COVID-19 Bolsters The Need For Investment In 5G

Andrew Weinberg, Founder, Managing Partner & CEO of Brightstar Capital Partners contributes to Forbes.com

5G infrastructure offers a huge opportunity post-COVID-19 QUALTEK LLC

The devastating COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating digital transformation of the ways we interact and do business. As Microsoft MSFT +4% CEO Satya Nadella recently noted, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

A lasting consequence will be that more goods and services will be delivered electronically, more work and learning will be done remotely, and entities from businesses, to governments, to non-profit organizations will have to prioritize the adoption of digital technology.

5G technology will be an essential enabler of this transformation. The use cases it underpins in healthcare, manufacturing, mobility and retailing could add 3.5-5.5% to global GDP created in those domains over the next decade – a crucial contribution to the economic recovery following our current crisis with its unprecedented stimulus measures that stretch public-sector balance sheets.

Full disclosure, I’ve been involved in the wireless industry for nearly two decades and two of our portfolio companies are involved in the sector. This has given me insight into the importance of building out 5G across the U.S., and doing it right.

An opportunity for the U.S.

While much is made of China’s five-year commitment of $184 billion in 5G infrastructure, in truth there is no one country “winning the race.” Rather, a cluster of pioneering countries has emerged, including not only China and the U.S., but also South Korea, Australia, Qatar, Switzerland, Finland, Spain and The United Arab Emirates. Given the size of its market and the dynamic ecosystem of its private sector, the U.S. is well positioned to play a leading role in harnessing the power of 5G. But make no mistake, the public and private sectors need to focus and work together in order to take advantage of the opportunity.

The middle-market opportunity

As little as 15 years ago, a small company would face significant hurdles in setting up its technology systems. Servers needed to be bought or leased, software installed and security designed. Today, a combination of cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has largely removed those hurdles, allowing smaller and younger companies to compete with incumbents.

5G will do the same again for the physical world. It will combine a quantum leap in bandwidth and resilience with Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, of which over 40 billion are forecast to be connected by 2025. The opportunity will grow exponentially – over 75% per year just in 5G infrastructure over the next six years – and create immense value for startups and mid-market companies.

Imagine a regional water company using 5G and IoT to continuously monitor its pipelines, identifying and repairing the smallest leaks before they become an issue. Or an industrial equipment company remotely keeping an eye on its fleet, running diagnostics while the equipment is in use – and dispatching a team for pre-emptive maintenance in the evening.

A manufacturing company using augmented reality to give step-by-step instructions to workers on the shop floor, allowing them to undertake advanced tasks without waiting for specialist engineers or incurring costly machine downtime. 5G can make all of these dreams become reality, helping increase efficiency and reducing waste – in environmental, societal and economic terms.

What it will take

A few simple steps will be necessary for the U.S. to establish a leadership role in harnessing the benefits of 5G, which needs to be an important element of any federal infrastructure plan. I serve on the board of CTIA, the U.S. wireless industry association, where we work closely with the public sector to ensure such plans efficiently enable the roll-out of this crucial infrastructure by:

  • Harmonizing and coordinating state and local government rules and permitting processes
  • Allocating resource to training programs that ensure a supply of skilled labor
  • Fostering public-private partnerships to accelerate 5G innovation and development

I’d also add that necessary investments, from both the public and private sectors, need to be made with a patient mindset. If we have learned one thing from the transformational introduction of the internet, it is that bubbles and bursts should be avoided where at all possible. 5G will transform industries for decades, if not centuries. The next quarter will give only very limited guidance.

If we bring these steps together and make 5G a priority in the post COVID-19 world, I have no doubt that the U.S. will emerge as a global leader in the next wave of transformative technology. We’ve consistently risen to the challenge in the past, and we must do it again.

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Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385

Private Equity Will Show its True Colors in the COVID-19 Recovery

Andrew Weinberg, Founder, Managing Partner & CEO of Brightstar Capital Partners contributes to Forbes.com

As our country and economy try to deal with and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, private equity will play a key role in helping many middle-market businesses survive and ultimately thrive. This may come as a surprise to some people, whose opinions of private equity have been formed by media portrayals that fail to accurately represent the value that private equity brings to the table. Unfortunately, the public image of private equity is still dominated by a narrative created 31 years ago in “Barbarians at the Gate” – where brazen dealmakers chased mega-deals with huge check books, adding large amounts of debt to the balance sheets of acquired companies in the pursuit of financial engineering.

