assessment framework that is highly tailored to the client is essential in the active overlay sector. Transaction costs are highly significant in both active and passive currency management and conventional assessment methods are flawed. Toby Goodworth, head of diversifying strategies at bfinance, says: “This paper gives considerable insight into the re-emergence of active currency management and the strategic choices available to investors when considering active currency overlays. Investors are now looking to take advantage of the divergence of interest rates and we have seen a significant increase of interest in active overlays in particular.
WO R LD VI EW
rigorous transaction cost analysis in this sector. We also found that a highly tailored manager assessment framework is essential in Fees and transaction costs should also be scrutinised closely. We have been very pleased to work with New Change FX to provide clients with independent, the active overlay sector due to portfolio-specific performance outcomes, regional reporting requirements and the fit with other providers such as custodians.” Kathryn Saklatvala, Global Content Director and the report’s author, says: “Today’s investment climate raises new FXrelated headaches for investors, provoking a rethink of previous decisions to hedge currency exposures, leave them unhedged or delegate such decisions to fixed income and equity managers. 2017 is far too early to predict a return to the heyday of active currency management – a sector which experienced a dramatic cull after the financial crisis when the return of volatility undermined widely-used carry strategies. There was a large shift towards passive currency management strategies. But this uptick in appetite for active currency overlays is potentially very significant.
After 2010 many consultants appeared to have determined that active currency management had no place in a riskreducing hedging programme; this attitude is now clearly undergoing a rethink. The question of more tactical currency management and its role in institutional portfolios is now more pertinent than ever.” Andy Woolmer, CEO, New Change FX, says: “While FX usually contributes the highest volume of trading of any asset class within a portfolio, it is almost always the most neglected. FX flows are treated as a back office function rather than an important component of cost and an asset which can be sold to the market. Banks, traders and brokers spend millions on ensuring that they profit handsomely from this neglect. Any bank’s balance sheet will show 20% of income from FX. These profits are rarely a result of taking trading risk, but rather come directly from the pockets of the unaware which goes some way to explain why fees are so disparate. When analysing potential partners for passive hedging or active overlays, it is important to assess each manager’s ability to navigate the treacherous shoals of the FX markets on a fair and quant-driven basis.”
WO R LD VI EW
Private equity investors expect cyber-attacks • Investors’ PE returns could be improved by changing their own structures and processes, say LPs • Many LPs foresee improved near-term opportunities in Japanese private equity • Protectionism is seen as a real risk to private equity returns by a majority of LPs Over half of LPs expect their infrastructure to suffer a serious cyber-attack within five years – a sharp rise on the one in twenty LPs who have suffered attacks in recent years, according to Coller Capital’s latest Global Private Equity Barometer. Heightened security concerns will also affect LPs’ relations with their GPs: around half of investors say they will require cyber risk assessments both for GP management companies and for fund portfolio companies within the next few years. Most LPs concede that their private equity returns could be improved by making changes to their own organisations: • Two thirds of LPs believe that changes to their recruitment and resourcing would lead to better returns. • Three-fifths think that overhauling their investment decision-making would boost returns. • And half think returns could be increased by changes to their governance and management structures. Three quarters of investors also believe that their private equity programmes could be improved through the better use of third-party data. “In a general sense, private equity remains a top performing asset class,” said Jeremy Coller, CIO of Coller Capital, “but there is strong evidence that how Limited Partners approach the market makes a real difference to their returns. Investors that are not appropriately structured and resourced will fail to optimise private equity returns for the beneficiaries of their funds.” Opportunities and risks On balance, investors think that private equity’s prospects will continue to improve around the world in both the short and the medium terms. (The only exception is North American private equity, about which investors are more equivocal in the short term – partly because of uncertainty about potential changes in the tax and regulatory environment and what these might mean for the asset class.) This confident outlook is reflected in investors’ overall view of equity markets. Half of LPs think that the ratio of private equity to public equity will change in private equity’s favour in the next few years – with only six percent of LPs believing that the ratio will change in the opposite direction. Limited Partners’ optimistic view of the asset class does not mean they are blind to risks, however. Nine out of 10 LPs see high asset prices as a risk to their private equity returns – and well over half (60%) see protectionism as a genuine threat. Almost all investors think the opportunities for private equity investment in fintech will remain strong; indeed, two thirds of LPs expect this market segment to continue to grow.
