A theme that will be at the heart of Operating Partners Day, an event that brings together investors, business leaders and operating partners at 1any June at Brongniart Palace
Public policies aimed at re-industrializing France and ensuring our sovereignty continue and multiply. France 2030, paid-up capital for investment funds, invitations to corporate projects, etc. The latest announcements in this area date back to March 2023 with a study by Bpifrance showing that 76 new industrial sites opened in 2022 and, as a result, 3,000 direct jobs created – and the highly anticipated launch of a new investment fund.Industrial start-up.
But for these initiatives to bear fruit, it is necessary to ensure that SMEs and investment institutions are able to bring the investments made to fruition. Let’s not forget that the success of any company depends more than 50% on its ability to implement the vision it stands for and the project it undertakes.
operational implementation challenges
However, the published indications are more worrying than reassuring. Recently, figures on business failures have been published: Altarès estimates the increase in the number of failures over the past year at 43.6%; The company expects a total number of liquidations of 55,000 through 2023. On the fundraising side, French tech startups saw total raised drop by 68% over one year, well above the declines seen in Europe ( -12%), the United States (-1%) or Asia (-27%) (Source: NewFund, April 2023).
As for the economic situation, it is still not conducive to growth. Inflation lasts for a long time. Geopolitical risks and tensions over supplies remain. At the same time, companies must confront structural challenges: the emergence of artificial intelligence technologies, the constraints imposed by global warming and the conservation of natural resources, new rules and practices in the organization of labor and “human capital”.
Finally, the scope of the French strategy was undermined despite the billions being put on the table in the face of the investment inclinations of foreign players (primarily North America). The latter are increasingly looking to “buy” in France, as evidenced by the recent sale of Doctrine to Summit Partners, or even questions surrounding high-performance valve maker Segault, currently Canadian-owned and for which Percy is seeking capital. The examples abound.
The secret weapon? A realistic idea was born across the Atlantic
It is clear that in the United States, doers have a lever in their hands that can make the difference in overcoming difficulties and achieving goals. After the financial crisis of 2008, US funds, which lost a lot of money and their profitability and performance remained under threat, created a new profession: the operating partner. Their idea: to rely on business leaders who “have already done it” to guide their investment decisions and back their holdings. Their goal: to avoid mistakes made in the past and to gather all the chances for the successful implementation of the project.
For 10 years, the operating partners have shown their added value and contribution to the return on investment. This explains why our American friends in 2023 will not hesitate to accept higher valuations: behind their investments there is always an operational plan, a high-level “work team”, activated in every investment, that makes it possible to achieve the goal. (Profitability, Value Creation, etc.) – In short a highly pragmatic and results-oriented approach.
And France in all this?
I arrived in France 8 years ago, the career of the operating partner is developing more and more. However, it remains to be shown that it can constitute a true “growth insurance” for business leaders and private equity players (LP’s, venture companies, etc.).
Gradually, their role is evolving and more and more small and medium-sized companies and vocational training institutions are using them. An event will soon be dedicated to them: Operators Day, along with the Operators Forums that have been organized in the US and UK every year for over 10 years. organized in 1any June 2023 at Brongniart Palace will demonstrate the economic and financial value generated.
This day is designed to scrutinize the roles and areas of engagement of working partners while sparking discussion in order to anticipate future directions. A debate in which personalities such as Martin Legendre Kalustien, Head of Alternative Investments at Allianz, Bertrand Vollier, Partner at Entrepreneur Invest, Marc Romano, Director of Impact Venture Capital Funds at Mirova, Séverine MULLIEZ-TAPIE, Former Secretary General of Creadev, Aglaé TOUCHARD LE DRIAN , Co-Chair of RAISE Impact and Benoît ROBLIN from Bpifrance. The American perspective will be provided by Jeremy Nakachi, Managing Partner of Marlin Equity Partners. Among the comments from the field are those of Bernard Fort, CEO of Tennaxia.
After all, France also has this secret weapon to offer “growth insurance” to business leaders and to satisfy investor interests and national ambitions. All that remains is to fully own it and transfer the experience to lead re-industrialization and ensure our national sovereignty.