This narrative of aggressive deal-making and big takeovers misses the vast majority of the value creation and activity of the private equity industry. Over 8,500 companies in the U.S. are backed by private equity, nearly twice the number listed on U.S. stock exchanges. The majority of those private equity-backed companies operate in the middle-market, with annual revenues of $25 million to $1 billion. Those are not the mega-deals that make headlines, but they represent the majority of private equity activity in the real economy. These middle market companies help drive our economy, accounting for a third of U.S. private sector gross GDP and jobs.

A more collaborative style of Private Equity

For families, founders and entrepreneurs who’ve built these middle market companies, partnering with a private equity firm means an infusion of capital to grow a local franchise into a regional franchise. It means being able to make necessary investments to upgrade critical systems, and consolidating fragmented suppliers into more meaningful, long-term relationships that grow with the company. And most importantly, it means access to expertise from executives who have previously led similar efforts and can guide a company towards its new, ambitious future.

This style of private equity is far less worried about trimming corporate excess than focused on scaling a business model beyond its initial proving ground. It is collaborative, rather than adversarial, with existing management. It often works with families, founders and entrepreneurs who have built the business from the ground up and are now looking to create a sustainable legacy both for their own family and the community where their business operates.

COVID-19 is a major test for the industry

In these unprecedented times due to COVID-19, companies of all shapes and sizes must navigate a sea of uncertainty. Firms like ours continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our partners and are committed to doing what we’ve always done, adding value as part of a mutually beneficial relationship. Unlike many larger companies, middle-market businesses cannot readily tap public capital markets. They can and do turn to private equity firms to provide the necessary resources.

As liquidity crunches arise, private equity firms are able to use their financial expertise and relationships to help shore up a company’s financial situation. As supply chains are interrupted, firms are able to use the private equity firm’s sector experience and networks to find new paths forward. As manufacturing facilities and work environments must be re-configured in order to keep employees safe and abide by social distancing guidelines, firms are able to share and implement best practices across their portfolio of businesses. As communities struggle to cope with the impact of the virus, we support our portfolio companies in the local engagement that forms part of their middle-market DNA.

Impact through portfolio companies, not through headlines

The work is far from over – in the middle market, private equity is about scaling, improving and connecting companies to make them more resilient and successful. As the world is learning how to deal with the pandemic, business models will change and some industries will have to significantly transform. It is in those circumstances where our industry’s combination of patient capital, operational expertise and global networks make a difference. The proof will not be in headlines, but in the thousands of portfolio companies that emerge stronger and better equipped to move forward.

This is not to deny the importance of good deal making – of course a good entry point is important when investing. But I believe that at the end of this crisis, the private equity industry will not be measured by how many more deals we picked up at a good price. We will be judged by how we helped our portfolio companies and their communities succeed in a profoundly changed world.



See article on Forbes.com

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CTIA Certification Appoints Its First Authorized Service Center

Global Resale’s Global Headquarters facility in Austin, Texas achieves first certification for high-volume device refurbishment

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — CTIA Certification today announced that Global Resale’s Austin, Texas Global Headquarters is the first facility to receive the CTIA Authorized Service Center certification for performing high-volume wireless device refurbishment.

“This is an important step to maintaining the wireless industry’s high standards for consistency and quality across the ecosystem,” said Tom Sawanobori, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, CTIA.

The CTIA Authorized Service Center Program certifies facilities that meet the highest standards for servicing of wireless devices, enabling the supply chain to provide high-quality pre-owned devices to consumers.

“We’re pleased to work closely with the mobility industry to raise the bar for a higher mobility processing and refurbishment standard,” said Jeff Zeigler, founder and CEO of Global Resale. “By taking steps to become the first globally certified CTIA Authorized Service Center, we can assure our customers they will consistently receive responsible mobility device processing at the highest level.”

Facilities that qualify for CTIA Authorized Service Center certification must:

  • Maintain a high level of service quality and possess ISO 9001 accreditation – a standard that demonstrates their ability to consistently meet customer requirements and improve processes
  • Demonstrate repeatable and documented device inspection, triage and repair processes
  • Commit to sustainable operations and achieve R2 Certification – a standard governing the responsible reuse and recycling of electronics
  • Agree to annual audits to ensure continued commitment to quality and security

The CTIA Authorized Service Center Program was created by CTIA’s Reverse Logistics and Service Quality (RLSQ) Working Group, and is a continuation of the group’s work in establishing world-leading standards for pre-owned wireless devices in the marketplace. The certification working group is led by representatives from AT&T, Samsung and Ingram Micro, and includes representatives of companies throughout the wireless ecosystem.

