Anyone have any experience with CD&R or their portco's?

How was culture and comp? Deal flow and carry? Thanks in advance.

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Comments (12)

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Oct 13, 2021 - 4:07pm

Very smart investors with a formal / buttoned up culture as you'd likely expect from a fund that has been around so long. Long hours, they do all the diligence work right as can be seen in fund returns. Believe the first year associate pay is $300k+ but not sure of specifics beyond that

Oct 13, 2021 - 5:29pm

Known for being "value-oriented" but they are really just smart, disciplined investors. Very legit shop. Will definitely get worked there as expected at most funds of similar size. Paid a big premium on Albertsons (~60%) but I'm sure they have a plan, especially with all of the land / real estate value there.


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  • Analyst 3+ in Research - Other
Oct 13, 2021 - 7:16pm

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the input. Sounds like a good group.

I was just accepting an offer (portco) and figured WSO is always helpful.

Oct 14, 2021 - 7:00am

Can echo some of the comments above on CD&R as an investor. Very disciplined investor in terms of valuation and entry multiples, often structured deals or partnership transactions, and a strong focus on operational improvement led by their broad bench of operating partners who are oftentimes veterans in their industries (e.g. Jack Welsh in the US or Terry Leahy in Europe). Based on recent returns, seems like the concept is working extremely well across cycles.

Unfortunately, not in a position to comment on how it is working in one of their PortCos but probably heavily dependent on the company itself rather than one size fits it all.

Most Helpful
Oct 14, 2021 - 5:27pm

I participated in a VC with their Co-President & Head of Europe in context of their fundraising of Fund XI last year. Just had another look at the deck to refresh my memory.

Pretty impressive shop, they have high and consistent returns (ie less standard deviation across multiple cycles / less reliance on few big outliers to achieve returns) and seem to have managed the tremendous growth of their platform ($6bn fund in 2014, $10bn in 2017, $16bn fund in 2020) and corresponding expansion of headcount and sub-verticals very well. Used to be the H&F of value / old economy investing focused on corporate carve-outs, partnership transactions, complex deal structures (lots of mergers, PIPEs, turnarounds etc), however expanded very successfully into disruptive healthcare models few years ago and most recently into Software.
They basically hired two guys in 2020 (one operating partners / ex software CEO, one TPG / EQT investor) who immediately knocked it out of the park with a $5bn deal in 2020 (Epicor) and $5bn P2P in 2021 (Cloudera - 50/50 with KKR). 

The whole speech was around the firm's DNA being focused on marrying financial with operating expertise (founders were a corporate CEO, a banker and a lawyer). If you look through the website, they have a pretty impressive roster of ex corporate guys (ex-CEO Boeing, ex-CEO Tesco, Chairman BP, Board Member Unilever, and like 20+ others of similar caliber), and those guys are more involved than in other shops (full time partners, part-time advisors, standing IC members etc.) which I suspect is also reflected in the way they interact with their portfolio companies and drive value. Their operating guys definitely take over the Chairman position at every PortCo, even the ones that are only co-controlled (e.g. CD&R Software Op. Partner becoming Chairman of Cloudera post take private, despite being 50/50 investment with KKR).

There is a page on portfolio interaction which talks about monthly operating reviews / board meetings (pretty standard), but also quarterly, semi-annual and annual sessions with a panel of operating guys, as well as best practice sharing across corporate functions between all portfolio companies, purchasing pooling etc.

Bottom line is that I would expect working in their PortCos to be a rather painful exercise, but at least you will be cranking for people that know your business / industry and what they are talking about vs. trying to accommodate random requests from some cookie cutter template shared by a dude that thinks he knows your industry because he did a few expert calls. Don't know how senior you will be in the organization / whether you get any sweet equity, but if so then I would take comfort in knowing that the MIP will probably end up being materially in the money.

On a side note, the session was organized through the platform Moonfare, a German startup which enables semi-professional investors to invest as LP in blue chip PE funds through their feeder entity (effectively a crowd funding to democratize PE investing, with minimum tickets as low as $25k or so.. $100k for CD&R). Highly recommend checking it out, they also offer a fund of funds platform. It adds another layer of fees (think 1% AuM p.a. or so) to the GP fees, but gives access to range of blue chip PE funds as well as e.g. BioTech, VC, Growth, Tech, Secondaries, Infra, Credit etc. People need to go through an accreditation process and then get IR pitch desks every time a fund is in the market...pretty good insights too. Amazed that platform never got mentioned on WSO.

Also amazed I spent my Thursday evening doing this - hoped it helped, maybe I will repeat this for some other shops at some point (have attended plenty of those sessions..) 

Good luck in the new role.

  • Analyst 3+ in Research - Other
Oct 14, 2021 - 5:48pm

Thank you for this write up. I just went through my onboarding and it's definitely going to a be a lot of work. I'm sick of consulting- so I couldn't be happier working on strategic finance tbh.

That's one of the most well-written PE descriptions I've ever seen.

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Oct 14, 2021 - 6:05pm

Moonfare is legendary, am desperate for them to allow access across the pond for us here in the states. I have been practically begging them.

Oct 18, 2021 - 6:30am

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