Craig Sher, Sionic: We avoided using private equity for a long time because we had this negative perception of the way they operated. But as we spent more and more time with Livingbridge specifically, it was clear to us that our perceptions were incorrect. They weren’t just aloof investors who were interested in a set of numbers.
Daniel Jones, Bright Futures: Private equity isn’t just solely about financial returns in terms of what a private equity house offers. They support you with your business strategy and setting out your plans, but also in terms of identifying talent, skills and people in the wider sector that otherwise, you may not become aware of. Livingbridge certainly supports and nurtures, and gets around the organisation to support it to achieve its full potential.
Simon Cooper, On the Beach: In my 20-year working life span (14 years working by myself and 8 years working with private equity), I learnt a whole lot more in 8 years of private equity than the 14 years prior to that.
Graham O’Donoghue, Sykes Cottages: They help you understand how you build a narrative for your business because ultimately, private equity means that at some point in time, the business is going to be moved onto somebody else – that could be private equity, it could be a trade or strategic buyer. They give you that discipline and rigour of thinking, long-term and strategic, and then bringing that operational capability as well.
Alex Francis, loveholidays: If I had known how private equity could be very hands-off and very useful to the business instead of the interfering type that is the urban myth, then that would have made me move to maybe going to private equity earlier than I did.