Elsewhere on the Greyfriars website you will see various references to the pursuit of  a “management led investment strategy”.

What does that mean in practice?

Greyfriars has long recognised that, despite the deep commercial and transactional experience held within the team, we will never set ourselves out as being experts across the breadth of the markets where our clients invest. To do otherwise we would consider dangerous.

However, we do consider ourselves to be “expert” in identifying quality Management Teams in their own sphere of expertise and structuring  frameworks to work with them to deliver their strategies.

Our rationale is that there has always been fewer investable Management Teams than there were good investment opportunities; hence our goal is to identify these teams and build sustainable and scalable relationships with them.

Our ethos is thus to use our Investors capital to leverage the expertise of our Management Teams to deliver greater success to them, to their businesses and to our investors. We do this by building trusted relationships with Management Teams through which we can build a pipeline of opportunities.

Our expertise in assessing and working together with Management Teams has been built up from over 100 different  joint ventures and partnerships ranging from transactions as small at £1 million to in excess if £1 billion. Within this spectrum of value, the characteristics of Management that have supported success and mitigated against failure have repeatedly  proven to be consistent across scale and be agnostic of sector.

Unfortunately, a good Management Team will never make a fundamentally  bad idea work;  but they will always drive confidence on the way into a deal and will support prices achieved on the way out. In between these end points they will de- risk the journey to success and mitigate the costs of failure.

The needs, skillset and makeup of any Management Team will necessarily  change as a company grows and will adapt to meet the different challenges of scale and expansion. The experience within Greyfriars team can help to support this journey  by providing complimentary skills and  expertise  to growing companies.

While by no means exclusive the key aspects of what we consider makes a successful Management Partner can largely be distilled down to the 4 key headings below.

  • Expertise: Having a good idea is rarely enough on its own to deliver success. From the outset a Management Team should be acutely aware of what they know,  what they don’t know and where they need help. An awareness of where they have gaps in their own experience  base and a willingness to ask for help to fill those gaps always provides Investor’s with confidence that they have the capability to control growth and manage risk. Conversely a willingness to “guess” where there are obvious gaps in knowledge or skillset will always undermine an Investor’s confidence.
  • Experience: There are always exceptions to this rule; but, given a choice, we would always prefer to back Management Teams who have a pedigree in their sector and have demonstrated the ability to work at speed and scale. In general, we are looking to partner with Management Teams  that have at least started their journey “around the block” and already have direct expertise of managing success and the challenges of growth.
  • Resilience: All too often, and all too quickly, a detailed and carefully curated Business Plan can unravel and become a rough guide to the future rather than a map. Problems arise from either un-expected success or un-anticipated In both cases Management’s ability to rapidly  assess the issue, adapt behaviour and evolve strategies to either exploit the opportunity or mitigate the risk will be key to them delivering on the opportunity.  From our experience it is Management Teams who are diverse, open and flexible; and who trust each other to deliver and their investors to support in that delivery who are those best able to adapt to unexpected change and uncertainty. As such our assessment of the Management’s ability to adapt to changes is always a core component of our decision-making process.
  • Alignment: A fundamental consideration in working with Management Teams is how their risk appetite can be aligned with those of investors. Experience has shown where incentivisation structures are not  properly considered and do not adequately balance a Management Team’s upside opportunity with their downside risk, that very quickly the interests of Investors and Management can diverge; to everyone’s detriment. We will always structure mechanisms that will fairly share the upside while ensuring that our partners have a weather eye on the downside to prevent inappropriate risks being taken with Investor’s Money.

To paraphrase a former colleague;  a successful joint venture is always akin to a  successful marriage: neither party should ever enter one expecting the other to change.

If you want to know more how we can work with you please contact us on  info@greyfriarsinvestments.co.uk