However, they are less sure about blockchain, with only one quarter of LPs convinced that the technology will offer good prospects for private equity investment in the next five years. ‘Platform deal’ strategies are likely to continue receiving investor support. Two thirds of LPs say that the greater visibility of these strategies today reflects GPs’ increasing ability to add value through operational improvement, rather than the excesses of an overheated market. Investors’ views on energy investing show a strong regional disparity, with LPs in North America preferring oil and gas investments over renewables, and investors in Europe and Asia-Pacific favouring renewables over hydrocarbons. In the credit markets, investors are particularly interested in special situations and distressed debt – with three quarters of LPs citing these strategies as likely to provide attractive opportunities in the next couple of years. Most Limited Partners also remain strongly committed to private equity investing in the Asia-Pacific region, despite its returns to date having been weaker than those from North America and Europe. Despite this continuing commitment, however, more than half of LPs say they are becoming more selective in their choice of GPs, geographies, and investment strategies in the region. Many Limited Partners expect the recent changes to Japan’s business and economic environment to result in more opportunities for private equity over the next three years. Over 70% of Asia-Pacific LPs hold this view, as do more than two fifths of North American and European LPs. LP/GP relations Although the majority of investors believe that fund hurdle rates are currently set at the right level, two in five LPs would be prepared to flex hurdle rates in certain circumstances – in response to changing rates of return perhaps, or simply in exchange for other modifications to a fund’s terms and conditions. Transaction fees appear to be an important but not decisive factor in LPs’ fund selection. Pension plan investors appear to feel most strongly about the issue, with a third citing transaction fee provisions as a decisive factor when they consider new fund commitments. Additional Barometer findings The Summer 2017 edition of the Barometer also charts investors’ views and opinions on: • Investors’ private equity returns across the lifetimes of their portfolios • The future pace of GP drawdowns
WO R LD VI EW
Political uncertainty drives consumer goods M&A to lowest level since 2011 • Consumer goods M&A plummeted in 2016, down $176bn on the previous year, as political uncertainty depressed deal-making in the sector • Growth conditions worsened for the Global 50, with overall revenue growth turning negative for the first time (-0.7%) Mergers and acquisitions among the top 50 consumer goods giants have fallen sharply from $226bn in 2015 to $50bn in 2016. This is according to OC&C Strategy Consultants’ 15th annual Global 50 report in collaboration with The Grocer, which examines the financial performance of the world’s 50 largest consumer goods companies – the likes of Nestle, P&G, Diageo and PepsiCo. With organic revenue growth at historic lows and companies under pressure from activist shareholders to boost margins, M&A had become a critical source of growth among the Global 50 in recent years. But political uncertainty caused by Britain’s EU referendum, populist parties gaining ground across Europe and the US presidential election is likely to have depressed deal-making in the sector. The decline in 2016 comes after a bumper year for M&A in 2015 and brings deal value to its lowest level since 2011, less than half the ten-year average (average annual deal value between 2006 – 2015: $108bn). The Global 50 saw organic growth slump further in 2016, down from 3.4% to 2.6%, with overall revenue growth turning negative for the first time in thirteen years (to -0.7%). The top 50 consumer goods giants have lost eight percentage points of sales growth in just five years (from +7.3% in 2011 to -0.7% in 2016). Will Hayllar, Partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants said:
“The bottom fell out of consumer goods M&A in 2016, and political uncertainty has undoubtedly played a significant part in this. With the Global 50 struggling to find growth and under increasing pressure to boost margins, there’s more reason than ever for M&A activity – be that acquisitions to access growth segments in their categories like premium and natural or consolidation to drive profitability. Clearly, events across Europe and the US made many cautious of pulling the M&A trigger in 2016.
WO R LD VI EW
“However, we’ve already seen green shoots in the first half of 2017 with M&A beginning to recover across the sector as businesses adjust to the new political norms. Between January and May, ten deals have been announced with a combined value of $87bn. Although one of the biggest potential deals – Kraft Heinz’s failed takeover attempt of Unilever – was spectacularly scuppered earlier this year.”
