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Introducing Advisense – uniting the strengths of FCG and Transcendent Group

Today, FCG and Transcendent Group are proud to announce the launch of our new, joint brand name – Advisense.

In August 2022, FCG and Transcendent Group joined forces with the target to build a market leading governance, risk and compliance powerhouse in Europe and the best workplace for GRC experts. We are now proud to present the next step on our joint journey – introducing Advisense as our new corporate brand.

“The name Advisense was designed to reflect the essence of what we bring to the market – advise and sensible solutions, helping our clients navigate a complex regulatory landscape and a challenging business environment”, says Kristian Bentzer, Group CEO at Advisense.

Our new and broader service offering ranges from risk management, cyber security, compliance, governance, financial crime prevention, sustainability and privacy to internal audit. We provide advisory services, managed services, and tech solutions including compliance software, advanced risk management systems and platforms for quantitative analytics.

Advisense will be used both as a brand name and a name for the legal entities of the group.

“As a first step today, the new brand name will be launched. During the autumn, a consolidation of group companies is being implemented, and in connection with the consolidation the legal name of the remaining entities will be changed to Advisense”, says Kristian Bentzer.

Three of our subsidiaries, Algorithmica, FCG Fonder and Grand Compliance, will continue their businesses under their current brands.

For media enquiries and further information, please contact:

Kristian Bentzer, Group CEO: +46766350507,

Maria Sandström Anderson, Chief Marketing Officer: +46733850643,

Press Releases

IK Partners to sell Aspia to Vitruvian Partners

IK Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce that the IK VIII Fund has reached an agreement to sell Aspia AB (“Aspia” or “the Company”), a leading technology-enabled accounting, payroll, tax and advisory services company, to international investment firm Vitruvian Partners (“Vitruvian”). Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Aspia was formed in 2018 when IK’s flagship Mid Cap fund at the time, IK VIII, made a series of acquisitions starting with the Business Services division of PwC in Sweden and shortly followed by the Accounting and Payroll business of KPMG in Sweden and Independent Tax Advisor Skeppsbron Skatt. With the support of IK, Aspia has built a strong platform for future growth through: broadening its customer base across small, medium and large customers; expanding its service offering; enhancing its presence across the Nordics while also earning a reputation as one of the best places to work in the region. In addition, Aspia has become the most efficient technology-enabled advisory and outsourcing provider in Sweden, developing a set of industry-unique digital tools such as Aspia Go, MyBusiness, and Acture (ESG) that greatly enhance the quality of the services that Aspia is delivering to its customers.

Aspia’s management team, its partner group and employees are the foundation on which the Company’s success and positive culture is based. The cumulative efforts of each individual have enabled Aspia to become one of the most trusted service providers to the Swedish and Nordic business community.

Underpinned by the growing awareness of the mission critical nature of outsourcing services against the backdrop of an increasingly complex financial and regulatory environment, Aspia is benefiting from a rapid digitalisation trend. The Company is quickly becoming one of the most well-respected providers of technology-enabled outsourcing services delivered through a proprietary digital customer interface portal, with ample growth potential in both existing and new markets.

Together with Vitruvian, Aspia will continue its growth journey across multiple markets and service areas, in addition to further investing in the digital platforms available to its customers.

Ola Gunnarsson, CEO of Aspia, commented: “We would like to thank IK for their support, valuable insight and expertise over the past five years, which has allowed us to grow our customer base, service offering and reputation across the Nordic region. This successful partnership has given us an excellent foundation on which to further grow and develop. Our new owner, Vitruvian, has a strong track record of supporting growing companies in their service and product development as well as in their international expansion efforts. We are confident that Aspia, with the support of Vitruvian, will be able to continue accelerating its growth journey and benefit from their expertise in growth and technology-enablement.”

Alireza Etemad, Partner at IK and Advisor to the IK VIII Fund, added: “We are very proud of the role IK has played in creating one of the region’s leading technology-enabled advisory and outsourcing providers. In 2018, with the merger of three separate entities, we saw the potential for a new player in the market to cater to the specific needs of corporates across the Nordics through a combination of strong personal relationships, expertise and technology. Aspia’s growth over the past five years has been remarkable and we look forward to seeing their continued success. We wish Ola, his team and their new partners, all the very best for the future.”

Jussi Wuoristo, Partner at Vitruvian, commented: “As the financial and regulatory environment for businesses is becoming increasingly complex, Aspia has built an unrivalled combination of leading outsourcing services and digital tools to act as a trusted partner to companies in the Swedish and Nordic business community. We are excited to be partnering with the management team and partner group of Aspia to embark on the next exciting chapter of the Aspia journey.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

For further questions, please contact:

Pia Törnqvist
Phone: +46 (0) 706 897 659

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 558 193

Matthew Smallwood
Phone: +44 (0) 207 457 2020

Portfolio Company News

Renta acquires Ohiko

Renta Group Oy (“Renta Group” or “Renta”) is expanding its specialised pumping business through the acquisition of Ohiko Oy (“Ohiko” or “the Company”). Ohiko is a specialised pumping company providing full-service bypass solutions throughout Finland. Headquartered in Tuusula, Ohiko has 7 employees and annual revenues of more than EUR 2 million.