“Collaboration with the mobility device OEMs, the carriers, and other related parties to identify high standards at a Service Center level has been enlightening for the Global Resale team. It’s an important first step in creating Best Practices for the mobility industry as a whole,” said Mike Watson, Chief Compliance Officer for Global Resale.

CTIA’s RLSQ Working Groups convene members representing the entire reverse logistics community to address the mobile industry’s challenges, set certification standards for technicians, establish common device grading definitions and methodology and develop requirements for service facilities and retailers for industry-recognized service excellence standards in repair and refurbishment of secondary devices.

More information on the CTIA Authorized Service Center Program is available here.

SOURCE CTIA


Related Links

http://www.ctia.org

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Global Resale Expands Capabilities with Acquisition of CFA Trading

Further Expansion into Europe Shows Growth of the Circular Economy

Austin, TX, March 20, 2020 – Global Resale (“The Company”), a leading, global provider of aftermarket services and reverse logistics, focused on resale, processing and disposition of technology devices, announced today that it has completed the purchase of CFA Trading (“CFA”). Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

CFA, founded in 2004 and based in Poole, UK, is a leading technology refurbishing company in the UK. The company has become the largest Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) in Europe, and refurbishes, repairs, and upgrades computers, mobile devices and other IT assets.

“We are thrilled to partner with CFA to expand our refurbishment capabilities globally and increase our processing capacity,” said Jeff Zeigler, CEO of Global Resale. “Our team has worked with CFA co-owners Leon Lindblad and Jo Seager for more than 15 years and know first-hand they live up to their motto of ‘Innovative Refurbishment’ by focusing on the quality of their systems for repairing and upgrading equipment, and thinking of every important detail when serving customers.”

“We feel strongly that Global Resale is the perfect match to lead our company into the future,” said Leon Lindblad and Jo Seager, the husband and wife team who founded and own CFA. “Global Resale’s strong market presence and deep relationships across the industry will allow us to grow and reach new customers in the U.K. and around the world.”

About Global Resale
Global Resale is a full-service, international resell and reverse logistics business focused on the mobile, IT, and electronics sectors. Global Resale partners with the leading manufacturers, carriers, lessors, retailers, resellers, and large corporate accounts to handle their worldwide reverse logistics needs. With state-of-the-art processing centers in Texas (Global Headquarters) and Essex (European Headquarters), Global Resale serves as a single-source solution for its partners, offering the full range of reverse logistics capabilities, including takeback, collection, inventory, data sanitization, repair, harvesting, and resell. For more information please visit www.globalresale.com.

About CFA
CFA is one of the leading technology refurbishing companies in the UK. The company has become the largest Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) in Europe, and refurbishes, repairs, and upgrades computers, mobile devices and other IT assets. The main principals of CFA center around our green credentials and our circular economy ethos. Our talented team of engineers have created a range of market leading processes that are unique to CFA and standard bearers in the industry. For more information please visit www.cfatrading.co.uk.

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Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
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PRESS RELEASE


Capstone Nutrition granted ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation through A2LA

Ogden, UT, March 9, 2020 – Capstone Nutrition (“Capstone” or the “Company”) announced today it has been granted ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) (certificate #5682.01) in association with Capstone’s in-house testing laboratory for nutrition and dietary supplements.

Capstone Nutrition is one of the largest contract manufacturers of health and dietary supplements in the United States, and has served customers throughout the world for 28 years. It is rare for a contract manufacturer to be granted ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, and provides a significant advantage for the Company’s customers and their globally-recognized brands by demonstrating impartiality and consistency in testing. A2LA is considered a premier accreditation body.

“Achieving ISO 17025 accreditation has been a key focus of our Capstone Quality Team,” said Kevin Elsberry, Capstone COO. “I am extremely proud of our team, their passion for improvement, and their discipline to this standard. This achievement is further evidence that Capstone’s ongoing commitment to science, performance, and trust is the foundation for providing the highest standard of testing and quality assurance for our products.”

