Dutch PE Fund Targets Cos Run By Male/Female Teams

Feb 22 2012 | 7:41am ET

A private equity fund in the Netherlands is betting that companies managed by a “balanced management team” of men and women will perform better.

Karmijn Kapitaal has announced the first close of its first private equity fund and Hadewych Cels, one of the three women behind the firm, says the rationale for its focus is “the fact that mixed managed companies show a better performance and reach higher financial results. These conclusions are shown by extensive research by McKinsey, Catalyst and others."

The fund has attracted 30 investors—family offices and high-net-worth individuals—for this first close, and says the European Investment Fund has signed on as an anchor investor. The EIF will participate in the second close (expected this spring) and will contribute 33% of the total fund, the target size of which is €50 million.

The fund will invest in small cap management buyouts and growth finance. Target companies have to show an extensive track record and turnovers between €5 million and €50 million. And, as mentioned, they have to be headed by a mixed team of men and women.

"Different people have different views, management styles and priorities," said Cels in a statement. "These different styles lead to more balanced decision making. Additionally, the fact that our founders are women, gives us easy access to the women in the management teams, leading to proprietary dealflow."

Karmijn says it has already heard from over 100 companies; it will announce its first investment in mid March.

In addition to Cels, Karmijn’s founders include Cilian Jansen Verplanke and Désirée van Boxtel, private equity professionals and entrepreneurs whose resumes include stints with ABN AMRO, Rabobank and private equity boutiques.

Said Verplanke: "To our investors both our experienced team and our innovative vision and methods are attract[ive], they actually call it Private Equity 2.0.”


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