11 episodes

Join Winna Brown, EY Private Equity Partner and Americas FAAS Leader, as she explores the emergence of NextWave Private Equity and its impact on the economy and society, capturing insights from industry thought leaders and PE practitioners from across the globe.

NextWave Private Equity challenges us to think holistically about the aspiration of the PE industry: a future that is inspired by purpose and transparency, focused on digital transformation, fueled by value creation and driven by an innovative and diverse workforce.

NextWave Private Equity Winna Brown, EY

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Join Winna Brown, EY Private Equity Partner and Americas FAAS Leader, as she explores the emergence of NextWave Private Equity and its impact on the economy and society, capturing insights from industry thought leaders and PE practitioners from across the globe.

NextWave Private Equity challenges us to think holistically about the aspiration of the PE industry: a future that is inspired by purpose and transparency, focused on digital transformation, fueled by value creation and driven by an innovative and diverse workforce.

    Why PE’s role in our economy and society is more important than ever

    Why PE’s role in our economy and society is more important than ever

    In this episode of the NextWave Private Equity Podcast, Andres Saenz, EY Global Private Equity Leader, shares his observations regarding the evolution of private equity and the role it will play in a post-COVID world.
    The initial impact of COVID-19 on the private equity complex echoed what was seen in businesses across all sectors, with workplace safety, remote ways of working, investor and employee communication, liquidity and supply chain being top of mind to triage. In addition, deal markets (with the exception of credit funds) practically shut down overnight.
    PE firms are well-positioned for an economic downturn and have been preparing for this type of event in recent years. With over US$750b in dry powder in what is now a favorable buyer’s market, PE is looking to be as active as possible, as soon as possible.
    A few impediments to deals have included the inability to travel, a lack of available financing, and valuation disconnect between buyers and sellers in pricing assets. Despite these challenges, firms have become creative around investments in public equities as well as credit opportunities. Barring a resurgence of COVID-19, we anticipate buyers and sellers to converge sooner on valuations and in addition to pursuing opportunities in corporate carve-outs.
    PE-backed companies have a real advantage in this volatile environment: not only do funds have greater access to capital, they also have a mix of operating resources, expertise and advisor relationships ready to deploy across the portfolio.
    As PE navigates through COVID-19 and prepares for a momentous shift, a few trends will accelerate, including:
    Investing up and down the capital stack Defining digital transformation and enablement Refining their value proposition to attract incoming talent Hiring talent with the right skill sets Elevation of D&I and a broader focus on social responsibility Widening the aperture and representation of stakeholders Pivoting strategy towards long-term value

    • 23 min
    How covid is transforming the PE operating model

    How covid is transforming the PE operating model

    Tim Dutterer, EY-Parthenon Head of Private Equity, and Greg Schooley, EY US Value Creation Leader, discuss how COVID-19 is transforming operating models across the PE portfolio and beyond.
     
    After the economy recovered from the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, economic activity and growth were steady and predictable. As a result, private equity-owned companies optimized their operating models for efficiency, anticipating the next economic cycle would a more modest recession. No one, publicly traded corporates or PE-owned companies, was prepared for the sudden and complete secession of economic activity caused by COVID.
     
    However, PE investors reacted very quickly, understanding the severity of the crisis and mobilizing to increase liquidity across the portfolio. While a few sectors were spared from the sudden economic collapse, a wide spectrum of both impacts and actions can be observed across the vast majority of the US economy.
     
    We believe that the COVID-induced economic collapse will greatly accelerate several ongoing trends:
    Global supply chains will fragment as companies look for more resiliency Continued reconsideration of extent of reliance on China compared to lower-cost and lower-profile countries Automation will be more widely deployed in a range of activities and sub-functions Back-office functions will be increasingly outsourced The value of office real estate will diminish due to large-scale adoption of remote ways of working Assessing the impact “black swan” events will become the norm in scenario planning

    • 29 min
    Why a post-pandemic supply chain will prioritize resilience over efficiency

    Why a post-pandemic supply chain will prioritize resilience over efficiency

    Jeff Schlosser, EY US Supply Chain Transaction Leader and Jay Camillo, EY Americas Operating Model Effectiveness Leader, explain why a post-pandemic supply chain will prioritize resilience over efficiency. 
    COVID-19 has forced companies across all industries and geographies to pivot towards a “new normal” related to their supply chains. Supply and demand plans became irrelevant practically overnight as companies reprioritized to serve critical needs Lean, linear supply chains are losing favor to parallel structures that allow executives to pivot production in response to demand shocks Traditional levers of consolidation and rationalization will lose popularity and efficiencies will have to be found elsewhere amid rising costs and condensed margins Companies are modelling future scenarios to plan for catastrophic events Regulation is widely anticipated to be a global response to the pandemic, as companies will be increasingly scrutinized (and rewarded) for supply chain resiliency In order to forge a sensible path to this new world, tax teams will need to work closely with business and operations teams and ensure tax efficient measures are considered including evaluating the challenges and opportunities inherent in this pivot from lean to agile.  
    Near term: for liquidity and tax liability management, internal reviews of legal contracts and government agreements to find opportunities for flexibility and efficiency Medium term: as companies pivot, external evaluation of new incentives as tax authorities seek to help companies cope Long term: as companies move to resiliency, shifts of manufacturing require close evaluation of exit liabilities, IP development and use will require careful review, and indirect tax consequences in the excise, customs and VAT area will require management