Sector leaders such as PepsiCo, Unilever, and Nestle are finding superior organic revenue growth through these strategies:
Whilst the Global 50 haven’t broken the growth deadlock, they have made progress on profitability. Both gross and net profit margins grew in 2016, with headline net profit up by a massive 2.2 percentage points, increasing to 18.8% from 16.6% the previous year. Most of this was due to exceptional gains, however, and the underlying net profit margin increase was a more modest 0.5 percentage points to 17.0%. Despite a public focus from FMCG companies on cost cutting programmes, this increase in profitability was driven largely by favourable commodities prices, rather than a reduction in overheads or the impact of the 3G Capital inspired zero-based budgeting approach which many of the Global 50 claim to have adopted.
Despite e-commerce being a relatively low share of revenue, these companies show it can ultimately provide 1-2 percentage points of overall organic growth.
• Actively pursuing e-commerce opportunities has resulted in Unilever, Mondelez and Nestle growing their e-commerce revenues by 30-50% over 2016.
• Premiumisation strategies, both organic and inorganic, have also proved effective. Diageo, for instance, has launched new brands and products to grow its premium presence in existing categories.
Will Hayllar continued:
Diageo’s commitment to premium brands has been further evidenced through its $1bn acquisition of George Clooney’s Casamigos premium tequila brand in recent weeks. Others have also grown their premium offering through M&A, for example Unilever’s multiple acquisitions of smaller players in recent years such as T2 and REN.
“The landscape continues to be challenging for consumer goods companies, but there are winning strategies out there. By focusing on e-commerce, premiumisation and tapping into consumer trends, such as healthy living, we’ve seen industry leaders grow.
• Tapping into the healthy living trend among consumers has generated good results. Now, Innocent make up 1% of Coca-Cola’s sales that although relatively small has the potential to make a big difference to the growth of the business.
“Early adopters should redouble their efforts in these areas to kick-start growth, and those slower off the mark should incorporate these aspects into their business strategies assoon as possible or risk being left behind.”
Likewise, just 12% of PepsiCo’s revenue now comes from Pepsi, whilst ‘Everyday Nutrition’ generates 25% and ‘ Guilt-Free’ 45% of revenues, underpinning superior organic growth of PepsiCo in the past year.
WO R LD VI EW
Pendo CEO Pamela Pecs Cytron discusses how to extract insights from unstructured data in business debate interview The exponential increase in the amount of data held by financial institutions, 80 percent of which is unstructured data, is fast becoming a key challenge for CTOs/CIOs in financial institutions around the globe. In a recent Business Debate interview published on its Wall Street Journal partner site, Pendo Systems CEO Pamela Pecs Cytron discusses the importance of unstructured data to the enterprise and how the Pendo Platform not only makes such data accessible, but also how the platform makes it easy to mine that data for insights and mission-critical information. In discussing the launch of the video, Mrs. Pecs Cytron remarked, “Our experience working with 25 percent of the SIFIs in the U.S. has taught us that to extract the real value from unstructured data you need a fast, accurate and repeatable process. The Pendo Platform does all that and more, and can be best measured by the millions of dollars we’ve saved our customers.” Video: https://goo.gl/hzQYXq
â€œA Gamechanger changes the way that something is done, thought of or made; they transform the accepted rules, processes, strategies and management of business functions. They shift behaviour, shape culture and make clever happen.â€?
