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Selected operating partners

Operating Partner Quotes

To enhance and improve our operational skills and capabilities, we have developed partnerships with approximately 60 senior industry executives.

The operating partners actively contribute to the strategic and operational development of our portfolio companies. They are a long established and successful element of our focus on growing and developing successful companies for the future.

The role of the operating partner

Our operating partner program currently includes over 60 highly experienced and senior industrialists, many of whom have been involved in multiple Advent investments frequently operating across international borders. Between them, they cover all the territories in which Advent invests.

Acting as independent advisors, the operating partners, who are typically former CEOs or COOs, work alongside our sector teams to make a significant contribution to our acquisition and development of portfolio companies through their industry knowledge, operational know-how, management experience, and contact networks.

As chairmen, supervisory board members, advisors to management teams or even interim managers, they help to drive the growth and improvements that generate higher sales and earnings, increasing the value of the companies in which we invest. Operating partners can then play a key role in positioning the company for sale and securing a profitable exit.

The typical operating partner

Advent operating partners inevitably and rightly come from a myriad of backgrounds reflecting the broad range of needs of our investment business.  However, typically there are a number of consistent themes evident in their careers in senior management. These include:

-An exceptional track record as a chairman or a CEO with a proven ability to grow profits and value, as demonstrated in preferably more than one organization

-An ability to drive significant change, both strategic and organizational and sometimes via use of M&A

-An operational skill set – and a willingness to use it when required

-Experience of running international businesses with a turnover of €200m to €2bn

-In-depth knowledge of and networks in at least one of Advent’s target sectors

With a view to succeeding in the world of private equity, our operating partners also commonly display the following characteristics:

-A prominent reputation and a readiness to use it to help originate and win opportunities

-Energy and drive to engage and work alongside Advent deal professionals in an unpretentious, non-hierarchical manner

-Effective leadership skills, knowing when to step back empowering management and when to take charge

-Cultural sensitivity and an ability to operate across borders and sometimes continents

-Understanding how to create and realise value with the requisite ambition to make a significant capital gain, both personally and for all stakeholders.

Why become an Advent operating partner?

At Advent we seek to offer our operating partners a wide range of opportunities and challenges. We hope to have an active relationship working together to identify and assess relevant targets and we expect to pay a per diem consultancy fee for operating partners’ advice.  If the operating partners themselves introduce investment opportunities which are deemed to be proprietary and exclusive, then we are delighted to pay a success fee. 

Of course, once the deal is done, then we anticipate that the operating partner involved will be appointed to the board of the portfolio company and remunerated accordingly. This is consistent with our desire to ensure that the interests of the board, management and Advent are fully aligned.  It also correctly recognizes the importance of the contribution that operating partners make to the success of our investee companies.

More generally, we seek to welcome our operating partners as close members of the global Advent family. We understand the importance of building an in-depth, long-term relationship with our operating partners and look to underpin that with a structured relationship management program. This involves regular contact with the Advent sector and country teams, relationship reviews, attendance at Advent worldwide meetings and communication updates.  For those qualifying operating partners whom we have known for longer, there is also the opportunity to co-invest from time to time in Advent Funds.

Overall, we seek a high level of commitment, interest and support from our operating partners in each of the markets where we are present.  At the same time, we recognize the need to reciprocate this level of commitment and contribution by investing extensively in these relationships offering a variety of opportunities, challenges and rewards.

Current Advent operating partner insights

We asked a number of existing operating partners what they find appealing about a relationship with Advent.  Here are some of their responses:

-“The opportunity to look at a wide range of interesting and attractive businesses on an international scale”

-“The clarity of purpose that comes from a focus on the key aim of value creation”

-“The flexibility, decisiveness and lack of bureaucracy that a relationship with Advent entails”

-“The freedom and fun of re-shaping a business the way you think it ought to be”

-“The spirit of partnership, open communication and high level of trust with the Advent team”

-“The ability to make a real difference while broadening one’s own skill set and experiences”

-“Advent’s sense of realism, understated style and down-to-earth approach”

-“The obvious respect that Advent people have for the role and contribution of operating partners”

“You are free to push in different directions and initiate quick decisions in a way that’s rare in the corporate world.“

- Uwe Alwardt, Advent operating partner


Conor Boden

Head of Portfolio Board Development, UK

T: +44 (0) 20 7333 0800
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Bob Taylor

Managing Partner – North America, USA - Boston

T: +1 617 951 9400
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