As noted on their website, the organization called Mergers & Acquisitions “has been honoring the Middle Market’s Most Influential Women for 7 years and in 2022, we’ll tap into this powerful group of executives to have them share their views on the market and professional growth advice to help provide INSPIRATION to the next generation.”
Altvia CEO Brie Aletto was honored to share her insights at an MIW SPEAK event. Brie joined Suzanne Yoon, Founder and Managing Partner, Kinzie Capital Partners, and Julia Karol, President and COO, Watermill Group, in a session titled MIW Maximizing Growth at Portfolio Companies. Withum Partner and Market Leader, Transaction Advisory Steve Brady moderated the session.
We provide highlights of the event below.
What Does Growth Mean to You?
Julia answers this question by saying that to her firm, growth means that when they have finished working with a business in a stewardship role, they leave it “strong and thriving,” with an excellent management team in place and performing optimally.
Brie notes that top-line growth is important to the PE/VC-backed businesses that Altvia works with and that technology like Altvia solutions can be vital to driving that growth. She says that the Rule of 40 is the metric we strive for with our clients.
Suzanne shares that because her firm is involved in deals where they provide first-time institutional capital, they see growth as helping companies with established offerings develop more efficient processes. Often this involves assisting companies to implement operational technology to accelerate their growth.
What Are the Challenges and Opportunities Around the Use of Advanced Technology?
Brie tackles this question first, pointing out that growth-stage businesses must support the implementation of tech solutions all the way up to the company’s board. It’s also critical in acquisition to keep legacy employees in place so that they can transfer their knowledge to new team members. She goes on to describe some of the tools—like video capture tools for capturing and sharing meeting insights—that are crucial for businesses looking to grow and expand. Fund lifecycle management solutions like Altvia’s also help firms manage fundraising and deal pipelines and make fund managers more competitive.
Julia emphasizes that having access to necessary data is critical. She shares that companies used to focus on implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. These large, expensive solutions could damage a business if the company implemented them incorrectly. That risk has made many companies fearful of technology in general today. However, choosing the right tools and implementing them the right way reduces that risk.
Suzanne adds that all areas of every business today use technology in some way. From communication tools to HR systems, companies should equip every department with solutions that help them operate better. She also mentions that the “old-line” businesses they often work with are increasingly transitioning to cloud-based solutions. Suzanne goes on to note that Kinzie Capital Partners uses Altvia solutions.
How Does the Ability to Attract and Retain Great Talent Affect Growth?
From Suzanne’s perspective, identification, assessment, and development are the three pillars of human capital management. She says that companies must address all three deliberately and rigorously. That includes having a strategy for staying in front of recruiters. Suzanne also mentions how costly bad hiring decisions can be and, consequently, how important human capital assessment tools are.
Julia states that one of the most important things companies can do is align incentives with the metrics or goals of the business. “If you get that right, you’re three-quarters of the way there,” she says. She also mentions that a sense of purpose is essential to today’s employees. Companies used to talk about purpose in terms of business strategy. However, now it’s vital to ensure that employees feel like they’re part of something and understand the “why” behind their work.
Brie expresses that she’s encouraged to hear Suzanne and Julie focus on the people and culture sides of businesses. She notes that one of Altvia’s top three goals for this year and an important metric we’re tracking is employee retention. Brie also agrees with Suzanne’s point about how employees view growth and development in their careers as significant factors in their loyalty to their employer. Altvia has implemented a tool to assess and align personal development goals with company goals.
In addition, she highlights the importance of the positive culture that exists when you have the right mix of energetic new employees and seasoned veterans, along with technology that takes some of the training burdens off those veterans.
View the Session and Learn More About Altvia
This interesting and informative event concludes with the panelists sharing their thoughts on marketing and sales. You can hear all that Brie and the other panelists have to say on maximizing growth at portfolio companies by viewing the recording of the session.
To learn more about Altvia’s industry-leading solutions for alternative investment firms and request a demo, visit our website.