REPORTS A PRESENTATION OF FACTS OR FINDINGS
Leaking information on M&A deals boosts deal values by an average US$21m
Building bridges: Latin Americaâ€™s new trade agenda
Toniic T100: Report offers insights from 37 impact advisors and consultants who are transforming the financial service industry
State Street Finds Majority of Investment Firms Slow to Embrace New Technology
Majority of global dealmakers use financial incentives for talent retention, but prevalence varies - Mercer research
European Buy & Build activity reaches highest level on record
r epo rt
Majority of global dealmakers use financial incentives for talent retention, but prevalence varies - Mercer research
• 7 in 10 use financial incentives for talent retention in M&A transactions, often well beyond executives and senior management • Tech industry buyers fund retention plans for CEOs and direct reports on average at 49% above the market median • Research uncovers retention framework Utilizing retention programs in order to maximize the enormous ‘people investment’ made by global dealmakers is a nearly ubiquitous practice, according to Flight Risk in M&A: The Art and Science of Retaining Talent – 2017 Mercer Research Report. More than 7 in 10 dealmakers (71%) the world over says they use financial incentives for talent retention as part of their deal-making strategy and process. The research revealed, however, that regional, cultural and industry dynamics vary widely, and understanding and leveraging these variances are crucial to long-term deal value. Report: https://goo.gl/3sKaHz Gamechangers 72
r epo rt
H E A LT H
W E A LT H
FLIGHT RISK IN M&A: THE ART AND SCIENCE O F R E TA I N I N G TA L E N T 2017 MERCER RESEARCH REPORT D ATA • I N S I G H T S • D I R E C T I O N
r epo rt
r epo rt
2017 MERCER RESEARCH REPORT
TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S
About The Authors
About the Report
Investors: Donâ€™t be Fooled
FL I G H T R I S K I N M & A : T H E A R T A N D S C I E N C E O F R E TA I N I N G TA L E N T
FOREWORD: MAKING PEOPLE THE FOCUS
r epo rt
2017 MERCER RESEARCH REPORT
In spite of the daily geopolitical chaos — be it North Korean military threats, Brexit, Chinese banking reforms, Japan’s corporate governance challenges, the Brazilian political crisis or daily turbulence in Washington —
M&A is alive and well. Q1 results, however, point to noticeable shifts. To name a few,1 global M&A volume is down 9%, but deal value is up 12%; the value of China’s outbound transactions has dropped by 85%; the value of cross-border deals increased by 10%; activists are now targeting and disrupting companies in North America, Europe and Japan; private equity fundraising has reached record highs; and the average EBITDA multiples (globally) upon exit are at record levels (14.9x).2
Consistent with our research findings last year (People Risk in M&A Transactions: download here www.mercer.com/peoplerisk), buyers continue to take greater risks, operate with much less information, invest in new geographies and deploy unprecedented levels of capital in leveraging cheap debt and credit.
G LO B A L D E A L VA L U E 3
14% Increase North America
160% Increase Latin America
29% Increase Europe
19% Decrease Asia Pacific
FL I G H T R I S K I N M & A : T H E A R T A N D S C I E N C E O F R E TA I N I N G TA L E N T
In taking a broad view of business and industry around the world, we see that one common denominator drives deal value: PEOPLE. In our experience advising on more than 1,200 deals annually, we see clear evidence that buyers who consistently drive exceptional operating results have a disciplined process for identifying, engaging and motivating key talent. In this report we dig into the issue at the top of every executive’s mind: how to retain and engage key talent during and following a merger or acquisition. Last year, we researched the people aspects of mergers and acquisitions to help you sharpen your focus and learn about emerging trends through the lens of deal experts. We shared insights that highlighted people-related transaction risks and introduced practical strategies and solutions to help deliver economic value. Still, both the buyers and the sellers we polled needed specific data and a process to help them identify and retain key talent during transactions. This year’s report documents effective strategies and evolving trends in employee retention. We pinpoint specific actions that organizations can take to hedge flight risk, engage key talent and drive an affordable retention plan as part of an M&A transaction.
DATA • I N S I G H T S • D I R E C T I O N
THE TOP FIVE PEOPLE ISSUES IDENTIFIED (IN RANK ORDER)
Cultural and organizational fit/integration
Leadership team (determining the quality of the management team/executives for the new company)
Compensation and benefit levels (market pay concerns)
Talent availability as well as identifying, assessing and placing talent
2017 MERCER RESEARCH REPORT
Making the wrong investment decisions in talent can cripple a deal. Often, organizations operate in a silo, focusing on the necessary nuts and bolts of transactions, like operating margins and cash flow, while overlooking a critical aspect of the deal — people. Too frequently, retention schemes focus only on those at the top. Our research shows that the “Rising Middle” stars are essential to keep organizations operating smoothly during and after a merger or acquisition.
