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Smith & Williamson hosted their Inside Private Equity event, with guest speakers and panelists offering advice to those seeking private equity investment.
Interview with Andrew Garside, Partner at ISIS Equity Partners LLP.
At what point should a private equity firm be approached and by whom?
"I think it's important for the private equity industry, and certainly we are at my business, to have a completely open door policy and we'd encourage any entrepreneur or founder that's got a business of critical mass to approach us and have a conversation at any time. A lot of our inspiration comes from the people we meet and hearing about how their businesses are different and growing so you really can't have a conversation early enough in my view."
What sort of business plan will the private equity house want to see and what should that include?
"Well I think the key thing is to build to a relationship and then actually have a dialogue about what information should be provided at what time. But I think an initial approach, the two things I would always recommend an entrepreneur to be prepared to talk about and put into a concise plan, the first thing is the differentiation - how they interact with their customers in a different and special way and what makes that relationship different from their competitors and how is that a basis for growth. We're really keen on that. Then the second thing is that the business plan should feel a bit of a description of a journey about where they want to take the business- where is it today and where do they want to get to. And then within all that, just be really realistic about what the strengths of the business are and equally what the weaknesses are and where you might need some help."
Andrew Garside, Partner at ISIS Equity Partners LLP