Transaction Services Individual Wanted for Leading US PE fund

  • Competitive
  • London, England, United Kingdom London England GB
  • Permanent, Full time
  • Arkesden Private Equity
  • 22 Jun 18 2018-06-22

Arkesden Private Equity has been mandated by a leading US Private Equity fund to find a Vice President, M&A Finance to work on European deals for a Small Cap fund. Based out of London, this is a distinctly unique role for an entrepreneurial individual with great private equity Transaction Services / Financial DD experience to develop a pivotal role within the fund.

The team is looking to add an individual to act as an in-house transaction services finance specialist working primarily on financial due diligence and actively supporting transaction negotiation & execution, debt financing, carve-outs, portfolio monitoring and divestment preparations and execution.

The fund will target companies that offer a strong potential for operational value-add (e.g. complex carve-outs, internationalization of local champions, or buy & builds. It will focus on industrials, business services and technology, and major markets (Germany, France and the UK) but also has flexibility to acquire attractive businesses in other sectors and markets.

 

Role & Responsibilities:

As VP M&A Finance, you will report to the Principal in charge of the Small Cap fund in Europe. You will work closely with the Vice President of Operations who is focused on commercial & operational DD and transaction & portfolio support, and with the M&A deal execution team consisting of a VP and an Associate. In addition, you will benefit from mentoring and interaction with the individual who handles the M&A Finance role for the firm’s flagship funds in Europe.  

You will also work closely with the firm’s ‘subject matter experts’ who are specialized resources focusing on functional due diligence and portfolio company on-boarding, e.g. in the areas of IT, HR, legal & compliance, real estate or carve-outs, as well as for tax structuring and debt raising work.   These individuals are typically based in the US with a global remit.

You will be a key member of the European Small Cap team, and as the person in charge of M&A Finance you will be responsible for driving financial due diligence activities and for ensuring the deal team - and eventually the firm’s investment committee – fully understands and appreciates all key financial considerations of new investments and portfolio companies.

Undoubtedly this is a unique role that will give you hands-on exposure within a fast-paced and entrepreneurial private equity investment environment.  The role will be dynamic and provide exposure to all aspects of the deal process.

Pre-acquisition you will assist with initial screening, attend the management presentation, build a relationship with the CFO, drive financial due diligence, manage external advisors, contribute to the investment assessment, present to the investment committee, support deal financing and execution, manage the funds flow and working capital adjustment processes etc.

Post-acquisition you will be heavily involved with portfolio company oversight as a key member of the investee company’s operating council (i.e. BoD equivalent) through regular monthly and quarterly management reviews, annual budget setting meetings as well as regular interaction with the CFO.   You will also be supporting the exit of the investment by leading the preparation of FVDD reports and generally providing support to the deal team.

While deep accounting and corporate finance capabilities are a must for this role, your success will also depend heavily on your ability to build strong relationships with the management teams of both potential investment targets and portfolio companies, as well as internally.

 

Financial Due Diligence

  • Scope and perform hands-on in-house financial due diligence of acquisition targets
  • Engage and instruct external FDD advisers, and actively drive and manage them to get the right deliverables
  • Lead financial expert sessions with sell-side advisers, target management etc
  • Take a view on the FDD findings (QoE, QoA, Net debt, NWC targets, etc) and their implications for the deal
  • Ensure this view and its implications are clearly documented for and understood by the deal team and the relevant subject matter experts within the fund 
  • Provide appropriate input into the key deliverables for each transaction to reflect the agreed FDD findings, e.g. investment model and memorandum, bid letters and sale & purchase agreements
  • Clearly and succinctly communicate DD findings to investment committee, financing providers and other stakeholders

Transaction Execution Support

  • Purchase agreement drafting and negotiation
    • Drafting or reviewing financial reps and warranties
    • Completion accounts: Drafting accounting policies and definitions, WC adjustment mechanism etc.
    • Locked box: Defining leakage terms etc. 
  • At / post closing
    • Manage or support the funds flow process
    • Lead the completion accounts process, pricing adjustments, related disputes etc.
  • During the deal process
    • Review and ensure the integrity of the Excel models for the deal (produced by the M&A Associate)

Portfolio Oversight

  • Membership of the operating council, expected to participate actively in all meetings
  • Particular focus on relationship building with CFOs, tracking financial performance, covenant compliance, and ensuring financial reporting and KPIs are fit for purpose
  • Maintain ongoing QoE tracker and ensure company models are regularly updated and refreshed
  • Lead finance responsibility for bolt-on M&A and refinancings

Managing Divestments

  • Financial input in sale materials
  • Engaging and instructing financial VDD activities where appropriate

 

Requirements

  • A suitable candidate will have 8+ years accounting and financial diligence experience in a professional services (Big 4 or similar) environment
  • Strong technical background and knowledge of corporate finance with a good intuitive understanding of M&A deal mechanics
  • Experience advising mid-market private equity on both the buy-side and sell-side with financial DD and M&A transactions support in a wide variety of relevant sectors and ideally across multiple European countries
  • Ability to travel as required, potentially at short notice but mostly within Europe
  • An appetite for hands-on, detailed work in a collaborative team environment
  • Independently motivated self-starter with the ability to make informed decisions quickly and based on imperfect information
  • Willing to “muck in” on general deal and portfolio work, and accepting of other team members’ involvement in the finance area
  • Natural communicator who is able to succinctly explain the implications of important but sometimes arcane financial matters and who does not shy away from robust debate within the team around their implications on the deal
  • Comfortable and confident in variety of formal and social settings – presenting to investment committee, negotiating value items with sellers, dinners with target management etc
  • Additional conversational European languages (German, French…) beneficial but not a prerequisite

 

This Opportunity will offer you:

  • High levels of responsibility and ownership over the financial aspects of private equity transactions with direct exposure to the full deal process
  • The opportunity to transition from being an advisor to a principal with meaningful responsibility and accountability for key investment decisions
  • Strong personal development through working closely with experienced senior individuals, both within the fund and at portfolio companies
  • A hard-driving and entrepreneurial but friendly culture

 

The Process:

  • Initial meeting with Arkesden Partners
  • Meeting with Vice President of M&A Finance in Europe for the flagship funds 
  • Meetings with the Principal and Senior VP for the Small Cap fund in Europe
  • Case Study 
  • Final meetings