The acquisition of Ohiko extends Renta’s specialised pumping business from the Baltics and Poland to Finland, in line with the expansion strategy set in connection to the acquisition of Uprent in 2022. Ohiko provides a solid platform to further develop and grow in the highly attractive niche rental segment in Finland.

Ohiko is an excellent fit with Renta as it is a professionally managed and highly profitable company with capabilities to deliver turnkey projects. Similar to Renta, the Company has a lean structure and it will continue operating and providing services with the same well-functioning local business model as before. Renta sees significant potential in Ohiko by further scaling the operations leveraging the complementary expertise of Ohiko and Renta’s pumping business and by expanding specialised pumping geographically across Finland, benefitting from Renta’s existing presence.  

Kari Aulasmaa, CEO of Renta Group, said: 

“We are excited to join forces with Ohiko, a profitable and rapidly growing company with a strong standing in the Finnish specialised pumping market. Through the acquisition, Renta takes a leap in the strategic expansion of the specialised pumping business. We are impressed by the expertise and full-service project management capabilities of Ohiko and are convinced it will provide us with an excellent platform for continued growth in Finland.  We would like to extend a warm welcome to the Ohiko team.“

Petri Id, CEO of Ohiko, said: 

“We have great previous experience from working with Renta’s specialised pumping providers in the Baltics and we are thrilled to become a part of Renta Group, which has ambitious plans for the future. Joining forces with Renta ensures the continuation of our high-quality services and enables us to take on larger projects and embark on new challenges. We look forward to partnering up with Renta.”


Press Releases

IK Partners enters into exclusive negotiations with Wendel

IK Partners (“IK” or “the Company”) today announces that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with Wendel Group (“Wendel”), one of Europe’s leading listed investment firms, with the intention to sell a controlling interest in the Company. Wendel’s stake is being acquired from the Partners at IK, who will also be significantly reinvesting as part of the envisaged transaction. Subject to customary regulatory approvals, the sale of a controlling interest in IK is expected to complete in the first half of 2024.

IK is a leading European private equity firm, with teams across Northern Europe focusing on the mid-market segment. It has a well-established institutional presence and is considered one of the most active GPs in this space.

The Company invests across four complementary strategies and sectors (Business Services, Healthcare, Consumer and Industrials) in the Benelux, DACH, France, Nordics and the UK. Currently, it manages over €10 billion of private assets on behalf of third-party investors and since inception, has invested in over 180 companies.

With the scale and resources of a large cap platform, IK has a track record of transforming local champions into international leaders. Committed to fostering growth and enhancing value, IK takes a hands-on approach to investing and its Investment teams are strengthened by its in-house Operations, Capital Markets and ESG teams which are seamlessly integrated throughout the (entire) investment process.

IK has a superior and consistent track record, having achieved an average gross IRR of around 34% on the 116 realisations completed since inception. It consistently generates strong DPI for its investors.

The proposed transaction is a strategic partnership in which the Company’s Partner Group and its employees, who remain committed for the long term, will continue to operate autonomously in the same markets and strategies, under the same brand. A key feature of the envisaged partnership is the commitment of significant capital by Wendel to support IK’s present and future platform funds as well as the development of new strategies. The envisaged transaction will lead to the full acquisition of the Company over time.

Christopher Masek, CEO at IK Partners, said: “We are excited at the prospect of partnering with Wendel, whose investment will support our existing strategies, while also creating the opportunity for us to accelerate growth in other areas. The envisaged partnership will allow our Company to achieve its three strategic objectives which are to: access significant permanent capital; secure a long-term solution for our Partner Group to grow; and maintain our autonomy and identity.

In an industry that is seeing an increasing number of alliances being formed, we believe that this transaction sets the foundation for continued growth and strengthening of the IK Platform. It offers a unique and attractive model that benefits our Company, employees and investor for years to come.”

Laurent Mignon, Wendel Group CEO, commented: “We are very proud to embark on this new entrepreneurial stage in Wendel’s development with a high-quality company like IK, sharing the same values and investment philosophy. Wendel and IK are strongly committed to creating value in their portfolio companies, with a strong focus on establishing solid governance and supporting their operational and external growth.

We look forward to working with the IK teams to ensure the success of this value-creating partnership. I am convinced that, in the years to come, we will find new opportunities for external growth and direct investments that will create value for Wendel’s shareholders.”

For further questions, please contact:

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 558 193

Finlay Donaldson
H/Advisors Maitland
Phone: +44 (0) 7341 788 066


Insight: What’s next for PE?

Christopher Masek has been the CEO of IK Partners for more than a decade and has worked in the private equity industry (“PE”) for over 30 years. Despite persistent economic uncertainty and an inhospitable interest rate environment, Christopher believes that opportunities for growth remain, but only for firms with truly sustainable business models.

