Congratulations to the new Partner at BaltCap – Šarūnas Alekna. We had a chat with Šarūnas to find out about his professional journey and ask how he sees the development of private equity industry in the coming years.
You have worked in BaltCap for 11 years, how did you find your way to private equity and BaltCap? What do you enjoy most about working in private equity?
Before joining BaltCap, I’ve worked in sell-side advisory, advising clients on M&A and capital raising transactions at Evli bank and Suprema. I guess I was attracted to private equity by the prospect of doing deals and taking full responsibility of the entire transaction rather than providing advice on separate steps. Private equity industry was still in early stages in the Baltics and BaltCap was obviously a pioneer in it, but I think no one expected it to develop as rapidly as it did.
For me, the best thing about private equity is that all the stakeholders including investors, managements and ourselves are fully aligned on one thing – increasing the value of our portfolio companies. In addition to that, we’re able to operate swiftly and efficiently with small teams and fast decision making, concentrating on key issues and opportunities. I think, this has been the reason why private equity has grown into major asset class what it is today.
At BaltCap you say you „Build business champions“ – what exactly does it mean?
Like in any team sport, it takes a great team to win championships. Foremost we seek management teams and companies who have the ambition to become champions in their own leagues. But we don’t stop at selecting right teams and industries. Today, to succeed in any sector it takes excellence across all business drivers. At BaltCap, we put special focus on factors like digitization, sales excellence, capital efficiency and ESG, where we draw on experience from more than 100 investments to help companies improve key processes.
How do you see the PE sector in the next five…ten years?
I think we will see continued expansion of PE strategy, because the alignment that I mentioned previously ensures attractive returns of the asset class and constant inflow of investor capital. But also because the sector has become much larger, we will see it becoming more similar to public equity with increased transparency, regulation and reporting requirements. This will affect GPs, investors and also portfolio companies. But overall it should be a positive development, making PE more open and accessible to a wider range of investors.
You have been and currently are the lead in many noteworthy BaltCap investments – Ecoservice, Krekenavos, Workland, to name some. What is your advice to Baltic companies that plan to engage additional capital and are eager to grow?
There is no general advice, so I would just suggest getting in touch, because one of a few positives of the pandemic has been that it has become especially easy to jump on a video call and discuss the issues at hand.
What box sets have you been watching during lockdown?
What’s a box set? I’m more of a fan of larger-format movies, so it’s a pity that pandemic has delayed or cancelled many titles. But recent releases, like Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, has reignited hopes that cinema movie experience will eventually come back.