A recent Business Wire report stated that the majority of private equity fund managers have a tepid outlook for 2013. But Baird Capital – Baird’s global private equity group – is more confident that its unique advantages will help sustain its momentum coming off of a successful 2012.
In a year that saw sluggish deal volume for many fund managers, Baird’s private equity business was very active. Baird Capital deployed over $140 million in 33 new or follow-on investments and realized nearly $130 million, principally through three exits. All of this while the global team was gearing up for a public rebranding to better reflect their shared strengths.
“Overall, 2012 was a great year in terms of how we’re positioning our funds for the future, both in the U.S. and internationally,” says Gordon Pan, who took the reins of Baird’s global private equity platform in early 2012. "Regardless of the trends and the economic and political uncertainty, our proactive investment strategies coming into the year propelled us toward a very productive year.”
In the Spotlight
Punctuating the positive assessment of Baird Capital’s 2012 were various Awards and Accolades, including a fifth consecutive recognition as a Preqin Top “Consistent Performer” among global buyout funds. Additionally, team members were sought for comment or featured by industry publications including Private Equity Analyst, Private Equity International, Real Deals, The Deal, The Wall Street Journal, Crain’s Chicago Business and CNN Money.
“Generating market awareness of our brand is integral to developing relationships and building trust with both investors and company owners,” said Gordon. “The media exposure and third party accolades we’ve received in recent years helps to increase that awareness and opens up opportunities for us.”
Advantages That Improve the Outlook
Among Baird Capital’s key competitive advantages is the global nature of the platform and, specifically, the fact that Baird Capital relies on its experts on three continents to develop sector perspectives.
“Our business is truly a global business. What happens in Europe and Asia impacts our portfolio companies in the U.S., and vice versa,” he said. “While we can’t control whether the global economy recovers, we can control how our companies position themselves to take market share from their competitors. Our companies need to be market leaders in today’s slower-growth environment, and they can rely on our industry expertise to help them accomplish their goals.”
Baird Capital’s expertise within its sectors of focus and disciplined investment criteria are also differentiators. Through its four strategies – U.S. Private Equity, U.K. Private Equity, China Growth and Venture – Baird Capital makes investments in lower middle-market companies, focusing exclusively on the Business Services, Healthcare, and Industrial and Consumer Products industries.
“Our teams know these sectors well,” Gordon said. “And because we focus on lower middle-market companies, we can also draw on Baird’s award-winning middle market equity research to deepen our understanding of the dynamics, trends and opportunities. Our intellectual and human capital are our greatest strengths.”
The Strength to Grow
Baird Capital’s relationship with Baird naturally augments its competitive advantages. At a time when industry experts foresee further contraction within the private equity industry as marginal players encounter increasing difficulty attracting and raising new funds, Baird Capital not only has the financial strength of Baird behind it, but can supplement its own intellectual capital with industry leading insights from Baird’s equity research and sector perspective from Baird’s global investment banking team.
“For more than 20 years, we have shown that we have the experience, in-depth sector knowledge and global operating resources necessary to drive value in our portfolio companies,” said Gordon.
Gordon Pan is the Managing
Partner of Baird Capital.