The invasion of Ukraine marked a clear moment of change for the world economy in general and PE in particular. Crises converged to create a perfect storm: supply chain bottlenecks, labour shortages, energy constraints and mounting inflation on the micro front; and a sharp shift in monetary policy, characterised by an end to quantitative easing and rising interest rates at the macro level. While this watershed had long been predicted, it made for a rude awakening.

PE handled the micro side of the equation pretty well. Price rises were passed on, strategic stocks were shored up, employee churn was overcome and energy needs were hedged. The macro side has, altogether, been more challenging — particularly the limited supply and rising cost of capital.

This environment has dramatically changed the PE landscape. General partners, limited partners and lenders are in a period of doubt, evidenced by a sharp slowdown in new deals, fewer exits and a reduction in funds available to make new investments. Successful navigation in this climate is not about managing the micro crises, it is about overcoming capital constraints.

Reality Check

The first consideration is what not to do, in particular, continuing to pay high multiples on non-cash generating metrics and thereby ignoring the present reality. Such investments are less prevalent today, not least because lenders are no longer willing to support them. Nonetheless, concerns persist around deals of this nature, particularly those completed between 2019 and 2022. With this vintage period under significant scrutiny, investors will not accept waffling or delusional valuations.

Instead, practitioners need to demonstrate a track record of consistently returning capital with a low loss ratio, coupled with a wariness for excessive financial creativity. Crucially too, firms need a well-articulated and meaningful raison d’être, positioning themselves beyond the habitual mishmash of: “We only do proprietary deals”, “We are top quartile” and “We create value,” too often fed to highly experienced investors. Finally, access to well-priced capital requires a large, well-organised and dedicated team of Investor Relations professionals, who are on a par (at least) with Investment teams. As one of my partners put it recently: “How many car manufacturers were there at the beginning of the last century? Hundreds. How many are there today? Closer to a dozen. Were these businesses the most creative in the industry? No. But they consistently adapted to market constraints and demands.”

A Robust Model

So how should IK adapt to and manage our activity in the current environment, which, we contend, is here to stay? Our belief is that we have long been equipped for it; in the way we invest, the way we monitor our investments and the way we communicate with stakeholders.

We have established a rigorous investment process to select high-quality, cash-generating assets with strategic logic, operational runway and talented management. We pioneered the development of a substantial and effective in-house Operations team to ‘beat’ the micro and generate alpha. And our work yields demonstrable results. Our loss ratio is among the lowest in the industry, we annually return more capital to our investors than we deploy and we produce consistent and predictable levels of exit proceeds.

Our investment formula is based on a time-proven model, which we continuously upgrade and enhance. We stick to the lower-mid market space and focus on traditional economy companies with a particular roadmap for strategic and operational improvement. We value investments fairly, based on properly baselined cash metrics. We avoid over-leverage and creative financial engineering. And we provide companies with the requisite support to grow, develop and achieve a successful exit.

Today, we are regarded as the institutional reference in the European lower-mid market space and this, coupled with our reputation as a trusted partner by opinion-leading investors, provides our firm with a hard-won ‘right to exist’.

But we also need to ensure that our path is aligned with the demands of our investors and other stakeholders. Their first ask is clear: to continue generating strong, predictable and consistent returns. Here, we have detected a real shift in how performance is measured, from self-promoting arbitrary valuation metrics to unadulterated cash-on-cash returned to investors. To ensure that we deliver against this expectation, we devote time and resource into building and developing our team of Investment Professionals and our Operations and Capital Markets teams. These individuals are widely considered to be at the top of their game.

Investing for Good

Our next priority relates to our values and our role in society. Just as the industry has set high standards for financial performance and accountability, the same is required when it comes to environmental and social progress; from initiatives to reduce emissions and work towards net zero, to the promotion of diversity and inclusion in our ranks, as well as support for health and wellbeing in the communities where we work. IK has been at the forefront of this responsible investment movement, rigorously incorporating ESG considerations into our investment process, actively managing our portfolio companies for good, supporting our local communities and undertaking standalone initiatives that reflect our ‘people-first’ agenda. Most importantly, while technological risks have traditionally been a key due diligence item in anticipating how a company may perform and be perceived by future buyers, possible future ESG trends and their potential impacts on an investment have become at least as critical.

Finally, our investors expect full transparency and genuine engagement. To that end, we have grown our Investor Relations team. We have also invested substantial resources into our team of 27 individuals responsible for reporting, compliance and interaction in Luxembourg, complemented by a range of IT tools to ensure that we offer our investors complete transparency and ongoing dialogue. We recognise that our relationship with investors is more critical than ever and we are committed to providing them with active and professional support.

We believe that deep-rooted, lasting change is underway across our market. That means the environment of tomorrow will be markedly different from what we once knew. Long prepared for this new era, we at IK expect to thrive in the future as positive outliers. Of course, true success takes time but we have certainly made a strong start and are excited to be at the forefront of change, seeking, like those top-rated carmakers, to be among the winners in an industry marked by challenge, evolution and rationalisation.

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