October 27 / Financial Investors & Portfolio Companies

Acquisition Targets & Portfolio Management Planning, Africa – Top-Tier Private Equity Fund

 The Brief

To assist a blue-chip private equity fund assess acquisition targets and portfolio management planning in Africa, by identifying and interviewing the top performing CFOs in highly regarded large- to medium-size corporations & institutions across seven African countries and six industries.

The Challenge

The main challenge was the scope and scale of research and due diligence required to provide our client with accurate and reliable information on the investment landscape across consumer & retail, FMCG, TMT, financial services, healthcare and educational services.  This necessitated painstaking assessment of the competence and integrity of our sources.

The Solution

Appointing a team with prior Africa search experience, we profiled the most successful CFOs and thoroughly examined their professional integrity as well as commercial experience across mergers, acquisitions, disposal, listing, delisting and building finance functions.  In order to ensure the accuracy of our findings, we also undertook thorough referencing with leading law firms, consultancies and corporate bankers active in the region, taking between five and eight separate references on each of the professionals we profiled.

We were then able to confidently gauge their views on the potential investment landscape and growth strategy within their sectors. Based on the scale of our research and due diligence, we provided our client with a timely and accurate overview of the Africa investment landscape for the countries and industries identified.

Key Contact

Uri Coren
October 27 / Investment Management

Head of Emerging Market Debt – European Equity Long-Only Asset Manager

The Brief

To identify an individual with the ability to launch and run a new strategy emerging market debt strategy for our client, a European equity long-only asset manager.

The Challenge

As our client had a limited understanding of the emerging market debt universe, the main challenge was to help them understand the market and advise on what type of individual would prove most successful in this environment.  Additionally, we needed to identify a portfolio manager with an excellent track record who would also be able to work with the marketing team to raise capital.

The Solution

By conducting a full market mapping, providing detailed competitor analysis, we enabled our client to make an informed decision with regards the best portfolio management strategy to adopt.  We then identified a short list of relevant candidates who we assessed on specific parameters agreed in advance with our client, and thus evaluated beyond their CV and previous three years’ track record.

Our client was therefore reassured that our reference checking and fundamental analysis of candidates meant they were seeing only the very strongest and most relevant individuals.  This enabled our client to make their key, strategic hiring decision with the fullest possible confidence.

Key Contacts

Tom Chamberlayne
Peter Mansell-Jones
October 27 / Investment Management

Credit Product Specialist – Leading Credit Hedge Fund

The Brief

To identify an individual with proven ability to raise capital for a credit focused hedge fund.

The Challenge

To identify an individual who had previously raised capital and hence has a number of strong client contacts, specifically in the Middle East. Additionally, this individual had to be able to work as a product specialist with the credit team and hence needed good credit skills to be able to work closely with the portfolio managers.

The Solution

A search was run across the major credit hedge funds to identify the top product specialists.  Once this search had been completed our role was to select a short list of candidates taking into account experience, calibre and cultural fit. The interview process took place and we successfully moved the candidate to this new position.

Key Contacts

Tom Chamberlayne
Peter Mansell-Jones
October 27 / Capital Markets & Securities

Executive Director Sourcing Performing and Non-Performing Loans – Global Investment Bank

The Brief

To find an Executive Director capable of working as an advisor to funds looking to acquire loan portfolios, whilst sufficiently well-connected across Southern European local markets to be able to identify performing and non-performing loan portfolios that companies want to off load from their balance sheet or restructure.

The Challenge

There is a very narrow pool of candidates who have both the analytical credit skills to be able to work as an advisor to the private equity firms during an acquisition of a loan portfolio, and who also have strong enough local contacts to be able to source opportunities effectively.

The Solution

As very few investment banks are market leaders in this field, we had to extend our search beyond the banks and leverage our network across the debt universe to search across the big 4’s global portfolio solutions teams as well as a number of the larger credit funds.  Although a number of potential candidates were identified from these institutions, the successful candidate was drawn from a small credit boutique, and was only identified because our approach went beyond looking in the obvious places.  Consequently, it was due to Riverhouse Partners’ ability to source extensively across the market in different types of institutions, and to think creatively, that a successful placement was made.

Key Contact

Tom Chamberlayne
October 27 / Operational Infrastructure

Head of Government Affairs & Legal, Russia – Competitor Analysis for a Global Investment Bank

The Brief

To conduct competitor and market analysis focused on the government affairs and legal counsel functions within international investment banks operating in Russia, on behalf of a global investment bank.  The competitor analysis would assist the bank in formulating effective succession planning and hiring strategies for these key functions.

The Challenge

The timing of this assignment coincided with a rapidly changing market environment and economic instability in Russia as a result of international sanctions.  Consequently, a large number of our client’s traditional competitors were in the process of retrenching or exiting the Russian market. Understanding the market environment and talent landscape was therefore particularly challenging when both were in a state of significant flux.

The Solution

In order to fully grasp the complexities of the changing market environment, we adopted an ordered and thorough search approach.   Mapping out the government affairs and legal departments not only of the key international investment banks but also the major multi-national corporations and international law firms in Russia allowed us to comprehensively identify and assess the relevant senior professionals operating in these functions across a broad section of the market.  This breadth and depth of analysis enabled us to effectively benchmark our client’s existing team set-up and incumbents against their peers, and to provide our client with advice based on an up-to-date and precise understanding of how economic sanctions were impacting other international businesses in Russia.

Key Contact

Taru Oksen
October 27 / Investment Banking & Advisory, RHS/Debt Advisory & Restructuring

Acquisition Targets & Team Identification For Financial Advisory – European Financial Institution

The Brief

To assist a major financial institution in adding additional advisory services to its European-centric M&A business.  Areas considered were M&A, debt restructuring, debt advisory and equity advisory.  Whilst an acquisition was preferred, we were also asked to look at potential team hires without onerous non-compete clauses in their contracts.

The Challenge

Extensive research and due diligence was required to advise our client on which advisory services would provide the best ROE.  Since some advisory services are highly cyclical, we also wanted to ensure our client wasn’t overpaying for an impressive ROE that was performing at its peak or underpaying for modest returns that could shortly take off.  Furthermore, it was necessary to ensure a good cultural fit, and the long term benefit from the acquisition for both parties.  As this project took place over the 2016 European referendum, we also had to analyse the positive or negative impact this might have.

The Solution

We conducted a thorough mapping of the potential acquisition opportunities where we felt there was sufficient upside to warrant an acquisition.  We also looked at teams whose contracts were domiciled in jurisdictions where non-compete clauses were not relevant.  We shortlisted five institutions, covering three different advisory services.  These were extensively referenced in a confidential manner leading the client to reduce this list to two.

Key Contacts

Adrian de Vere Green
Tom Chamberlayne