“The idea that an organization’s workforce is an asset — rather than simply a business cost — is now broadly embraced by business leaders everywhere.” — Haig R. Nalbantian Co-Leader, Mercer Workforce Sciences Institute
This report introduces effective strategies for employee retention, leveraging new data to significantly improve your chances of a successful transition. I would like to thank all the participants who shared their experiences, perspectives and expertise in helping us prepare this valuable research. Equally deserving of thanks are the dedicated Mercer professionals who helped bring this report to life.
JEFF COX Senior Partner, Global M&A Transaction Services Leader, Mercer
FL I G H T R I S K I N M & A : T H E A R T A N D S C I E N C E O F R E TA I N I N G TA L E N T
E XECU TIVE SUMMARY
DATA • I N S I G H T S • D I R E C T I O N
r epo rt
2017 MERCER RESEARCH REPORT
LITTLE ROOM FOR ERROR
RETENTION BONUS P R E VA L E N C E *
We are experiencing another year of a brutally competitive, full on seller’s market around the world. As such, buyers are paying record multiples and taking on unprecedented risk in order to complete transactions. In today’s environment, where capital is abundant and cheap, the opposite is true for talent. Top performers are expensive to replace. And buyers are vulnerable to the flight risk of key talent in most transactions. The organizational change involved in most deals puts people on edge, and they opt out or disengage without an added incentive to stay focused. “The common denominator consistently driving economic value is having the right people on board to execute post-close. At no time globally have we seen it so critical for buyers and sellers both, who want to drive shareholder value, lock down talent at the top and including those ‘Rising Middle Stars’ critical for
* Buyers regardless of target location
execution,” said Adam Rosenberg, Mercer’s EuroPac M&A Transaction Services Leader.
Successful acquirers around the world routinely manage their people assets with the same rigor and discipline with which they manage balance sheet risk. They concentrate on three primary people practices to drive value:
ENGAGE THE WORKFORCE
ALIGN REWARDS WITH BEHAVIORS
The first step is to
EVENT MANAGEMENT AROUND RETAINING TOP TALENT
commit to an investment
Retention programs are viewed
in change management
as insurance policies to hedge
incentives, benefits, etc.)
communications. This starts
against flight risk in transactions.
is foundational to driving
with defining a culture
By applying Mercer’s framework,
behaviors within the
that is tangible, assigning
buyers and sellers can
decision-making rights, risk
effectively lock down critical
unlock true value.
talent and drive operational
Aligning total rewards
r epo rt
FL I G H T R I S K I N M & A : T H E A R T A N D S C I E N C E O F R E TA I N I N G TA L E N T
F O C U S O N R E TA I N I N G T O P TA L E N T, N O T J U S T TOP EXECUTIVES We uncovered some key insights that are important to call out because they were quite different from the last time we looked at retention in M&A back in 2012. One significant finding is that successful acquirers are taking a people-first “bottom-up” approach when designing retention programs. They’re not first budgeting for retention and distributing to employees (“top-down” approach), they’re focusing on talent first; making sure retention is designed with a focus on key employees.
“We reached deeper down into the organization [with retention] just to make sure that nothing critical was going to break after close.” — M&A deal professional,
health care company, 2,100 employees, $1.2 billion in revenue
This bottom-up approach also revealed another significant trend - retention programs are expanding outside of the C-suite. Buyers and sellers are definitely getting more nuanced about whom they offer retention to and how deeply and broadly to go into the acquired organization.
ELIGIBILIT Y FOR RETENTION B O N U S E S G L O B A L LY
From 2012 Research
This research was triggered by last year’s People Risks in M&A Transactions (www.mercer.com/peoplerisk) report, which found that employee retention was (and continues to be) the number one perceived people risk for global dealmakers. We based these findings on comprehensive survey responses from 243 global business professionals reporting on 212 discrete closed transactions. We also conducted 82 in-depth interviews with a combination of investment bankers, lawyers, private equity deal leads and corporate buyers/ sellers. Collectively, the participants have been engaged in over 1,500 closed transactions in the last five years. Most companies (69%) represented employees, and 77% had annual global revenue exceeding $1 billion. D A T A •byI Nrespondents S I G H T S • had D I R5,000 E C T or I Omore N
r epo rt
2017 MERCER RESEARCH REPORT
Consistent with our experiences working on over 1,200 transactions annually, smart buyers are more frequently leveraging enhanced severance programs to drive affordable short-term retention. Of course, all have access to market pay data for budgeting to ensure they do not overspend.
