How BluWave Helps Business Builders

What does BluWave do? Who works there? How can it help me grow my business?

Existing and prospective clients often ask this – whether directly to us or to industry peers – about the BluWave Business Builders’ Network.

Today, we’re launching a new BluWave.net, designed to answer those burning questions while more efficiently getting you the resources you need.

“We built our new website to improve our clients’ user experience, make it easier to navigate and more clearly articulate the things we do for our private equity and corporate clients across different use cases,” BluWave CEO Sean Mooney says. “The new website also makes it much easier and more seamless to do things like start a project and connect with our customer coverage team members.”

Some of the new features include:

Filters

Whether you’re at the Due Diligence, Value Creation or Prep for Sale stage, we have real-life case studies, informed blog posts and expert content to support you. Learn more about how our expertly vetted service providers can help your private equity firm, portfolio company or private or public business, no matter what industry you’re in.

Search Functionality

Quickly access resources related to your niche-specific need by using the search bar at the top of the site.

“One of the great things about BluWave is that our network covers a lot of ground for business builders and their needs. The challenge is that it can be difficult to concisely cover all the things we do for private equity and corporate customers,” Mooney says. “I’m excited about the enhanced search functionality that will help our clients more easily navigate areas of interest.”

New Team Pages

Meet the leadership and learn more about the experts at BluWave. Click into any of the individual profiles on the page to get to know us better or contact us directly.


BluWave’s head of client coverage is excited about how the business builders we work with every day will benefit from these improvements.

“Our primary focus is to ensure that our new website is relatable to our growing client base with our expansion into new markets,” Managing Director Rena Frackt Zimmerman says. “With an emphasis on speed and ease of use, our revamped website offers a seamless experience for visitors allowing them to gather information or fast-track directly into an engagement.”

BluWave’s marketing team spearheaded the months-long effort to launch the new site. Senior Director of Marketing Kyle Johnson says:

“The launch of our new website is representative of our continued focus to deliver the best experience to everyone that makes the BluWave network – the world’s best business builders and our best-in-class specialized service providers – what it is.”

Q3 2022 BluWave Insights

Every quarter our team analyzes the projects we work on with our 500+ PE firm clients to get a birdseye view of the market. We recently compiled our Q3 findings into our Q3 2022 BluWave Insights Report. Request your copy.

Key findings from Q3 ’22 include:

  • Value creation activity has increased 11% YoY.
  • Human capital remains PE’s primary area of focus at 36% of all Q3 activity.
  • Technology activity has changed 86% YoY.
  • Sales & marketing activity has changed 29% YoY.

Learn more about the insights we gleaned from Q3:

We can support your value creation needs, human capital needs, technology needs, sales & marketing needs, and more.

Video transcript:

BluWave serves a trusted role with more than 500 of the world’s leading private equity firms and thousands of proactive businesses by connecting them with the best-in-class third parties to help build value with speed and certainty. From our unique vantage in the private equity landscape, we’re able to glean insights into how and why the best business builders in the world are assessing opportunities and building value in their portfolio companies. Here are some of the top takeaways from the BluWave Activity Index during Q3 2022.

First and foremost, value creation remains key in private equity. Despite the unsteady economic landscape, PE firms are equipping their portfolio companies with resources to maintain the momentum of previous value creation efforts. The BluWave Value Creation Index shows a more than 11% increase in Q3 value creation activity year over year. It is evident that PE firms are running towards the storm, treating economic uncertainty as an opportunity rather than a setback.

Number two, technology is surging as digitization continues to be embedded in the post-COVID world. Private equity firms are equipping portfolio companies with data and analytics capabilities to enable data-driven decision making and workflow automation. We’ve seen technology activity rise from 8% of all activity in Q3 2021 to 15% of all PE activity in this past quarter, and we expect to see technology activity remain high as firms continue to invest in subscription-based software companies due to their stability during volatile economic times.

Lastly, human capital remains private equity’s primary area of focus accounting for 36% of all activity in the BluWave Activity Index for Q3 2022. Firms continue to take strides to ensure the teams in their portfolios are top notch and well-equipped for success. This quarter we saw a surge of PE firms bringing in “wartime generals” with specialized skillsets equipped for the “new now” that can help guide portfolio companies to success in the current economic environment.

It is our hope that the information in the Q3 BluWave Insights Report will give you incremental edge as you build the best businesses in the world. If you’d like to learn more and get the report, please contact any member of the BluWave team or follow the link below. Onward.

