Hire best-in-class Search fund experts

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A search fund typically has a dedicated group of professional investors who manage it all on behalf of the investors. Unlike traditional VC funds, these professionals have an entrepreneurial background and experience in the sector they invest in. As such, they are able to provide invaluable advice to their portfolio companies as well as assist with managerial expertise and networks for further funding rounds from other sources. These professional managers usually possess considerable industry knowledge from their own experience as well as from other investment ventures that they have been involved with. Fund managers of search funds are also more likely to have a larger personal stake in the fund they manage due to the fact that they are directly involved in making investment decisions through their own money.

Search funds are usually set up by institutional investors that are looking for a new way to diversify their portfolio, or by wealthy investors who want direct access to specific types of investments. These types of funds require considerable amounts of capital, often over US$50 million, but can be worth it given the potentially high returns. They offer significant advantages over normal venture capital firms in terms of speed and flexibility. Fund managers tend to move fast when opportunities arise while also being able to pull the plug on failing ventures.

The kind of investments search funds make typically includes small and medium-sized enterprises in the technology and life sciences sectors that regular venture capital funds may not be able to reach due to their high level of specialization. However, in general search funds tend to invest at earlier stages than traditional venture capital funds, making them riskier in nature. Other types of investments made by search funds include distressed situations and others typically considered unattractive by other types of investors. Along with this, search fund managers are less inclined towards quick exits but are more focused on building up companies for long term success.

Typically, search fund managers will not have any prior experience working together, but instead work together temporarily due to their expertise in specific industries or geographical regions. Therefore, the search fund manager has to create a system that allows them to avoid being hindered by colleagues.

The creation of a search fund is relatively recent. In the beginning, search funds were only considered as a subsidiary type of venture capital firms. However, as technology became more sophisticated it permitted much more flexible and efficient investment opportunities to arise. For this reason, search funds have become increasingly important in the private equity market over the last decade, and it is no surprise that they have now become one of the most sought-after types of investment funds in high-tech sectors.

Process of setting up a search Fund

Typically the process of setting up a search fund involves three steps:

  1. Approval of the deal by the portfolio company’s management

2. Initial research on market attractiveness

3. Investment decision

STEP 1: Approval of the deal by the portfolio company’s management. The search fund manager prepares a proposition to the portfolio company’s management stating that there is significant potential for future growth. The proposition will include projections outlining both positive and negative impacts on each of the shareholders, both individually and as a whole; investors; search fund; and project team, as well as an outline of potential future revenues. This will be sent to all shareholders (both individuals with whole-share ownership and institutional investors with partial ownership) along with instructions on how they can vote.

STEP 2: Initial research of market attractiveness. Once the search fund manager receives approval for their proposition, they carry out extensive research of the sector in which the portfolio company operates. Their objective is to find potential areas in which they might be able to make investments; they will typically carry out research on companies in each sector, taking note of what makes them special, any potential weaknesses (such as size, competition, etc.), and finding out what other investors are currently putting their money into this industry.

STEP 3: Investment decision Once the search fund manager has completed this phase of their research, they will approach their investors with an outline of options for investment (either buying shares or making a loan). They will outline the advantages of both options, as well as the risks involved. In some cases it may be possible for the portfolio company to borrow from bank sources, but more often it will be necessary to look for alternative sources of funding from the search fund manager’s managed funds or from other investors within the fund.

In return for investing money into a search fund, investors expect:

Search funds can be different in size and structure depending on their primary investor and type of investment they seek to make. For example:

Search funds may also invest in alternative sources of capital such as securitisation and equity finders. This is usually achieved by investors engaging a company who will use their contacts to identify suitable investment opportunities.

Hire the best Search fund specialists in 2,900+ industries

Fintalent is the invite-only community for top-tier M&A consultants and Strategy talent. Hire global Search fund consultants with extensive experience in over 2,900 industries. Our platform allows you to build your team of independent Search fund specialists in 48 hours. Welcome to the future of Mergers & Acquisitions!

Why hire top Search fund experts?

Trusted Network

Every Fintalent is exclusively invited and vetted.

Ready in 48h​​​

Hire efficiently. Your M&A team is ready in 2 days or less.​​​​

Specialized Skills​

Fintalents are best-in-class - and specialized in 2,900+ industries.​

Code of Ethics​​

We guarantee highest integrity and ethical principles.​​​

Selected Clients and Partners

Frequently asked questions

Most frequent questions and answers

What clients usually engage your Search fund Consultants?

We work with clients from all over the world. Our clients range from enterprise and corporate clients to companies that are backed by Private Equity or Venture Capital funds. Furthermore, we work directly with Family Offices, Private Equity firms, and Asset Managers. Most of our enterprise clients have dedicated Corporate Development, M&A, and Strategy divisions which are utilizing our pool of Search fund talent to add on-demand and flexible resources, expertise, or staff to their in-house team.

How is Fintalent different?

Fintalent is not a staffing agency. We are a community of best-in-class Search fund professionals, highly specialized within their domains. We have streamlined the process of engaging the best Search fund talent and are able to provide clients with Search fund professionals within 48 hours of first engaging them. We believe that our platform provides more value for Corporates, Ventures, Private Equity and Venture Capital firms, and Family Offices.

Our Hiring Process – What do ‘Community-Approach’ and ‘Invite-to-Apply’ mean?

‘Invite-to-Apply’ is the process by which we shortlist candidates for the majority of projects on our platform. Often, due to the confidential nature of our clients’ projects, we do not release projects to our whole platform but using the matching technology and expertise of our internal team we select candidates who are the best fit for our clients’ needs. This approach also ensures engagement with our community of professionals on the Fintalent platform, and is a benefit both to our clients and independent professionals, as our freelancers have direct access to the roles best suited to their skills and are more likely to take an interest in a project if they have been sought out directly. In addition, if a member of our community is unavailable for a project but knows someone whose skill set perfectly fits the brief, they are able to invite them to apply for the role, utilizing the personal networks of each talent on our platform.

Which skills and expertise do your Fintalents have?

The Fintalents are hand-picked and vetted Search fund professionals, speak over 55 languages, and have professional experience in all geographical markets. Our Search fund consultants’ experience ranges from 3+ years as analysts at top investment banks and Strategy consultancies, to later career C-level executives. The average working experience is 6.9 years and 80% of all Fintalents range from 3-12 years into their careers.

Our Search fund consultants have experience in leading firms as well as interfacing with clients and wider corporate structures and management. What makes our Search fund talent pool stand out is the fact that they have technical backgrounds in over 2,900 industries.

How does the screening and onboarding of your Search fund talent work?

Fintalent.io is an invite-only platform and we believe in the power of referrals and a closed-loop community. Members of our community are able to invite a small number of professionals onto the platform. In addition, our team actively scouts for the best talent who have experience in investment banking or have worked at a global top management consultancy. All of our community-referred talent and scouted talent are subject to a rigorous screening process. As such, over the last 18 months totaling more than 750 hours of onboarding calls, of which only 40% have received an invite-link after the call.

What happens if I am not satisfied with my Search fund consultant’s work?

During your initial engagement with a member of our Fintalent talent pool with no risk. If you are not satisfied with the quality of your hire for any reason then we are able to find a replacement at short notice. There is no minimum commitment per project, but generally projects last at least 5 days and can last 12+ months.

Interested in our invite-only community of tier-1 Search fund experts?

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