R E T E N T I O N B O N U S A S A P E R C E N T A G E O F B A S E PA Y 775th 5 TH percentile Ppercentile ERCENTI LE 75th
percentile 225th 525th TH P ERCENTI LE percentile
Median MED I AN
Senior Management Senior management
Executives ( CEO direct reports) Executives (CEO direct reports) Other Critical Employees Other critical employees
Asia Asia Outbound Outbound
39% 39% 15% 15%
h 46% 50%
High Tech Technology Industry Industry
h 48% 49%
All Levels on Average On Average 75th percentile
All Levels CEO & D irect Reports on Average On Average
CEO & D irect Reports
O U R R E S E A R C H A N A LY Z E D T H E M O S T C O MM O N P R A C T I C E S O F R E T E N T I O N P L A N D E S I G N , I N C LU D I N G :
Vehicle for payments cash vs. equity
Conditions for payment time vs. performance
Number of payments one, two or more
Timing of payments pre-close, post-close, etc.
Individual retention bonus as a percentage of base pay
FL I G H T R I S K I N M & A : T H E A R T A N D S C I E N C E O F R E TA I N I N G TA L E N T
“When you’re in the professional services industry, your greatest asset walks out the door at 5 pm … balancing the art and science of retaining talent is critical to driving deal value.” — Corporate development leader, Professional Services Firm,
60,000 employees, $12 billion in revenue
DATA • I N S I G H T S • D I R E C T I O N
r epo rt
2017 MERCER RESEARCH REPORT
FRAMEWORK FOR SUCCESS The research was conclusive. Well-designed and implemented retention programs are viewed as “insurance policies.” They keep the right people focused and engaged through integration. There is, however, no one silver bullet for buyers trying to solve deal-specific talent retention needs. While analysis of the global data uncovered regional and industry differences crucial to understand, everyone must first start in the same place in the process — with a clear understanding of the deal thesis. “Successful buyers have elevated their retention strategies from an art to a repeatable science. The results are tangible and clear — increased productivity, engagement, owner-like behaviors and accountability,” said Jeff Cox, Mercer’s Global M&A Transaction Services Leader. This report introduces a best-in-class retention framework (Mercer’s Retention PlaybookTM) for structuring financial incentives that are time sensitive, market competitive and aligned with business objectives. Adopting this framework will arm you with a comprehensive, repeatable process that will drive operational certainty with engaged and focused talent post-close.
r epo rt
ÂŠ2017 Mercer LLC. All rights reserved. For further information, please contact your local Mercer office or visit our website at www.mercer.com.
