Panel – Demystifying private equity
Organic revenue growth is the key to today’s PE
As the financial landscape has shifted, the role of private equity (PE) has undergone a quiet transformation, according to panelists. PE firms are still looking to create maximum value, but the image of them buying companies and looking for an immediate exit has never been less accurate.
Today, PE is “all about how you can grow the earnings profile of the business,” says Tim Franks of Advent. Organic revenue growth is the order of the day: working with the business to improve supply chains and distribution, instill operational rigor and financial discipline, and establish the right strategy to grow the company over the long term. That often involves a hands-on approach — as Marty Wikstrom of The Atelier Fund says, “I work a lot closer with my companies than anyone can imagine.”
It also involves making sure the right people with the right skills are in place. While that can mean replacing the management team, it also means building the right relationships with employees.
In the end, PE firms want to grow the business. “Ultimately, we do have to exit,” Franks says. “We do have to create really interesting growth stories so that the next buyer wants to take [the business] off us.”
Panelists also offered advice for entrepreneurs taking a hard look at PE:
- “Get a sense of what they’re about,” Frank advises those considering PE firms.
- “What do you bring to the fund?” Wikstrom asks. “What are they giving to you?”
- Selçuk Yorgancıoğlu of The Abraaj Group struck a cautionary note: “Keep in mind that we are managing other people’s money. We cannot be emotional or romantic with our decisions.”
Michael E. Rogers
Global Deputy Private Equity Leader
Michael is EY’s Global Deputy Private Equity Leader, and responsible for the development of the PE go-to-market strategy, as well as driving the execution of client strategies to PE funds and their investees across all geographies. Michael is also responsible for building the Global Private Equity Center’s key initiatives for all client teams and strengthening connections in the emerging markets and frontier markets.
Michael has led several global client teams and has held numerous leadership roles, most recently as Global TAS Markets Leader in London, where he was responsible for driving go-to-market strategies across EY’s Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) practice globally.
Michael received his BSGM from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and his MBA from the Henry B. Tippie School of Management at the University of Iowa. also completed the Executive Education programs at the Harvard Business School and The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
The Abraaj Group
As a Partner with The Abraaj Group, Selçuk sits on the Board and oversees the company’s investments in Turkey and Central Asian markets. He led the recent acquisition of leading a Turkish dairy player and the exit of four Turkish businesses.
Selçuk joined The Abraaj Group in 2008 from a large banking corporation, where he was the CEO for the operations in Turkey and before that he was a Managing Director for the emerging markets investment banking team in London for seven years. Previously, he held senior leadership positions in investment banking in Turkey, Amsterdam and London.
Selçuk sits on the board of various portfolio companies, as well as Endeavor Turkey. He also serves as the Chairman Entrepreneurship and Private Equity Committee within the Turkish Businessmen and Industrialist Association.
Selçuk earned his degree in Economics from Istanbul University and holds an MBA in Finance from the University of New Haven.
Gökhan is CEO of Acıbadem Sigorta, a unique company due to its organizational and shareholder structure; it is an insurance company that operates only in the health, life and personal accident segments. It is also unique as it is part of the strong Acıbadem Healthcare Group.
Prior to joining Acibadem, Gökhan, who has more than 16 years of proven management experience, served as an executive in strategic planning and finance departments and supervised many structuring projects. In addition, he also carried out many special projects. Since 3 April 2012, he has been acting as the negotiator for the Turkish hospitals on behalf of the Libyan Government, based on the authorization given to him by the Libyan Government.
Gökhan earned his MBA from Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Turkey. He also completed the Executive Development Program at Koç University, a non-profit private university in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Atelier Fund
Marty Wikstrom is a seasoned brand and retail executive with over 30 years’ experience in executive roles in the United States and Europe. As Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Wikstrom led the Fashion and Accessories brands of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, the world’s second-largest luxury goods holding company. Ms. Wikstrom served as both an Executive and Non-Executive Director during her tenure at Richemont.
She is the founder of the Atelier Fund, specializing in the acquisition and development of luxury brands. She currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Harrys of London, Ltd., a men’s luxury shoe company, and is a Board Director of Fortnum & Mason, the 300- year- old quintessential English purveyor of food, drinks and gifts. Ms. Wikstrom has also actedat as a Non-Executive Director of Bally International Ltd., Space.NK Ltd. and Portero Inc.
Ms. Wikstrom served as the Deputy Managing Director and then Managing Director of Harrods Ltd. She was a Board Director of Harrods Holdings Ltd., Harrods Estates and Kurt Geiger Ltd., where she was also the interim Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining Harrods, Ms. Wikstrom spent 19 years at Nordstrom, Inc., where she rose from a part-time sales assistant to President of the Full Line Stores Group.
Advent International plc, London
Tim is the Managing Director of the London office of Advent International, one of the world’s leading global buyout firms with $32.2 billion in assets under management and 300 professionals.
Tim has more than 15 years of private equity experience and helped open and lead Advent’s New York office. In 2013, he returned to the London office, where he is a member of the European Advisory Committee. He covers investments in the Retail, Consumer and Leisure and Technology, Media and Telecommunications sectors, as well as covering Scandinavia and the Netherlands.
Tim has an MA from Cambridge University, where he was awarded the Dr. Herchel Smith Scholarship for Continued Study at Harvard University. At Harvard, Tim received a Master of Public Policy focusing on International Finance and Development from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.