PE VP Forum Recap | September 2022

Every quarter we gather Vice Presidents in PE to discuss current industry topics and to offer these peers the chance to gather, share information, and decompress with one another. In our most recent event, we discussed how VPs are putting plans and resources in place in the face of a recession as well as how different firms are recruiting and optimizing associate talent.

These forums are invite-only and follow Chatham House Rules, so listed below are high-level takeaways only. If you are a private equity vice president and interested in joining fellow PE VPs during our next forum, you can register here.

Putting plans and resources in place in the face of a recession:

  • PE firms are looking inward at their portfolio to put together concrete gameplans that will help their portfolio companies not only survive but thrive as conditions change.
  • Gameplans vary depending on portco sectors and the stage of the hold period, but firms are ultimately looking for quick wins on their value creation roadmap.
  • PE firms are making strategic planning a priority with portcos.
  • Getting the right people in place remains a top priority. BluWave has seen this firsthand through clients’ increased need for organizational effectiveness groups & interim CFOs.
  • Add-ons are top of mind for PE firms, and they are staying prepared to pursue them if/when the opportunities arise.

Recruiting and optimizing associate talent:

  • Tight labor markets have made hiring PE associates difficult, so firms are shifting tactics to competitively recruit talent and implement training programs that will help them quickly become contributing investment professionals.
  • PE firms are starting to travel to meet candidates in their respective cities vs. relying on candidates to come to them.
  • PE firms are looking for innovative ways to accelerate and streamline the hiring cycle.
  • Some PE firms are experimenting with tapping non-traditional candidates outside of investment banking.

We thoroughly enjoyed getting to gather with PE VPs to discuss these current industry hot topics. We’d be happy to connect you to the PE-grade, exact-fit, third-party resources you need to assist you in this pressurized market, just contact us here.

Learn more about how we can specifically help Deal Quarterbacks here.

August 2022 Roundup: BluWave Client Insights

BluWave works with over 500 PE firms from around the globe as well as thousands of their portfolio companies and other proactive independent companies, connecting them with BluWave-vetted, best-in-class, third-party service providers across a variety of resource and functional areas. From information technology and manufacturing to healthcare, consumer goods, and beyond, our clients are expert business builders. In other words, they have their heads in the game and their hands on the pulse of news and insights you can use.

Check out the latest, curated collection of our clients’ musings on value creation through human capital, continued recessionary pressures, DEI, digital marketing, and more.

ParkerGale Operating Team Partner Jimmy Holloran is joined by David Cohen, human capital partner at Kelso and Company. They discuss the various ways that human capital can impact a firm’s portfolio, the biggest value creators during the hold period, how human capital leaders can and should be thought partners, and more.

Listen to the podcast >>>

SMB founder-owned businesses often don’t have a deep pool of resources like PE-backed companies, but this doesn’t mean they can’t take a page out of the PE playbook during this contracting economy. Heartwood Partners outlines some economic indicators available to businesses, where owners can strengthen their organization during these uncertain times, cost management strategies, and opportunities to revisit a company’s financing ahead of the projected, much stronger economy.

Read more >>>

Insight Partners’ Senior Director Portia Raphael and VP Rachel Bonds explain five key actions that all leaders, not just the human capital function, should consider with the increased attention to DE&I in the workplace. They emphasize that this will be a long-term, dedicated effort that will require thoughtful leadership, purposeful recruiting, inclusive policies, and more, so that people of all backgrounds can thrive.

Read more >>>

Livingbridge investment team members Vernan Richards and Dave Kirby review why marketing as a business function has significantly changed over the past decade, in both B2B and B2C. Since traditional B2B marketing strategies that require face-to-face touchpoints were no longer an option during COVID, digital processes and lead generation were launched or accelerated. This has yielded very strong returns, and Richards and Kirby look at this evolving and aggressive sector.

Read more >>>

KKR Partner Henry H. McVey and Managing Director Aidan Corcoran examine their inflation expectations, inflation volatility, current growth industries like healthcare, and mega themes such as digitalization, cybersecurity, and Europe’s energy crisis. While trimming their growth forecasts, they analyze how many European companies are “enduring the storm” much better than anticipated, a common outcome for the private equity industry during economic downturns. 

Read more >>>

Read what some of our clients had to say last month on turning current market conditions and macroeconomic challenges into opportunity, human capital due diligence, and more.

Human Capital Forum Recap | August 2022

Every quarter we bring together top PE human capital and talent executives to discuss current industry topics and to offer talent leaders in private equity the chance to discuss critical topics of the day. The PE human capital role is rapidly evolving as the private equity industry increasingly invests time and cash flows into human resources.