United Arab Emirates
r epo rt
Building bridges: Latin Americaâ€™s new trade agenda Buildi n Latin A g br idges mer ica â€™s new tra A repo rt by Th
After a decade dominated by protectionism and populism in Latin America, the free-trade agenda has returned to the fore. Yet this free-trade push comes at the same time as growing protectionism in the US, and an anti-globalisation sentiment in many developed countries. These changes can, however, be seen as a positive step for Latin America, encouraging the region to be more regionally integrated, and to seek new global trade partners. This white paper looks at the regional and global trade agenda in Latin America, assessing where these countries could seek to deepen ties regionally, and build new relationships with the rest of the world. It also examines the economic impact of these changes on business, and the political risk to this trade and integration agenda. Report: https://goo.gl/DhXRro 87 Gamechangers
r epo rt
European Buy & Build activity reaches highest level on record
Europe an Buy rt by
tal in co
in 201 6
• Silverfleet’s 2016 Buy & Build Monitor reported 5371 add-ons, making 2016 a record year for European add-on activity • The UK & Ireland region was once again the most popular for add-ons with 111 transactions in the year • The Nordic region saw a 40% year-on-year increase in add-ons, driven by Sweden and Denmark • Average deal values increased by 74% vs. 2015 • Add-on activity outside of Europe dipped slightly year-on-year European Buy & Build activity in 2016 reached its highest level on record with the largest number of deals in the UK & Ireland, according to Silverfleet Capital’s latest annual European Buy & Build Monitor. The Buy & Build Monitor, which tracks global add-on activity undertaken by European headquartered companies backed by private equity, identified 5371 add-ons in 2016 compared to the 464 and 414 add-ons recorded in 2015 and 2014 respectively. The average disclosed value of add-ons in 2016 was £73 million, up from an average of £42 million in 20153. Historically, the volume of add-on deals has been correlated with the volume of private equity funded buyouts in Europe and has broadly tracked the trend in the mid-market M&A index. The findings in this report, however, show that in recent years a divergence has become apparent, with add-on volumes clearly outperforming buyouts and mid-market M&A. The largest recorded add-on acquisition in the year was Prague-based Avast Software, a computer antivirus software business backed by CVC and Summit acquiring AVG Technologies, a Netherlands based business with Czech roots, for over $1.4 billion. Two further transactions had reported values in excess of £500 million. The first saw Scotland-based Siccar Point Energy, a company backed by Blue Water Energy and Blackstone Energy Partners, acquire OMV (U.K.), a UK headquartered E&P business which was a subsidiary of OMV Aktiengesellschaft for £605 million. The second deal involved two UK companies in the wealth management sector where Permira-backed Tilney Bestinvest acquired Palamon-backed Towry in a £600 million transaction.
Report: https://goo.gl/bp8BqF Gamechangers 88
r epo rt
State Street Finds Majority of Investment Firms Slow to Embrace New Technology ASSE
ce Finan ed in g a im Re m g-Ter
g Lon Age Findin igital in a D
European firms identify innovative culture as critical element to digital transformation State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT) has identified three elements leaders in financial services will need in order to excel in the new digital era. In its latest report, “Finance Reimagined: Finding Long-Term Value in a Digital Age”, the findings result from a global survey of 2,000 investors and 500 investment providers. State Street argues leaders – defined as those using digital technologies to transform their businesses – are excelling in the “three I’s of data”: integration, integrity and intelligence: integrating internal and external data; drawing new intelligence from it to improve decision-making, agility and client-centricity; and then safeguarding the integrity of this data with the highest levels of cybersecurity. Despite the quickening pace of digital innovation, many investment firms are characterised as “digital laggards” having moved slowly to embrace new technologies when compared to their “digital leader” peers. The research further reveals: • 64% of leaders are applying robust cybersecurity measures to ensure data integrity (22% of laggards) • 63% of leaders are aligning front, mid- and back office functions to better service clients (30% laggards) • 63% of leaders are fully harnessing data and analytics to improve decision making compared with just 24% of laggards • 63% of leaders have identified future areas of growth and new segments compared with 35% of laggards • 52% are focused on building an integrated, omni-channel approach, compared with just 24% of laggards Firms in Europe identified the following as the most important success criteria for digital transformation: • 35% of firms value maintaining a culture that encourages innovation and collaboration (North America: 27%, Asia Pacific: 30%) • 29% of firms think organising a high-performance digital team with dedicated digital champions (North America: 18% percent, Asia Pacific: 27% percent) • 34% believe acquiring the right talent and technical knowledge is critical for success (North America: 33%, Asia Pacific: 27%)
Report: https://goo.gl/mzjEXD 89 Gamechangers
r epo rt