“Earning A2LA ISO 17025 accreditation is consistent with our vision, mission, and values” said Capstone Director of Quality, Ryan Bitter. “It confirms our laboratory discipline, expertise, and commitment to safety and quality. We have excellent scientific personnel, strong processes, and will continue expanding our analytical capabilities to add value for our Capstone team, our customers, and consumers.”

“This high bar in accreditation confirms the importance of discipline as a Capstone value,” added James Hinkle, Plant General Manager. “Being disciplined in our individual roles and processes allows us to live up to our “Life Improved” motto for our team and our customers. This is one more way we show that we passionately innovate, formulate, manufacture and sell superior quality nutrition.”

About Capstone Nutrition

Capstone Nutrition is the leading pure play, turnkey developer and manufacturer of high-quality nutrition. It is a one-stop shop for innovators in nutrition, led by experienced and dedicated scientists and trusted industry professionals. Since 1992, Capstone has been formulating, developing, manufacturing and packaging a wide range of capsules, tablets, and powders for customers around the globe. Headquartered at a state-of-the-art facility in Ogden, Utah, Capstone is known for exceptional quality and market-leading product development. The Company maintains the highest industry certifications recognizing its exceptional manufacturing standards, including Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (“TGA”), NSF GMP, and NSF for Sport certification. For more information, please visit www.CapstoneNutrition.com.

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Zach Kouwe/Doug Allen
Dukas Linden Public Relations
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Here’s how the US can get the best out of 5G

By Andrew S. Weinberg, Founder, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Brightstar Capital Partners

  • The global economic impact of 5G is estimated to exceed $12 trillion dollars in the next 15 years.
  • The US risks being left behind in rolling out 5G connectivity.
  • But with the right approach, the US can still play a leading role.

Around the world, businesses, governments and NGOs are excitedly anticipating the benefits of 5G. This truly revolutionary technology will unlock enormous opportunity: connecting underserved populations; bringing economic prosperity to remote areas; making communities smarter and safer; and powering growth in a vast array of technological fields.

However, the infrastructure required to support 5G is not being rolled out at a consistent pace around the world. In China, for example, the state-controlled economy allows for the broad and rapid deployment of 5G infrastructure. By contrast, wireless providers in the US must work with local, state and federal governments, regulators and thousands of local communities in order to build the required infrastructure.

If the US does not take a more focused and deliberate approach to enable the extensive infrastructure needed to accommodate this transformative technology, it will risk being left behind.

Greatest infrastructure project in US history

Commonly referred to as 5G, the fifth generation of mobile broadband technologies delivers significant improvements over the 4G standard, including much faster data rates and sharply reduced network communication delays (known as latency). 5G therefore can support massive growth in connectivity and traffic density/volume – enabling more mobile and connected communities, economies and institutions worldwide.

5G has been called the “greatest infrastructure project in US history.” The economic value derived from deploying 5G in such areas as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, the internet of things (IoT), industrial software, robotics, and semiconductors is expected to top $2 trillion by 2025. Longer term, the global economic impact of 5G is estimated to exceed $12 trillion dollars in the next 15 years.

However, the widespread adoption of 5G will require vast new infrastructure. A McKinsey study estimates that implementing such 5G applications as enhanced mobile broadband, IoT, and mission-critical applications will require a 10-fold increase in network performance over current levels. Thus, mobile operators must invest in major infrastructure enhancements, including (but not limited to) access to spectrum, cell sites, fiber optic networks, fronthaul and backhaul. By some estimates, the cost of implementing 5G technology worldwide is expected to reach at least $2.7 trillion by the end of 2020.

Harmonizing local processes

Across the US, telecom carriers and cable providers have committed extensive capital to implement 5G. At the national level, the FCC has created much of the required regulatory framework. Yet, more work must be done to harmonize disparate regulatory and permitting processes at the state and local levels. Local permitting processes must be fast-tracked to enable construction of cell sites and other infrastructure. Existing national standards should be adopted consistently by states and localities. And, local jurisdictions should add more resources to manage the process.

Developing a skilled workforce

A skilled workforce is also essential. Workers installing 5G equipment need to have the necessary technical capabilities – and in some cases must also be able to climb 100-foot utility poles.

In today’s tight US labor market, carriers and cable companies need to partner with local governments and educational institutions to ensure access to well-trained workers.

