The real value creators: how are GPs improving performance and driving alpha?

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The real value creators: how are GPs improving performance and driving alpha?

The real value creators: how are GPs improving performance and driving alpha?

About the speakers
  • Merrick McKay
    Merrick McKay
    Head of Private Equity Europe at abrdn
    Merrick heads the European Private Equity team within abrdn, and is based in its Edinburgh and London offices. With European AuM of €8bn, abrdn’s private equity activities include making primary commitments, secondary fund investments and co-investments for clients and pooled funds, undertaken by a European team of 25 investment professionals. Merrick sits on the Investment Committee for all European mandates as well as the overall Portfolio Construction & Management Committee, and is responsible for relationship management with a number of key clients. Merrick is a member of Invest Europe’s Limited Partner Council, an Advisory Board member of numerous funds, and a regular speaker at private equity conferences. An Australian, Merrick has worked in the European private equity industry for 28 years. Prior to joining SL Capital, now part of abrdn, in 2014, Merrick was Head of European Investments and Senior Partner of Macquarie’s Private Markets division. Previous roles include: 13 years as a Partner and Investment Committee member of Primary Capital (the London-based, mid-market private equity firm) where he was responsible for leading, originating and managing numerous private equity investments in the UK; and 5 years at a corporate finance boutique providing lead advice for a number of European private equity investments. Merrick holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Queensland.
  • Dan Aylott
    Dan Aylott
    Managing Director, Head of European Private Investments at Cambridge Associates
    Dan is a Managing Director specialising in Private Investments and is based in Cambridge Associates’ London office. Dan leads Cambridge Associates’ EMEA PE and VC research team and also advises clients on the construction and management of custom global private investment portfolios. He works with a variety of clients, including UK and US pension funds, private wealth clients and foundations. Dan has more than 20 years of private investments experience. Before joining Cambridge Associates in 2012, Dan was programme manager responsible for private equity at Kedge Capital. Prior to this, Dan was a portfolio manager at BP Investment Management, where he helped to manage the BP Pension Fund’s global private equity programme. Earlier in his career, Dan was a member of the investment teams at asset managers Pinebridge and Aviva Investors, where he was primarily responsible for private equity fund investments in Europe.
  • Jose Barreto
    Jose Barreto
    Partner at Goldman Sachs Asset Management
    Jose is a partner in Private Equity within Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He is a member of the Asset & Wealth Management Private Corporate Investment Committee. Previously, Jose was head of the UK Cross Markets Group and the Business and Consumer Services sector in the Investment Banking Division in EMEA. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2008 as an associate on the Industrials Investment Banking team and was named managing director in 2015 and partner in 2020. Prior to joining the firm, Jose worked at McKinsey & Company from 2004 to 2006. Before that, he was a computer scientist at the European Space Agency. Jose serves on the boards of Adapteo, LRQA and Constructel Visabeira. Jose earned an MSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Coimbra in 2003 and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School in 2008.
  • Simon Williams
    Simon Williams
    Managing Partner at WovenLight
    Simon’s career in applied data started more than 25 years ago as a graduate at Reuters where he learnt the fact that not all data is created equally and that it constantly evolves — and organisations that react faster, better, more precisely have the edge. In due course he progressed to building technology companies; in 2009 he co-founded QuantumBlack, a data analytics firms with roots in Formula 1 which was subsequently acquired by McKinsey in 2015. In 2020 he set up WovenLight with the vision of applying cutting-edge data analytics and AI to generate superior performance across each aspect of the investment lifecycle. Today he is focused on weaving to deliver upon two aspects: first, post-acquisition portfolio value creation by deploying AI driven templates alongside GP initiatives and management to improve operational performance; and second, pre-acquisition rapid diagnostics leveraging our playbook, benchmarks and AI tooling to accelerate diligence and quantification of value opportunities to better underpin a deal across buy-side, sell-side, and credit. He lives in Twickenham, south-west London, with his wife, two sports-mad children and a faithful hound.
  • Susanne Schorsch
    Susanne Schorsch
    Partner at Amadeus Capital Partners
    Susanne is a Partner in Amadeus Capital Partners’ European early-growth deep tech strategy. As professional venture capital investor since 2017, she has led and co-led more than 20 investments in deeptech including health and biotech. Susanne was previously a Partner at Verve Ventures. She has served as board member or observer on several of her portfolio companies. Several of Susanne’s investments have exited successfully including two IPOs and two M&A. Prior to her venture career, Susanne was a international business executive for 15 years for BASF. She was leading BASF’s Global Additives Business and responsible for Strategy and Innovation of BASF Performance Chemical Division. Her experience spans from developing and running businesses to innovation and business strategy development for different industries and end-user applications. Susanne completed a degree in Engineering and Business at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and in Wharton, and an Executive Education program at UC Berkeley.

Key takeaways