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Melanie Stubbing Dr nicola Murphy. Future proofing a VC backed organisation . Future proofing Clarity of vision and future direction Ability to model [re-model] to emerging [consumer] trends Ability to accelerate growth Competitive strength …whilst leveraging value. Pros

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melanie stubbing dr nicola murphy
Melanie StubbingDr nicola Murphy

Future proofing a VC backed organisation

Future proofing

Clarity of visionand future direction

Ability to model [re-model] to emerging [consumer] trends

Ability to accelerate growth


…whilst leveraging value


Strategic investment vs short term external pressure

Ability to drive to future time frames

Selectivity; talent, management capability, prioritising investments vs business cases

Diversity of input


Potential Cons


Choice of partner/ business fit

Limited frame of reference on key decisions

Board capability & diversity

Ability to raise funds

How it works…

(when it works)

Investor and company alignment

Complementary capabilities

Strong relationships

Commitment to business

Instincts for sector/ brand/business model

Mutual clarity on expectations

River case study

Set up in 1994

Re-financed in 1999 to remove 2 of original 4 shareholders

Needed to raise £2m – mixture of debt and equity (14%)

Beauty parade – 7 offers

Barclays Ventures chosen


3 year payback plan

Stiff but achievable numbers


Lost 2 major travel clients – inc Virgin Atlantic

Failed to hit all thresholds

Relationship degenerated


BV put a non-exec  on River Board

Micro-managed River Directors

Barclays Bank though – very supportive

We gave the non-exec equity to negotiate our exit from BV

Non-exec became River Chairman

Weight Watchers

Case Study

Sold by Heinz in 1999 to Artal

Managed by Invus

Now 52:48 PE & Publicly Listed hybrid

Long term investment proposition

Cash generative and very successful payback

Weight Watchers

Investment team bring strong consulting capabilities (ex BCG)

Support management growth aspirations with analytical and objective input

Dual board construct between Invus; [management board] and independents [governance]

Weight Watchers

Synergy between consumer proposition and owner model works

Focus on long term growth + high margin, variable cost model

Able to withstand cyclical trends whilst not reacting to short term pressures

Ownership enabling;significant model shiftinto healthcare

Generates wealth and optimised as a PE business

3x revenues

10x earnings

Not always valued/ understood by external market