14 Jul 2022

Tricor: Awakening a sleeping giant

“Working alongside the CEO, we helped to drive a multi-year transformational effort which saw a solid but rather traditional business with significant manual processes transform into a vibrant, regionally integrated, tech-enabled platform, raising the bar for corporate services in APAC.”

At the time of acquisition in 2017, Tricor was already an established player in APAC corporate services. The result of a combination of the corporate services division of EY, PwC, and Deloitte, Tricor had long benefited from its ‘Big Four’ accounting firm lineage, and continued to build a solid reputation of its own for service delivery excellence over many years.

However, despite this enviable track record serving blue-chip global MNCs and leading Asian corporations, Tricor in essence remained a traditional, siloed services business, operating largely without the benefit of modern technology and with minimal commercial coordination across business units. For Permira, having studied the sector over several years, this represented a clear opportunity.

A changing of the guard

Following the acquisition, we worked closely with CEO Lennard Yong to build a new C-suite comprised of young, ambitious executives with key skills in digital transformation, operations and efficiency, commercial (go-to-market), product management, M&A, and strategic HR – most of these representing entirely new roles at the company. The combination of this talented new team and a meaningful management incentive plan (200+ participants) resulted in an incredible appetite for change and growth at Tricor.

Transformation through modernisation

Working with the leadership and management teams, we challenged ourselves to maximise the growth potential for the business.

In terms of digital transformation, we achieved the following:

  • introduced Tricor’s first CRM system for lead / pipeline tracking and overall visibility of the existing customer base (50k+ entities)
  • optimized service delivery operations through process re-engineering, RPA, and offshoring
  • re-platformed finance and accounting technology stack
  • launched new digital products, including Tricor Red (customer portal), Boardfolio (cloud-based board content solution), and SPOT (online AGM platform)
  • relocated head office as part of a cultural transformation, going paperless in the process

Strategically, Tricor also made a number of important moves:

  • restructured key account coverage and introduced a new focus on a cross-sell approach to service clients across all divisions
  • acquired Richful Deyong, which brought critical China outbound business development capabilities
  • entered into governance, risk, and compliance services via acquisition of Axcelasia in Malaysia
  • consolidated key high growth Asian markets including Korea, Indonesia, and Vietnam

A quick end game

Towards the end of 2020 it was clear Tricor had come a long way and an exit decision was agreed with the management team. The outstanding value creation story led to multiple, initial ‘fire-side’ chats with prospective buyers, and it was clear that Baring Private Equity Asia were the perfect next partners for Tricor.

BPEA have acquired a market-leading company delivering high-value business services
in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, while Tricor are partnering with an investor perfectly positioned to enhance its market-leading position.

“The management partnership with Permira has been invaluable in our journey. We grew revenues 2X and EBITDA at 2.5X during this period and I am extremely grateful for the commitment, trust and support of our partners.”

Lennard Yong – CEO, Tricor

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