To secure the assistance of local governments in harmonizing rules and processes, and collaborating on training programs, the private sector must educate officials about the benefits of 5G – and the painful consequences of falling behind in implementation. In this regard, I want to applaud the efforts of CTIA, which represents the US wireless industry, to inform the public of the enormous potential of 5G and the need to facilitate wide scale implementation.

Global examples of 5G leadership

If the US wishes to lead in the deployment of 5G – as I believe it must – it will need to keep pace with other countries that have made 5G implementation a top priority. While experts differ as to which nations lead in 5G, most rankings include China, South Korea, Australia, Qatar, Switzerland, Finland, Spain and United Arab Emirates. The US is somewhere in the top five, however.

In China, for example, the government’s 13th Five-Year Plan describes 5G as a “strategic emerging industry” and “new area of growth.” Similarly, South Korea also has made it a policy to stimulate 5G deployment, setting the ambitious goal of creating 600,000 jobs and $73 billion in exports by 2026.

The US can play a leading role

While the US should be concerned that other countries are leading in 5G deployment, there are some bright spots. The US is still ahead of China in launching commercial service. While Chinese operators don’t plan to start selling 5G service until 2020, the major US wireless carriers have rolled out mobile 5G service in several cities, or have announced definitive plans for doing so.

Some local governments and/or public-private partnerships in the US are also working to accelerate 5G deployment. In 2017, Sacramento, California, announced a pilot with Verizon to deliver super high speed wireless connectivity. Similar pilots are in process or pending in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Miami, Florida; Seattle, Washington; and Washington, D.C.

If the US does not maintain a leading role in 5G deployment, it risks delaying the benefits that will accrue from greater connectivity, in areas such as job creation, education, health and safety, and community development. Equally important, the US should have a fair share of the global economic opportunity that will result from 5G’s technological advances.

For the US to effectively implement 5G on a nationwide scale, it must:

  • Harmonize and coordinate state and local government rules and permitting processes.
  • Institute training programs to ensure a supply of skilled labor.
  • Form public-private partnerships to accelerate 5G innovation and deployment.

The private sector also must play a leadership role. As the founder of a private equity firm whose portfolio includes a leading telecom services provider, I am aware of the operational challenges and capital demands associated with 5G implementation. It is essential that US corporations and investors make it a priority to provide the investment dollars and intellectual capital needed to make 5G a reality.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe/Doug Allen
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385
brightstar@dlpr.com

Davos Dispatch: Andrew Weinberg, Founder, Managing Partner & CEO of Brightstar Capital Partners Shares Five Highlights from the World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting

I’ve been fortunate to attend the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos for nearly the last decade. While there are always engaging conversations and interesting themes, I felt this year was marked by a tangible change in the conversations. The emphasis moved from deliberation to action. In session after session and behind the scenes, I noticed a more detailed dialogue taking place – one focused on what can be done to address the most important issues of the day rather than just discussions on what the issues are. Here are some of my highlights:

  1. Stakeholder Capitalism. This year, the theme of the Annual Meeting was “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” While this concept may seem ephemeral or conceptual, it permeated every session I attended or spoke at, as well as the dialogue on the sidelines. The question wasn’t whether to engage all stakeholders, including employees, customers, communities, investors, and shareholders, but more specifically how to do it effectively.

    Leaders in offices and boardrooms across the world, in both public and private companies, are trying to figure out the answers. With new constituents being the focus of stakeholder capitalism, finding the right balance between them all will be a key challenge that businesses will have to address going forward.
  2. Climate Change Occupied Center Stage. Microsoft certainly helped lead the way going in to the Forum’s Annual Meeting with their recent announcement on a plan to be completely carbon neutral by 2050. With the topic taking center stage throughout the program, I’m optimistic that we’ll see similar announcements from the world’s largest companies often in collaboration with governments and other stakeholder groups.

    There’s no doubt that Microsoft’s announcement served as a catalyst, as did the Forum’s Climate Initiative, but future generations were well represented in the discussion for the first time. Greta Thunberg’s speech attracted worldwide attention and the Forum’s own media analysis showed “How to Save the Planet” was the media’s #1 topic.

    But the key point for me is not the increase in the number of discussions or media coverage, but the dramatic shift in the nature of these discussions towards specific goals and initiatives. Organizations across the board, from incumbents to disruptors to companies and countries with the largest CO2 footprints, are all trying to figure out the best ways to proactively deal with climate change and mitigate climate risk.
  3. From Understanding Technology Disruption and the 4IR to Ecosystem Strategies. One of the more interesting things I did at Davos was moderate a panel on “ecosystem strategies,” or how companies create value by designing orchestrated networks that span multiple industries and sectors. (For a deep dive on ecosystem strategies check out this Harvard Business Review article.)

