Event Recap: PEI Operating Partners Forum 2022

Last week, I had the pleasure of moderating  the “Unlocking the Transformative Due Diligence Imperative” panel at the PEI Operating Partners Forum in San Francisco. The panel included operating partner leaders Deborah Gallegos of Palladium Equity Partners, Drew Scielzo of ACON Investments, and Sheheryar Shah of ZT Corporate.

It was refreshing to be back in person with hundreds of PE ops partners to learn from their first-hand perspectives. Key takeaways included:

Executing value creation means that human capital remains a top priority for PE firms.

  • Ensuring the right management team and board leadership are in place allows for efficient execution against the value creation plan. Resource scarcity has had an immense impact on firms’ abilities to implement and execute plans. Industry leaders discussed tips for how PE firms can source and retain the right people at our recent human capital forum.

Leveraging technology to increase efficiencies is non-negotiable.

  • The aforementioned human capital challenges have tremendously accelerated digital transformation plans. PE firms are laser-focused on leveraging technology to increase efficiencies and reduce manual tasks to align with value creation plans. This allows portcos to reallocate resources to higher impact areas and rely on technology to solve for the monotonous, repeatable workflow.

Building trust with portcos’ management teams early on is essential.

  • Trusted partnerships between PE firms and their portfolio companies are vital to a successful investment. Building executive buy-in earlier on in the diligence process with a people-centric approach puts PE firms in a win-win situation. When the (right) management team has ownership in the decision-making process, this creates invaluable efficiencies between the PE firm and portco leadership teams.

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these, contact us here. You can also check out some of these resources:

Thank You & Cheers to 2022

We couldn’t do what we do without our incredible network of loyal, reliable, and expert service providers. Here’s a quick note from some of our team to say thank you for all that you do as 2021 comes to a close:

Cheers to 2022, we look forward to working with you in the new year!

Tools and techniques to love this February and beyond

Where would we be as solutions-focused experts without a few favorite tools and techniques we can depend on, even during the most challenging engagements and ever-shifting workplace environments?

With the lightning speed of innovation these days, not to mention skill sets required to stay on course, this month I wanted to share a few ideas—in the vein of “digital transformation”—that may be useful for managing the daily demands of business development, client work, and the 948 other things on your plate (including reading emails like this!).

Idea One: Instead of overwhelming your teams, contractors, or yourself with app after app (and password after password), try consolidating into one suite that can be used company-wide and allows for outside collaboration. The 800-pound gorillas here are Microsoft Office and Google Workspace, but there are more suites to choose from depending on your line of business. For example, if you’re visually-based, Trello could do the trick. Or just embrace the complexity and use a tool like LastPass!

Idea Two: Looking to build and maintain strong relationships, even while things are virtual? Check out Thnks: “Growing business with gratitude.” While it may seem old school, saying thank you actually never gets old, even if you’re doing it in a modern way.

Idea Three: If you are a small to midsize business that operated in 2019 and 2020, chances are you may be dealing with all sorts of new changes due to the stimulus packages—not to mention all the “rules” for 2021 that come with a new White House administration. Many positive changes were made in an attempt to help businesses stay afloat, while simultaneously creating more work. Stay on track with payroll, tax deadlines, and more with a platform like Gusto or ComplYant, and help alleviate some of the work in these “headache” areas.

Bonus idea that has nothing to with technology: Feeling stressed? Needing some time away from WFH? The benefits of Infrared Saunas are quickly becoming mainstream: better sleep, relaxation, detoxification, and muscle soreness relief, to name a few. Chances are, if you’re located in a regional or major metropolitan area, there will be an IR business nearby.

Stay tuned for more BluWave insights, and don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The year of specialized work and continued recalibration

What better way to kick off 2021 than with some age-old wisdom from the most outstanding figure in medicine, Hippocrates: “Persons in whom a crisis takes place pass the night preceding the paroxysm (spasm) uncomfortably, but the succeeding night generally more comfortably.”

In other words, if last year was the “uncomfortable paroxysm” then this year should be markedly less so, as most of us have adjusted to the new normal. Yes, things are still a little shaky, but at least we aren’t at the height of the disruption. In fact, in many cases it seems companies are embracing the changes and shifting their hiring practices and organizational frameworks to include more remote workers.

According to a recent World Economic Forum report: “41% of companies plan to expand their use of contractors for task-specialized work” and as a result of the COVID-19 recession, “day-to-day digitalization has leapt forward, with a large-scale shift to remote working and e-commerce, driving a surge in work-from-home arrangements and a new marketplace for remote work.”

Another interesting insight based on a four-year projection by the authors, “by 2025, the time spent on current tasks at work by humans and machines will be equal. A significant share of companies also expect to make changes to locations, their value chains, and the size of their workforce due to factors beyond technology in the next five years.”

However, despite these shifts and focus on technology, it still holds true that “despite the current economic downturn, the large majority of employers recognize the value of human capital investment.”

As far as the future is concerned — namely for those willing to innovate, get creative, and adapt — opportunities abound. Furthermore, specialized workers and the demand for expertise will continue to grow as companies recalibrate. The intended result: workforces and an economy that comes back stronger, more resilient, and better equipped to adapt to future disruptions.


To read the full WEF “Future of Jobs Report” click here.