Family Office

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Direct Investing, Lessons From Big Successes And Mistakes

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, March 22, 2017


Case studies
Apkarian gives examples of work his firm has done or is doing. “We worked with a US-based private investment office to initially pursue direct investments in Canadian oil and gas opportunities. However, about a month into that effort the family’s Brazilian company defaulted on its loan. Over the next five months we helped to refinance the debt, brought in new capital and ultimately the family kept 100 per cent of the equity with a profoundly cheaper cost of financing and more flexible capital structure. As part of this work we also advised them how to reconfigure their investment team and processes.”

“We have worked for 2.5 years,” he continued, “with an international lending syndicate which lent C$3 billion to a company. The company defaulted and the lenders needed a sophisticated, multi-disciplinary firm to advise them (and the company) to carry out a series of wide ranging changes including asset sales, cost reduction, management and governance changes, etc.”

He added: “We are working with a management team to do a management buyout of a listed company in Europe. Fantastic business with valuable assets. So far, we have spent over a year doing due diligence and structuring the deal and a ready to launch shortly for an investment that is going to truly outstanding.”

The work that Apkarian and his colleagues did for the likes of Paul Allen has stood them in good stead, it seems. For in certain respects the task of restructuring a set of investments held by a renowned entrepreneur sounds rather like a classic project management role - albeit one that requires not just unusually wide breadth of skills, enormous experience, numerous relationships and much tenacity but integrity and probity. In some ways, this is an accurate description of what top-notch private client wealth management really means. 



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