ACG-NY and Chief Outsiders Take the Pulse of Private Equity Investors as Portfolio Companies Prepare to Restart Their Commercial Engines

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the Association for Corporate Growth – New York chapter, and Chief Outsiders, LLC announced the release of their report, “The Great Commercial Engine Restart: Private Equity views as we prepare to exit lockdown.”

The report shows the pulse of Private Equity thinking as we enter May and states begin to ease their restrictions and allow businesses to reopen, indicating that many will find a business environment that’s very different from the one they left before the lockdowns started.  The survey explores how the speed at which firms are able to not just adapt but to lean into these changes will impact how quickly and well they can restart their commercial engines.  The report provides insight into what changes private equity investors expect their portfolio companies to make to their go-to-market strategies to address expected changes in the market and their customers.

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Nearly two-thirds (60%) of those surveyed consider their portfolio companies’ commercial engines as important as other elements such as supply chain and liquidity, and most of the rest (38%) rate it pretty important even if not at the same level as the other elements. Many think their companies are ready to restart their commercial engines (40%) or will be ready soon (53%). In addition, 71% of respondents expect digital marketing and ecommerce to be more important for their companies going forward.

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“Given the fundamental changes they expect to have to make – everything from their value proposition and messaging, to pricing, targeted customers, lead/demand gen activities, and marketing and sales teams structures – we don’t see how they can be ready just yet.  Especially as the scope of these changes are still uncertain”, said Slade Kobran, Managing Partner at Chief Outsiders.

At the same time, many of the PE firms surveyed expect their own marketing efforts to change in the post pandemic world. Specifically, they expect to adjust their own value proposition and messaging to have to change.

“As the Private Equity class looks to come out of lockdown and into a new business and investment paradigm, it will be even more important for managers to clearly articulate value to investors and potential acquisition targets,” added Vikash Magdani, Executive Director at ACG-New York. “Many are working on engagement plans, how they will convey value and differentiate themselves in a crowded market.”

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