Top of the bill today is the second in our series of interviews with members of the LGBTQ+ community. This time Michael McGraw of Inovia Capital tells us his story and gives his advice for younger LGBTQ+ people in private equity.
Rounding out the Dealflow today, HIG Capital has acquired a UK provider of property and asset refurbishment.
LGBTQ+ is an asset
In the second of our series featuring members of the LGBTQ+ community in private equity, Nina Lindholm spoke to Michael McGraw, a principal at Montreal-headquartered Inovia Capital. McGraw is based in the firm’s London office.
I strongly recommend you read the whole article as it’s a great piece packed with keen observations about McGraw’s personal experience and LGBTQ+ initiatives at Inovia and beyond.
One area I wanted to highlight in here though was McGraw’s work as a mentor in Start Proud, a Canadian programme that supports career development. He advises younger talent to network within the community. “It’s important to find your allies,” he said. “Not necessarily even the non-LGBTQ+ allies, but those part of the community themselves.”
McGraw considers external messaging, such as firms changing their logos to rainbow colour, to have a place in LGBTQ+ initiatives, as long as the work behind them is done right. “Inovia didn’t want to change the logo unless the firm was doing enough in terms of LGBTQ+ initiatives,” he explained. “They consider it a very positive signal but want to avoid rainbow-washing.”
One of the reasons dealmakers cite for a slowdown in deals in the mid-market in the last 12 months is a valuation gap between buyers and sellers. I’m hearing that this gap is closing a bit, although earlier this week I was speaking to an origination director investing in the lower mid-market, who warned that as only premium deals are getting done, at high valuations, other vendors are “getting the wrong impression” about where their own businesses should be valued.
Sticking with the middle-market, Inflexion, via Enterprise Fund V, has invested in TC Group, a provider of accountancy and taxation services to UK SMEs.
West Sussex-headquartered TC has completed 28 acquisitions to date and has a strong pipeline of further opportunities, according to a release.
Inflexion will support TC as it continues its strategy to consolidate the fragmented market and generate increased wealth for its partners and customers, the release said.
In other financial services news, MidEuropa has announced the sale of a majority stake in Symfonia to Accel-KKR.
Warsaw-based Symfonia a provider of financial management, payroll and ERP software to accounting offices and SMEs in Poland.
MidEuropa acquired Symfonia in March 2021 in a carve-out from Sage Group, a multinational enterprise software company based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. With MidEuropa’s support, Symfonia completed three add-on acquisitions: HRTec, Reset 2 and Cloud Planet.
HIG Capital has acquired CLC Group, a UK-based provider of property and asset refurbishment, from the Armitage Family Trust.
CLC is based in Southampton. The company provides refurbishment, electrical, and fire protection services to clients in the social housing, local government, defence, hospitality, and utilities end-markets.
The Armitage Family Trust and CLC management will reinvest in the company alongside HIG.