The BluWave Human Capital Forums follow Chatham House Rule, so our takeaways herein are kept at a high level. Are you in private equity and interested learning the details by joining fellow leading PE professionals during our next Human Capital Forum?  RSVP for our next event on November 2nd.

In our most recent Forum, we discussed many topics including:

  • The private equity industry is seeing the ongoing downturn as a unique talent hiring opportunity.
  • Human capital leaders are working closely with their portfolio company leaders to accumulate best practices and share them across their portfolio for the good of all.
  • The private equity industry is actively polling its portfolio companies to understand the voice of their employees and improve engagement and retention.
  • Human capital leaders are spending significant time bringing additional skills and talent to new portfolio companies and supporting the development of their teams.
  • The PE industry is using data and objective assessment tools to improve portfolio company performance.
  • In the days ahead, human capital leaders are looking to spend more time enhancing culture, supporting leadership development, and sharing best practices during rapidly changing times.

We thoroughly enjoyed these thought-provoking conversations that occurred during this recent gathering of PE human capital professionals. If we can be of assistance, please let us know.

Additionally, you may be interested in checking out some of our human capital specific resources, which can be found here:

July 2022 Roundup: BluWave Client Insights

BluWave works with over 500 PE firms from around the globe as well as their portfolio companies and proactive independent companies, connecting them with BluWave-vetted, best-in-class, third-party service providers across a variety of resource and functional areas. From information technology and manufacturing to healthcare, consumer goods, and beyond, our clients are expert business builders. In other words, they have their heads in the game and their hands on the pulse of news and insights you can use.

Check out the latest, curated collection of our clients’ musings on turning current market conditions and macroeconomic challenges into opportunity, human capital due diligence, and more.  

Joe Zidle: The Optimist Plays the Long Game

Blackstone’s Senior Managing Director and Chief Investment Strategist shares an evaluation of recession indicators while considering near-term macroeconomic challenges. His sentiment is that even though a recession looks like risk at the forefront, recessions are cyclical and business leaders who understand this have an advantage in the long run. Zidle digs into current market conditions and historical examples of different recession outcomes.

Read more >>>

What Is Human Capital Due Diligence? A Lot More Than You Think

ParkerGale Operating Team Partner, Jimmy Holloran, is joined by Laura Queen, founder, and CEO of 29Bison, a human capital consultancy focused on the PE space. They discuss how talent investments can unlock organizational true value and break down the human capital due diligence basics – what it is, how it’s done, and why it’s the fastest-growing of all the diligence workstreams.

Listen to the podcast >>>

Monitoring Commodities Through Technology

Veridapt CEO David Thambiratnam and Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder Sean Birrell join the 2022 Macquarie Technology Summit to discuss the role of hardware and software technology in monitoring commodities while battling ongoing supply chain challenges, managing risks, and optimizing operations.

Watch the video >>>

People Matter: Prioritizing Human Capital Along with Investment Capital

Insight Partners Managing Director Praveen Akkiraju dives into how business builders can invest and prioritize human capital not only to survive the bad times, but to also be focused and ready to accelerate once the good times arrive. He shares why resilience plans start with protecting your human capital.

Read more >>>

Why Europe Will Emerge Stronger From the Current Crisis

KKR Partner and Co-Head of European Private Equity Philipp Freise outlines how the major geopolitical shifts will fuel the European economy, the beginning stages of untapped digitization opportunities, and how the private economy can remain resilient and embrace these challenging times, thus driving global transformation.

Read more >>>

 

 

Here’s what some of our clients had to say last month on creating value with digital transformation, boosting operating speeds, software delivery competence, and more.

Q2 2022 BluWave Insights

Every quarter our team analyzes the projects we work on with our 500+ PE firm clients to get a birdseye view of the market. You can request your copy here to view all of the trends that we have seen over the past quarter.

Key findings from Q2 include value creation remaining strong due to the record number of deals made at robust valuation multiples during 2021, inflation continuing to wreak havoc on global economies, and the recessionary pressures availing substantial opportunities for all of the best business builders.

Learn more about the insights we gleaned from the report by watching the video below.

To request the full the report, click here.

