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What is the most important thing to consider when selecting a private equity firm?

James Darnell
Profile Picture of James Darnell James, a partner at KLH Capital, is responsible for identifying, structuring and executing transactions; due diligence; financial analysis; and portfolio management. He is a member of the KLH Investment Committee and is responsible for all SBIC compliance. He serves on the board of directors for all KLH portfolio companies and is directly responsible for overseeing Federal Resource Supply Company.
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Q: What is the most important thing for a business owner to consider when selecting a private equity firm?

A:

That’s a good question. The most important thing for a business owner to consider when selecting a private equity is the philosophy and vision of the private equity group that the entrepreneur will be working with going forward. Make sure that the vision, values and direction that the private equity sees in your business is in alignment with what you are trying to accomplish. If the private equity group thinks that they are going to invest in a company and change it by moving the location or radically transforming the business but that's different from the entrepreneur’s vision, then naturally that will lead to a lot of conflict and a lot of frustration. Ultimately it will be a very unsatisfied relationship on both of their parts.

However, if the business owner and the private equity group spend time really flushing those things out before they enter into a relationship, that usually lends itself to a much more healthy outcome. I would say the most important thing for the entrepreneur to do is to understand the vision, investment thesis and direction of the company that the private equity group wants to pursue with their investment. That’s the number one thing.

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