Why SGT Capital bought cybersecurity provider; Juneteenth is a reminder of racial disparities in wealth

Good morning, dealmakers. MK Flynn here with the Wire.

Lift every voice and sing. Today marks the second year that Juneteenth National Independence Day is a federal holiday. To celebrate, I attended yesterday’s spectacular performance of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at Lincoln Center. With music by Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Wynton Marsalis, the program culminated in a stirring rendition of Revelations, Ailey’s best-known work, which features traditional songs like Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.

Closing the wealth gap. Beyond celebrations, Juneteenth is a reminder that “the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans didn’t mark the end of America’s work to deliver on the promise of equality; it only marked the beginning,” as President Biden put it last year when he signed the bill making the day a federal holiday.

To that end, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and other organizations are urging the president to take action:

“We ask that you build upon the historic recognition of Juneteenth and seize this opportunity to support meaningful economic gains in the lives of Black people and Black families,” The Leadership Conference wrote in an open letter to the president. “Your administration can make meaningful progress toward repairing this intergenerational harm and closing the wealth gap through Medicaid expansion, child tax credit permanency, and student loan debt cancellation. These policies are particularly important now, as Black communities continue to work to rebuild after disproportionate death and economic loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the damaging effects of inflation are deeply felt by many Black families and will deepen already existing racial disparities in wealth. Your administration put money back into the pockets of people hit hardest by the pandemic and its economic ravages, and we are grateful for your leadership. Your continued leadership on these issues will solidify those financial impacts and build more economic opportunity for Black people in the US.”

As recession seems increasingly likely, this is an especially important moment for people in the private equity industry to ask themselves what they can do to address racial disparities in wealth. If you have thoughts on PE’s role in addressing these issues, please send them to me at mk.flynn@peimedia.com.

Cybersecurity an essential cost of business. While the US PE Hub team is observing the holiday, our UK team is busy covering the European private equity scene. Reporter Nina Lindholm spoke with Joseph Pacini, co-managing partner, SGT Capital. Earlier in June, SGT, which has offices in Germany and Singapore, bought cybersecurity provider Utimaco, co-located in Aachen, Germany, and Campbell, California, from EQT Mid-Market Europe Fund.

“As society becomes even more interconnected, it needs higher degrees of cybersecurity to protect the individual from an escalating threat,” Pacini said. “From PE’s perspective, you get very stable cash flows, since it’s an essential aspect of different customer bases. You can have a very strong private equity type of experience with the sector.”

Pacini describes cybersecurity as an “essential cost of a business,” which makes the sector even more interesting for private equity players. Furthermore, in early March of this year, the SEC announced a proposal for SEC filings to include cybersecurity measures at each firm.

“Going forward, in all likelihood companies will have to announce not only their governance and processes around cybersecurity, but also who they are using for their cybersecurity,” Pacini said. “That is shifting the decisions around cybersecurity from the chief technology officer to the CEO.”

For more, read Nina’s story.

Operational Excellence. Calling all operators. Do you know a best-in-class operator? It’s not too late to nominate them for Private Equity International’s Operational Excellence Awards 2022. The deadline has been extended to Friday, 24 June.

Find details and the entry form here.

That’s all for now.

Until tomorrow,
MK