British Private Equity Awards Shortlist 2023

3 October

British Private Equity Awards Shortlist 2023

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Commercial Due Diligence Provider of the Year

Armstrong Transaction Services

In 2022/23, Armstrong navigated a complex market helping management teams and investors to evaluate performance and identify opportunities through our rigorous commercial due diligence.

Our work is based on our understanding of each company and its market, its value proposition and differentiators, and the commercial opportunity. This year we helped our clients to assess how resilient business plans were to a range of challenges including the energy crisis, inflation and the competitive dynamics of the markets they operate in.

We conducted a survey with over 100 PE and CF participants in June on the potential deal flow in the second half of the year. This is just one example of the insight we brought to our clients’ investment thesis and deal triage, as well as representing businesses both buy-side and sell-side.

Five notable deals we worked on in this period include: Flowbird’s acquisition of YourParkingSpace (buy-side), Bowmark Capital’s investment in Littlefish (buy-side), Apiary Capital’s investment in First Intuition (sell-side), LDC’s investment in Stonbury (buy-side), and Baird Capital’s investment in Jman Group (sell-side). These demonstrate the depth and range of experience in the Armstrong team.

We give our clients the confidence to invest, innovate and grow in challenging markets.

Fairgrove Partners

Fairgrove Partners celebrated the year of its 10th anniversary by climbing to the top of the Unquote CDD adviser league table, becoming the #1 player in the UK and Ireland (by volume of completed transactions advised) across all deal types in the judging period. We have now been the #1 or #2 player in 7 of the last 9 award periods since our inception in 2013, testament to the enduring quality of our work. Our achievements in this judging period include advising on 19 completed transactions estimated to have been worth over £0.5bn (per Unquote), working with 6 new funds for the first time, completing multiple bolt-on transactions for buy-and-build platforms in technology and professional services and recently undertaking a substantial cross-border project for a large German-based fund. Supplementing our core work in transaction services, we carried out our first pro bono project for a UK charity supporting young people finding employment in STEM industries, sponsored Women In Business societies at two leading universities and published long-form thought leadership pieces on (inter alia) three emerging new sectors for PE investment: artificial intelligence, automation technology, and diversity, equity and inclusion consulting. 

Graph Strategy

This year marks six years since James Tetherton and Mark Stein founded GRAPH Strategy, and the
company continues to rapidly gain share in the UK and US Private Equity Consulting Markets. Q2
2023 has been the largest quarter to date for GRAPH in the UK - revenue grew 20% year-on-year,
reflecting our ability to continue creating value for clients despite tough market conditions.
GRAPH’s ongoing success is powered by a simple formula – great people, doing great work, for great
clients. The firm is distinguished by its partner-led delivery model, rigorous analysis, practical insights
and a strong entrepreneurial culture, that particularly suits our work with founder-led businesses. As
one client recently said: “smart, incisive, responsive and professional. The GRAPH team delivered for
us again on this assignment”.

GRAPH’s flexible, boutique approach to consulting has been an ideal fit for the complexity of the
markets in 2023. In terms of Commercial Due Diligence, we’ve seen a strong shift away from cookie
cutter approaches, replaced by a proliferation of different types of work. Work this year has ranged
from full-scope sell-side work, through targeted customer referencing for bolt-ons, to strategy
reviews where the sponsor is still many years from exit.

Luminii Consulting

The judging period was one of profound growth and innovation for Luminii. We harnessed our core values and enthusiasm to support our clients in making investment decisions through the delivery of value-enhancing Commercial Due Diligence (CDD) that we hope set the industry standard.

Luminii developed a distinguished position this year by: 

  • As a reflection of our growing client base in the regions, we opened an office in Manchester in September 2022. Thus, Luminii became the only boutique CDD provider with a presence in both London and Manchester.
  • Clients commended us on our highly collaborative approach. Addressing clients’ needs, we incorporated a user-friendly reporting format with ‘drag and drop’ content into investment papers. 
  • Our extensive expertise and credentials firmly established us as a leading go-to provider for CDD in the technology sector. 
  • We believe our firm has a wider role in society; we allocated 7% of profits to four charities this year. Furthermore, we launched graduate placement, internships and mentoring programmes, enhancing employability skills whilst contributing to the future of our society.
  • Luminii won the CDD Provider of the Year Award at the 2023 Private Equity Awards; a testament to our dedication, collaboration, and unwavering resolve to deliver outstanding client service.