CASE STUDY -
Investcorp/Ubisense

When private equity firm Investcorp acquired tech firm Smartspace, now called Ubisense, in a carve out from a larger business, the business did not have its own CFO. So Investcorp asked Drax to find an interim CFO who could start immediately while it also conducted a lengthier search for a permanent CFO. Within days, Drax’s Interim team had created a shortlist of suitable candidates from which Investcorp appointed interim CFO Robin Bryson, who took up the role for six months until the new permanent CFO that the Drax technology team had found came on board.

The Result

Julian Bennet, Investment Director of Investcorp, said: “I thought every interaction with Drax was positive. The team had clearly taken the brief, given it a lot of thought and really digested it properly – I thought that was great. I was very pleased with the quality of the shortlist and it was immediately obvious that Robin was the right candidate. The experience was seamless.”

He added: “I had never really used interims in the past and I think there was a general institutional reluctance to do so, but it was good that we had a situation forced upon us where we needed to try it out because it really changed our attitude to using this type of solution. It will make us more open to the idea of deals where we need to find a CFO in the short term, because we realise that the solution can be pretty easily found, as there is a depth of experienced talent in the market to perform just such a role post-transaction. Robin has done a great job and Jack and the team have been in touch constantly throughout the process to make sure we are happy. It seems to be quite a deep and recurring theme throughout Drax that its people have this tendency to reach out and really deliver on service.”

Robin Bryson, Interim CFO at Ubisense, said: “Sometimes I go into businesses and think, well I’m glad I did that but I’m happy to move on. Occasionally there will be one where you think, actually this is going to be quite an interesting journey, and if I wasn’t a committed interim it would be fun to stick around. This is one of those – nice people, nice company.”

He added: “I found Jack at Drax to be very professional. One of the things I find frustrating about dealing with other interim providers is that they are a revolving door and you are often dealing with someone who hasn’t been in the interim business long and just doesn’t understand how the sector works. However Jack has stayed in touch with me for several years now, which provides consistency and continuity, and that speaks a lot as I do like to deal with people who have been around for a while.”

“I had never really used interims in the past and I think there was a general institutional reluctance to do so, but it was good that we had a situation forced upon us where we needed to try it out because it really changed our attitude to using this type of solution.”

Julian Bennet
Investment Director, Investcorp
“In a carve out situation you generally don’t have people with the right level of experience in that part of the business, so you need to bring in some really experienced operators very quickly to get the business set up in the right way. Hiring someone on an interim basis means that you are able to get ahead of the curve. You are obviously going to need a permanent solution in terms of a CFO for the duration of the investment, but an interim can be a really strong solution for the short term.”
Jack Hird
Associate Director, Agile Transformation - Finance & Interim CFO

See Jack 's profile