Leaking information on M&A deals boosts deal values by an average US$21m 2017 I ntr Annua alinks ® l Leaks M&A Repor t
arch Ce ntre at Cass © Intral Busin ess Sc inks 20 hool, 17. All City, Un rights iversi reserv ty of Lo ed. nd
on | Ju
• Difference between median target takeover premium for leaked deals vs. non-leaked deals was US$21 million in 2016 • 8.6% of worldwide deals leaked in 2016, the same as in 2015 and above a 6-year low of 6% in 2014 • Asia Pacific region records highest rate of leaked deals in 2016 at 9.7%, deal leaks also rose year-on-year in Europe but fell in North America • Worldwide Consumer sector deal leaks jump by 7.8 percentage points to 15.5% in 2016 - the highest of any sector for eight years Leaking information on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals before any public announcement of the transaction added an extra US$21m to the average value of deals announced in 2016 that leaked, according to new research from Intralinks, a business of Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNCR), and Cass Business School, City, University of London. In addition to evidence of higher valuations for M&A deals that leak, the 2017 Intralinks Annual M&A Leaks Report, published today, found that 8.6% of worldwide M&A deals were leaked in 2016. This figure is unchanged from the previous year (2015) and above a six-year low of 6% in 2014. In 2014, worldwide deal leaks had been on a declining trend for the previous six years, but this trend reversed in 2015 and 2016 – despite the efforts of financial regulators globally in recent years to bring in new regulations to curb deal leaks, and increase enforcement actions and fines for market abuse and insider trading. Of the ten countries with the most M&A activity, the top three countries for deal leaks in 2016 were India (16.7% of deals leaked), South Korea (16.1%) and Japan (12%). The three countries recording the lowest percentage of deal leaks in 2016 were Canada (4.3%), France (4.3%) and the UK (7%). South Korea, Japan, Germany, Australia, the UK and France all recorded an increased rate of deal leaks in 2016 compared to 2015. Countries which reduced their rate of deal leaks in 2016 included India, Hong Kong, the US and Canada.
Report: https://goo.gl/P1R425 Gamechangers 90
r epo rt
Toniic T100: Report offers insights from 37 impact advisors and consultants who are transforming the financial service industry al impact ity for glob n commun the actio
ts from Insigh
ors t Advis Impac
ants 2 onsult
Toniic Institute, the global action community for impact investors, released T100: Insights from Impact Advisors and Consultants 2017, at the Berlin Green Investment Summit. This is the second report in the T100 Research project, a longitudinal study of 100% impact investing portfolios of Toniic members. In this new report, 37 impact advisors and consultants from 12 countries, partnering with 38 of Toniic’s 100% Impact Network* members, open the door to their impact practices to demystify, inspire and activate both investors and the financial services industry. While today there are more impact firms and product offerings to choose from than ever before, information on impact intermediaries, especially for private asset owners, remains sparse despite the growth of the industry. “As a trusted third party, Toniic can aggregate information through the T100 Project, and help investors and advisors learn from what’s happening on the frontier of impact investing,” said Toniic CEO Adam Bendell. “With this second report in the T100 project, we complement the initial findings of the ‘T100: Launch’ report with the perspective of active impact advisors and consultants in the field, helping private and institutional investors moving to 100% impact in their portfolios.” “What we see is a dedicated, articulate, optimistic, innovative, and definitely persistent group of entrepreneurial founders as well as large company intrapreneurs,” said Lisa Kleissner, co-founder of Toniic and its 100% Impact Network. “Beyond fulfilling their clients’ impact needs, they are building new impact products and services, and volunteering their time to strengthen and grow the impact ecosystem. All of them, while cognizant of the challenges, are optimistic there are solutions and a bright future for impact.”
Report: https://goo.gl/bt0O1o 91 Gamechangers
GameChangers™ is a network for today’s most influential organisations and individuals. We offer insight into every facet of leaders’ professional lives by telling their stories - from department structure and team management to intellectual property and emerging technology. With engaging editorial, we bring local and global innovators across industries together to share their stories, learn from each other and connect. GameChangers™ is an opportunity for you to become a part of the larger corporate community by discussing your work from your perspective. By conveying these successes, our goal is to create a space for all leaders to share and learn as we all navigate an increasingly complex business environment. GameChangers™ welcomes news and views from its readers. Correspondence should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about GameChangers™ visit www.acq5.com/posts/gamechangers/ GameChangers™ Copyright © 2017 GameChangers™ No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without permission.
Published on Sep 18, 2017
GameChangers™ is a network for today’s most influential organisations and individuals. We offer insight into every facet of leaders’ profess...