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Equistone Partners Europe Limited
Firm Profile: Middle-Market Private Equity Fund Manager
Equistone Partners Europe Limited is a lower middle-market private equity firm that invests as a strategic partner alongside management teams in businesses within France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK. Equistone looks to invest in companies with an enterprise value of €50 to €300 million, investing between €25m to €125m of equity
Equistone has raised five funds to date, with their most recent closing in early 2015 at €2bn. Equistone was already evaluating TopQ when Michael Hachar, Investor Relations Manager, joined the firm to assist in the fundraising for its fifth fund. The IR team decided that TopQ could be a useful tool to aid the process.
Managing a Large Portfolio
Equistone has amassed a large track record that contains over 130 portfolio companies, either currently invested or exited.
“TopQ is as important for us internally as it is for investor reporting because we have such a large, international portfolio. Being able to store our information in a central repository is very helpful.”
Hachar said that subsequently analyzing this data is a very efficient and effective process using TopQ.
“To be able to take our portfolio company data set and cut it anyway we want is very beneficial for us. For example, I often need to provide senior management with key metrics on certain deals – who led them, how they performed – within a short deadline, so it’s important that I can access the data and respond quickly. Using TopQ, I was able to pull this information together in seconds.”
The insight that could be gained was also valuable to Equistone’s fundraising activities, Hachar said. “Having the versatility to look at our portfolio and clearly see how we have performed in certain sectors or areas allowed us to understand our performance and prepare for going to market.”
A Successful Fundraise
Hachar said TopQ has made for a more streamlined fundraising process and said investors also found it very useful for their own due diligence.
“Some of our investors and potential investors were able to gather most of their standard due-diligence information from TopQ. This meant they didn’t have to request additional data, which made their process easier and also meant we didn’t have to spend more time working on additional analysis for them. We could focus our attention on other tasks.”
The depth and sophistication of TopQ’s analysis functionality also impressed Hachar and Equistone’s investors. “How we created value throughout the portfolio is an increasingly important question for investors and TopQ’s value creation bridge analysis was really helpful for both parties. It is usually a laborious piece of analysis to create, especially with a portfolio of our size. Having it automatically calculated saved about a week’s worth of time compared to doing it in a spreadsheet.”
Hachar believes that closing their fifth fund would not have been as quick and would have required more manual data entry without TopQ. “By using TopQ we managed to successfully run the fundraising process with a relatively small team. We closed it in six months and TopQ was very helpful in making it as efficient as possible. It freed up a lot of time on the portfolio analysis work and meant we could spend that saved time on responding to other due diligence questions.”
Above and Beyond Client Service
The experience and knowledge of the team was a big selling point for Hachar and Equistone in using TopQ. “We felt very comfortable that the team knew the industry and that if we had any questions or concerns they were on hand to help.”
“The training and setup was great. We received the support we needed to help us load our data into the system correctly and to walk us through the analysis functionality.”
“When doing some of the analysis work during fundraising I had some questions on our data and the service we received was above and beyond what we would have expected to receive from other providers. They really put in the effort to make sure it was high quality service.”
“By using TopQ we managed to successfully run the fundraising process with a relatively small team. We closed it in six months and TopQ was very helpful in making it as efficient as possible.”
Investor Relations Manager