    We’ve never been at a more interesting time for disruptive technology, or a more critical time for creating ecosystem. It’s a complex conversation, but one that many innovative companies are having. The reality is, given the rapidly changing nature of industries, figuring out how and why to develop an ecosystem strategy is vitally important to any company’s competitiveness. With the stakes so high, it’s imperative to examine the past and learn from examples of organizations that were able to create successful ecosystems, and also from those that failed.
  4. The Rise of Private Equity. One major highlight was participating in a panel on the future of private equity and how themes that other corporate leaders are discussing fit into the asset class. The growth of private equity has been enormous. In 2009, private equity firms completed 1,927 deals worth $142 billion, according to the financial data firm Pitchbook. By 2018, there were 5,180 private equity deals worth $727 billion. That still pales in comparison to the overall capital markets, but it’s encouraging to see both LPs and GPs engaging to better understand what the future drivers of growth will be.
  5. The Shift Continues from Public to Private Markets. I also participated in two investment stewardship sessions, and was struck by the consensus that the massive shift of capital from public to private markets is going to continue for the foreseeable future. In the US, for example, the number of public companies has decreased by more than half since 2007, while the number of private companies keeps growing. Right now, there are roughly 200,000 privately-held and family-owned companies in the middle market alone. For us at Brightstar Capital Partners, that means a continued focus on founder, family and entrepreneur led businesses. We’re determined to understand the needs of these businesses, what they can teach us, and how we can help them grow and successfully navigate the challenges ahead.

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Renee Noto Offers Insights on US Middle Market Investment in Private Equity Wire’s Special Report: Private Equity Global Outlook 2020

By Mark Kitchen
29/01/2020 – 8:24 AM

2020 Top 10 tech predictions – To introduce the Private Equity Wire Global Outlook Report 2020, the team at RFA has made the following 10 predictions on technology and how they might impact the industry over the next 12 months. We took a considered approach before settling on these 10 trends based on what we’ve seen across our client base, the conversations we’ve had (and continue to have) on a daily basis, as well as from research into business drivers and emerging technology:

  1. Spend on technology will increase (for successful firms anyway). Studies show that profitable firms spend proportionately more on technology than their counterparts with shrinking margins. Interesting that the old adage “spend to accumulate” is appropriate for technology spend too.
  2. Hybrid and public cloud use will increase as the major vendors continue to add more services. BUT this will add complexity so managers will need to engage with experts in public cloud management.
  3. SaaS adoption will continue to rise due to its simplicity, reliability and predictability. From OMS to CRM systems, SaaS adoption is growing.
  4. Serverless Computing will continue to grow in popularity simplifying operations and enabling agility for managers.
  5. Data analytics intelligence will improve workforce optimisation and inform product and service transformation. This is a huge growth area across the sector – we have multiple projects going on with clients to give them better data analytics as well as live dashboards and cloud based data warehousing.
  6. The “digital workspace” will be even more important. Employees expect and will soon demand the freedom, the flexibility and tools to do their jobs well from anywhere without relying on phones or email.
  7. Alternative fund managers will use AI technology to power automation solutions that will drive efficiencies and allow them to do more with less manpower as well as utilising automation tools within workflow management.
  8. Managers will strive to keep headcounts as lean as possible. They will do this by continuing to outsource functions.
  9. Security Operations, Automation and Response (SOAR) will be the buzz phrase of 2020. As attacks increase in velocity and sophistication, so responses must become faster. Intelligent cybersecurity is the way forward.
  10. Technology Risk Management will take centre stage in 2020. Risk assessments are critical for alternative fund managers.

THE MACRO PICTURE

What is your outlook for US middle market investing?
Renee Noto, President, Brightstar Capital Partners
Even though the total number of US middle market private companies far exceeds the number of public companies, the landscape for private capital investments continues to become more competitive. True proprietary deals require more time, more work and new ways of discovery. Since inception, we have been deliberately proactive about expanding our network of relationships among founder and family-owned companies in the United States.
We made a purposeful decision to invest in the infrastructure necessary to build on our strong ties with the communities and business associations that can be sources of proprietary deal flow, and in a communications network that reaches the right target audiences.
In 2020, private equity firms will need to prove they are true value-added partners to the businesses they look to acquire, not just capital. Identifying opportunities to add value will be increasingly difficult in an environment where prices for assets are reaching all-time highs. Firms will need to innovate and think of new ways to approach finding investment opportunities.

