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APAE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'll bite. 

Generally I stay away from the 'give off-market color on a specific person or place', but in this case it's all good things to say and a playbook that I think they publicize transparently enough that I'm not violating any discretion.

It is very much a thesis-driven firm that was originally founded by Rob Heyvaert and Stephen Daffron.

Rob founded Capco, the financial services focused consultancy, which was not at the MBB level but very much like an Oliver Wyman, LEK, Parthenon type of place if you were a big legacy company in the industry and interested in either change management or tech transformation expertise. I don't have to explain to anyone on this site how painfully bad the internal technology is at large financial firms. Capco was the place that would get paid to help analyze the mess and propose basic steps to stop the bleeding. It got bought a couple times, once for about a quarter billion by a big strategic FIS (one of the four 'core banking' software providers), then by CD&R, then again by Wipro for over a billion. 

Stephen is one of the more impressive people I've come across. He is very much an authentic leader who you can immediately see knows himself, and the combination of his character, intelligence, and that self-knowledge makes you unsurprised for his success. He served, and unfortunately it's been too long since meeting him that I can't remember for how long, but he did so after West Point. He has legitimately five degrees from Yale. There is a natural gravitas and humility at the same time. He struck me as a close example of a warrior monk, I saw much of what Marcus Aurelius writes in him. He has moved through the operational trenches of the technology systems that are at the very guts of modern finance, first as a builder, then a manager. Trading systems, pricing systems, settlement systems, data storage, data transfer, it goes on. Goldman, RenTec, Morgan Stanley. Then leadership roles at actual OpCo's, which was the natural foray to Motive.

They have done some retconning in the past year or two about the firm's origin story to add more 'founders' of the firm, but the original marketing was not about a broad basket of people, it was about those two. 

You can see from the above how naturally there is much more of an operational or value creation emphasis. It's not financial engineering. It's "buy a business in this space that we can clearly transform", and lucky for them, there's a scarcity of people with any one of the domain knowledge, relationship set, or capital at scale to pursue that opportunity set. 

They've created this term "Industry Partner" instead of the more traditional Operating Partner title, and they deploy people with that title into their portco's where there's a simultaneous CEO position and partner position. Blythe Masters is one of these (and part of the retcon), Google if you don't know her story.

I don't know concrete performance stats but I've heard it's lofty. I find that entirely unsurprising.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

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PrivateTechquity 🚀GME+BBBY🚀, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Gotta say, as someone who's been getting deeper into fintech this was a really helpful overview. Thanks as always @APAE. 


  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs

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