Philip Muelder talks about recent transactions in the Financial Services Team
Three investments announced in three weeks is a great send off for James, how big is your team today?
Today the FS team has 15 members and a presence in the US, Europe and Asia. Heading into 2018, we’ll be growing the team with two great new hires joining in January and further expansion thereafter. We have a strong appetite to back high growth, differentiated financial services businesses and our capacity to do so has never been greater.
With Duff & Phelps in the US and Tricor in Asia, is your FS strategy now truly global?
Yes. It has always been our ambition to back businesses globally and like Permira itself, we have built upon our European foundation to create a platform with investment capabilities worldwide. When working on investment opportunities, we often staff our teams with a mix of sector specialists and local investment professionals. We find that this approach offers the “best of both worlds” to management teams by combining the sector and market knowledge from our FS team with the local networks and cultural fluency of our country teams. It is a source of competitive differentiation for our funds and served us well with the latest investments.
Lowell and Alter Domus are classic consolidation stories, how did Permira contribute to this flurry of portfolio M&A activity?
Permira was the chosen partner of the Alter Domus Founders and management because of our proven track record in helping businesses grow internationally and through M&A. Alter Domus had harboured aspirations to enter the US for some years, but the scarcity of assets, as well as the execution speed and certainty required, had made this challenging. Working in a joint team with Permira to undertake the diligence and execution, and with capital from the Permira Funds, Alter Domus was able to succeed in a competitive process vs. other aspiring strategic buyers. It was successful in acquiring Cortland, pending completion, and the combined group will have a substantial footprint in the US from which to further its growth.
It has always been the shared aim of the Lowell management team and Permira to transform Lowell from a UK debt purchase specialist into a Pan-European champion in the receivables management sector. Permira had worked closely with Lowell on three prior occasions to acquire businesses in the DACH region, so the partnership approach was well established. On the latest acquisition in the Nordics, the internal teams across each of our diligence and execution workstreams were a mix of Lowell and Permira professionals. The skillsets and experiences complemented each other well, enabling us to outrun the competition comprised of slower-moving strategics and standalone PE firms to win the deal.