Video transcript:

BluWave has a unique vantage in the North American economy. While working with more than 500 of the world’s top business builders, we’re able to understand unique insights into how and why the best business builders in the world are assessing opportunities and building value in their portfolio companies. Here are some of the unique insights we generated during Q2 2022. The name of the game in the second quarter was value creation. Value creation accounted for 68% of all activity funneled through the BluWave engine. Value creation was so robust during this last quarter for a number of reasons. Number one, private equity firms invested in a large number of companies last year so they’re acting on those investments to begin transformation. Number two, deal flow is down. A lot of the best companies were sold last year. Other companies are pausing their ambitions as the economic cycle is softening and the results slow in kind. The other mega trend that is readily apparent in our data is the specter of inflation. The private equity industry is not resting on its laurels. It’s taking aggressive action to raise prices, reduce costs, and bring in the right people with the right skills for the current times. It’s our hope that the data and insights we’re sharing will help you build your business with more speed and certainty. If you’d like to learn more and get the full report, please contact any member of the BluWave team or follow a link below.

Best Practices | Tips from portco CEOs

Hannah Welsh shares best practices on how interim CFOs can become better partners to their executive teams. The tips exclusively shared from portco CEOs in BluWave’s Network include:

  • Have an attitude of partnership, not competitiveness
  • Know the business’s revenue and expenses like the back of your hand
  • Spend time on-site and get to know the team

Contact Hannah via email at hannah.welsh@bluwave.net with any questions.

June 2022 Roundup: BluWave Client Insights

BluWave works with over 500 PE firms from around the globe as well as their portfolio companies and proactive independent companies, connecting them with BluWave-vetted, best-in-class, third-party service providers across a variety of resource and functional areas. From information technology and manufacturing to healthcare, consumer goods, and beyond, our clients are expert business builders. In other words, they have their heads in the game and their hands on the pulse of news and insights you can use.

Check out the latest, curated collection of our clients’ musings on creating value with digital transformation, boosting operating speeds, software delivery competence, and more.  

A letter of intent can vary widely from style to specificity, depending on the buyer’s style. In most cases, the buyer and seller agree that an LOI should not be exhaustive, but there are key pieces it should cover. Montage Partners outlines the five topics for your consideration that they deem essential in an LOI in order to head-off potential future problems.

Read more >>>

The “Playing to Win” framework” allows organizations to have a faster and lighter strategy design process, leverage the integrated choice-making throughout any strategic challenge they face, and significantly boost operating speed by having a clear perspective for decision-making. Insight Partners’ Operating Partner Pablo Dominguez and GTM Strategy Advisor Matt May dive into the five questions associated with this framework and how business leaders can use them to cultivate success.

Read more >>>

ParkerGale’s Partner Jim Milberry is joined by Mangoteque Founder and Principal, Dave Mangot to discuss all things DevOps. Having helped many distinguished organizations become “best in class” through his philosophy of “Getting Good at Delivering Software”, Mangot’s conversation will Milberry breaks down the four keys that define a company’s competence in software delivery.

Listen to the podcast >>>

An MIT Senior Research Scientist joins the 2022 Macquarie Technology Summit to discuss the role of digital transformation in creating value and improving bottom-line performance, how leadership plays a pivotal role in successful digital transformation, how to think about digital solutions first, and more.

Watch the video >>>

Strattam Capital Co-Founder and Managing Partner Bob Morse shares his experience with “First Board Meeting Surprises”, when founders & CEOs are often surprised by actions the investment team outlines in their first board meeting post-close. Morse outlines his transparent approach to these meetings known as the Five-Point Plan that he has found successfully avoids shocking surprises and actually gets the founders & CEOs excited about the post-close action plan.

Read more >>>

Here’s what some of our clients had to say last month about digital transformation, PE management, human capital, and more.

Hunt Scanlon 2022: Human Capital in Private Equity

Last month, our team had the chance to attend Hunt Scanlon’s private equity recruiting conference in New York. At the conference, our founder & CEO, Sean Mooney, had the opportunity to sit on the panel, “The Art of Building Private Equity Leadership Teams,” alongside  Jimmy Holloran of ParkerGale Capital, Amanda Roberts of L Catterton, Michelle Nasir of Arsenal Capital Partners, Kit Cooper of Signal Partners, and Adam Zellner of Business Talent Group. There were many value-filled panels throughout the day, allowing for hundreds of PE leaders to discuss and share their thoughts with one another on the current state of strategy, culture, and talent.