    • 27 min
    Why “cash culture” is a critical lever in today’s PE climate

    Why “cash culture” is a critical lever in today’s PE climate

    Nick Boaro and Sven Braun of the EY Transaction Advisory Services and Working Capital Group  explain why freeing cash from working capital can allow PE to prolong sustainability, realize value sooner and invest earlier.
    Four reasons why a PE-backed company would want to optimize cash flow now include:
    Up to 7% of sales can be unlocked and released quickly. Unlocking cash is the cheapest source of liquidity. Companies with optionality are in a stronger position to reinvest for growth. A successful outcome in one portfolio company can inspire other portfolio companies to take the same journey. Working capital is the cash a company has tied up in assets less the cash it holds as a liability; a financial metric that represents the amount of day-to-day operating liquidity available to a business. Freeing cash from working capital is the cheapest source of additional liquidity often unlocked to pay down debt, fund day-to-day operation or fund strategic initiatives.
    Today, private equity funds and their portfolio companies are able to unlock on average 5%-7% of revenue in cash flow improvement within 3-6 months of completing 8-12 week operational improvement programs. A company that optimizes working capital increases liquidity, improves predictability of cash flow and increases visibility in all areas of cash.
    Because of COVID-19, many PE funds are laser focused on forecasting and releasing cash to prolong sustainability, realize value sooner and invest earlier. PE funds are asking for liquidity forecasts from across the portfolio to measure exposure, identify opportunities and quickly accelerate cash flow for as many companies as possible. Where corporations have complex hierarchical structures that force them to move slower with more measured outcomes, PE is able to act more quickly.
    Having a “cash culture” is important for any company, especially now. After all, cash is the cheapest source of liquidity a business can generate, and it provides critical funding in either a downturn or growth period. Healthy cash flow is a positive indicator of a company’s preparation for an economic downturn; however, it isn’t too late for companies to improve cash flow, so they have greater optionality when opportunities arise.

    • 25 min
    Managing COVID-19 tax implications in the US and Europe

    Managing COVID-19 tax implications in the US and Europe

    Jennifer Shearer and Alexander Ludwig Reiter of the EY International Tax & Transaction Services group help PE funds and portfolio companies understand and manage the tax implications of recent coronavirus stimulus packages.
    COVID-19 stimulus legislation in the US and Europe is designed to ease the strain on businesses with particular focus on small and medium sized companies, keep people employed, increase liquidity and provide access to much-needed capital. Loan programs, cash tax defer programs, tax incentives and compensation for reduced working hours are all being deployed. Key focus areas for private equity are as follows:
    Immediate: focus on liquidity and establishing task forces to triage needs across the portfolio.
    Short-term: use a coordinated approach to evaluate need and eligibility for assistance. There is a lot of detail and nuance to consider when evaluating these programs, as loans have restrictions and some PE complexes may not qualify depending on how they are structured. Differences in policy adoption across US states and between European countries also adds complexities.
    Medium term: take time to understand the fund and portfolio structure in order to determine which measures can be taken without inflicting damage. Debt buybacks present an attractive opportunity but come with important tax considerations.
    Longer term: broken supply chains at the portfolio level will need to be fixed. Global sourcing structures will be re-evaluated. The “just-in-time” inventory management strategy will also be re-examined as company seek to protect themselves against future global disruptions. Digitization will drive improvements in sourcing practices and multi-channel distribution. Lastly, a focus on improving “corporate hygiene” by investing in cybersecurity and technology that enables remote ways of working will remain top-of-mind.

    • 25 min
    How to navigate a remote close during COVID-19

    How to navigate a remote close during COVID-19

    Karim Anani, Financial Accounting and Advisory Partner, and Lukas Hoebarth, Strategy & Operations Partner explain how to manage a remote close in today’s volatile financial and regulatory environment.
    While there has been a growing trend towards remote (or virtual) close for several years, the need for this capability has not only been accelerated but thrust into an volatile environment. Unforeseen complexity due to macroeconomic uncertainty, regulatory change, remote ways of working, incomplete information, workforce uncertainty and cybersecurity risks threaten vital systems of control that must now pivot to cover the risk mitigation they were designed to provide.
    Private Equity CFOs and finance teams are instrumental in connecting the dots throughout the organization and will play a pivotal role as the business partner to the CEO. Analysis of short-term liquidity forecasts, tax implications and business plans will impact investment decisions and expose resource constraints across the private equity portfolio in the weeks and months to come.
    In order for CFOs to cultivate successful remote close outcomes, they must focus on:
    Communication: holding regular meetings and establish expectations for communication Collaboration: establish and maintain healthy ways of remote working Preparation: organize a PMO to map the close calendar, identify exposure and predict/solve for different scenarios Motivation: keeping spirits high and nurture positivity Five complexities will drive additional focus on the upcoming reporting cycle:
    Delays in the close process due to remote ways of working, personal distraction and impact of available (or unavailable) technology Different/additional analysis will be required to “close the books” Incomplete information from upstream operational activities and suppliers Sensitivity of data in a remote working environment brings cybersecurity and potential vulnerabilities into question The ability to ensure the controls environment is sufficient to ensure accuracy for stakeholder signoff

    • 28 min

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