The 13th annual Beecken Petty O’Keefe & Company Private Equity Conference took place on Friday, February 21st.  McDermott, a lead sponsor of the event, hosted a panel of leading, mid-market private equity (PE) funds to discuss how their operationally-focused strategies drive value as they pursue new investments. Moderated by McDermott partner and private equity lawyer Larry Bronska, the panel included senior deal makers from Sterling Partners, RoundTable Healthcare Partners, Blue Sea Capital and AUA Private Equity. Speaking to a packed house, the group shared their insights and experiences.  Some of the key takeaways included:

  • Operating partners of PE firms often play a significant role in front-end diligence and the courting of target management teams.
  • The most effective deal execution teams include integrated efforts of both the fund’s investment professionals and the operating professionals.
  • Identified cost savings and operating improvements often lead to more competitive valuations and better outcomes as a potential buyer.
  • Limited partners of PE funds expect that there will be a positive correlation between strong fund operating capabilities and fund investment performance.

The panel topic and discussion seemed to be of great interest to the event attendees.  It led to a number of questions from the audience at the end of the program and a series of private conversations afterward.  Given the competitive investment environment presently faced by PE firms, it makes perfect sense that there is a great deal of curiosity about the various forms of operations-focused strategies being implemented by PE firms.