For full article, click here

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Gateway Bobcat Announces Mike Allen as CEO, Succeeding Founder Dan Anich

John Hopper, General Manager of Acme Operations, appointed to serve as COO

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – January 15, 2020 – Gateway Bobcat, LLC (“Gateway Bobcat” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Allen as its new CEO, effective January 1, 2020. Allen, who served as President of Gateway Bobcat, succeeds the Company’s founder Dan Anich in the role. Dan has led the Company since its founding in 1990, and will continue to serve as an advisor and member of the Board of Directors. Gateway Bobcat also announced today that John Hopper, who served as General Manager of Acme Operations, one of the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, will assume the role of COO for the Gateway Bobcat platform.

“Mike is the right leader for Gateway Bobcat moving forward,” said Reidar Brekke, Chairman of the Board of Gateway Bobcat. “He has been an integral part of the Company for more than 20 years, and has shown a great ability to use his operational expertise to help the Company grow and serve our customers.”

Gateway Bobcat is a leading provider of Bobcat® and Doosan®-branded industrial equipment sales, parts and service, and rental services, with 17 locations across the Midwest and Southeast.

“Having worked with Mike for more than two decades, I am thrilled that he will succeed me as CEO of Gateway Bobcat,” said Founder Dan Anich. “Mike has worked alongside me as we’ve grown our company from 1 to 17 locations and worked to create a best-in-class operation. His passion for the Company, our employees and our customers make him an excellent choice.”

“I look forward to helping Gateway Bobcat reach even greater heights,” said Mr. Allen. “Dan is an incredible example to follow, and working alongside him I saw firsthand how his hard work and entrepreneurial spirit helped the Company excel. In addition, we are thrilled John Hopper will join us as COO. He’s helped Acme Operations develop a tremendous reputation in the industry for putting customers first, and he’ll have an immediate impact on our organization.”

About Gateway Bobcat
Gateway Bobcat, founded in 1990 and based in St. Louis, MO, operates principally as a provider of Bobcat® and Doosan®-branded industrial equipment sales, parts and service, and rental services across its footprint of 17 dealership locations spanning Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. For more information, please visit www.bobcatofstl.com.

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Zach Kouwe/Doug Allen
Dukas Linden Public Relations
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brightstar@dlpr.com

Acme Operations Acquisition Expands InfraServ US to Southeast

Combined company will operate 17 locations across the Midwest & Southeastern United States

St. Louis, MO, December 16, 2019 – InfraServ US, LLC, an industrial equipment dealership and services platform, announced today that it has completed the purchase of Acme Operations, LLC. The acquisition was completed through InfraServ’s subsidiary, Gateway Bobcat, LLC (“Gateway Bobcat”), a leading provider of Bobcat® and Doosan®-branded industrial equipment sales, parts and service, and rental services. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Acme Operations, based in Greenville, SC, is a full service Bobcat dealership group offering new and used sales, rentals, parts and service across six locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. With the closing of the transaction, the combined company will operate 17 locations spanning 8 states across the Midwest and Southeastern United States.

“Acme Operations has an excellent reputation in our industry for serving the needs of its growing customer base. I have had a long working relationship with John Hopper and we are thrilled to partner with their outstanding management team to create a best-in-class operation across a broad geographic footprint,” said Mike Allen, President of Gateway Bobcat.

“We look forward to a bright future with the Gateway Bobcat team. We share a common focus of putting customers first, and we will leverage our combined services to continue with that focus,” said John Hopper, General Manager of Acme Operations.

About Gateway Bobcat
Gateway Bobcat, founded in 1990 and based in St. Louis, MO, operates principally as a provider of Bobcat® and Doosan®-branded industrial equipment sales, parts and service, and rental services across its footprint of 11 dealership locations spanning Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. For more information, please visit www.bobcatofstl.com.

About Acme Operations:
Acme Operations, based in Greenville, SC, is a full service Bobcat® equipment dealer offering new and used sales, rentals, parts and service in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The company has a full parts and service department at each of their 6 locations. For more information, please visit www.acmeops.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe/Doug Allen
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385
brightstar@dlpr.com