The pandemic has both accentuated and accelerated PE’s greatest challenges, and human capital is challenge #1. PE human capital leaders have quickly become the busiest people in the industry, demonstrated by our BluWave Activity Index which shows that 42% of PE projects in Q1 ‘22 were related to human capital, which was up from 36% in the previous quarter. Our key takeaways from the conference below share how talent leaders are staying busy and how they are creating efficiencies to drive more value while they are in such high demand:

1. The Need for a Data-Driven Approach to Talent

  • Business leaders are increasingly recognizing the importance and value of quickly getting the right talent in place across all organizations. According to McKinsey, organizations that get talent right in the first year see 2.5x ROI on their initial investment. Getting talent right is not just a necessity for the C-suite, 90% of critical talent needs in a company lie below the C-suite.
  • With so much at stake if you get talent wrong, many PE firms and proactive businesses are taking a data-driven approach to human capital in order to have best practices to track against.

2. Talent-to-Value

  • Not only does getting the right talent in place quickly improve ROI, it is also crucial to enable companies to deliver on their value creation plans. One way firms are ensuring they get the talent they need is by developing great relationships with their recruiting firms. This allows recruiters to gain a sense for what “talent for that specific firm” looks like.
  • While human capital is critical to value creation, everyone is fishing in the same pond for talent, creating difficulties in getting the talent you need. One solution to this is to take a holistic approach to talent identification & recruitment in which you identify the key targeted areas for value creation in a portfolio company and then systematically focus and prioritize solving the talent that will have an impact on the biggest value creation opportunities. This has been called the “Talent to Value” approach.

3. Growing Emphasis on Culture and DE&I

  • There is a growing emphasis on culture and DE&I in private equity
  • On the DE&I side, each firm needs to take a personalized approach that works for them. A good starting point is to take an initial framework and gather data internally to make sure everyone is included and heard. Then, needs should be measured on a quarterly basis to see how you are improving over time.
  • On the culture side, a focus on internal company culture will help with recruitment & retention efforts, which ultimately, will help you advance your value creation plans. One way to do this is to assess what currently sets your culture apart and then build on it from there. Additionally, interviews should be assessing if candidates have cultural alignment, as much as they are assessing if they have skill and will.

Balancing the art and science of connecting talent to value, amidst a tight market will be the key driver to success as we head into the second half of 2022. If we can be of any assistance, please let us know.

Additionally, you may be interested in checking out some of our human capital specific resources, which can be found here:

 

PE VP Forum Recap | June 2022

Every quarter we gather Vice Presidents in PE to discuss current industry topics and to offer these peers the chance to gather, share information, and decompress with one another. In our most recent event, we discussed how scarcity and inflation are impacting human capital in PE as well as how firms are approaching finding opportunities in a choppy market. We’ve listed our top takeaways below.

These forums are invite-only and follow Chatham House Rules, so listed below are high-level takeaways only. Are you in private equity and interested in joining fellow PE VPs during our next PE VP Forum? Register here.

Scarcity and inflation impacting human capital: One of the unsung areas where inflation is impacting the economy the most is human capital.

  • Firms are taking a closer look at culture to increase retention and not just thinking about wages, but the total employee experience and related rewards.
  • Investments are being made in portco HR (CHROs, VPs, Directors) to collaborate with marketing functions on recruiting content to promote the benefits of an organization beyond dollars per hour. Portcos are also utilizing their current staff to recruit and network with candidates, such as incentivizing them with referral bonuses.
  • Another interesting concept is building in-house training programs to grow net-new talent pools instead of taking and losing employees to and from competitors.

Finding opportunities in a choppy deal market: The confluence of rising interest rates and geopolitical pressures are causing the deal market to become increasingly choppy. Firms are looking for ways to find opportunities in the face of risk and rising recession risk.

  • Teams are getting creative in deal sourcing by exploring new channels by moving down-market and supplementing with add-ons, focusing on proprietary or limited process situations, looking for failed auctions, and continuing to build new relationships.
  • It’s becoming increasingly necessary to be mindful of quality when selecting which deals to pursue and heightened diligence in underwriting, particularly when modeling downside scenarios. This has become even more important as we’ve seen multiples climb higher and higher over the past 12 months. Deal teams are adding extra layers of scrutiny to verify that businesses are valued at a level that will be appropriate over the coming foreseeable months.
  • Teams are spending significant time exploring targets’ operating leverage to understand performance in downside scenarios.
  • A number of firms are seeing an economic reset as an opportunity to find unique opportunities to potentially get quality assets at lower multiples, gain market share, and/or consolidate markets as weaker competitors seek safety and circle wagons.

We thoroughly enjoyed getting to gather with PE VPs to discuss these current industry hot topics. We’d be happy to connect you to the PE-grade, exact-fit, third-party resources you need to assist you in this pressurized market, just contact us here.

Learn more about how we can specifically help Deal Quarterbacks and access a toolkit that can help you do your job more efficiently here.