How we work

‘They add unique value through their customer understanding.  They genuinely know how to grow brands’

Paul Hick, Chairman, Maximuscle

Our Points of Difference

At Piper we’re more than experienced investors – we’re seasoned entrepreneurs too. It means a unique approach to working with brands, as entrepreneurial perspectives drive everything we do.

We ‘get’ consumer brands

That’s because we invest heavily in research and, having worked with dozens of brand teams, know better than most what works and what doesn’t. For us real value lies in a consumer brand’s strength – not just its balance sheet.

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We add value

Our experience of growing and selling businesses has been gained both as entrepreneurs and investors. We add value not only through our own
in-house experts, but via our unrivalled industry network too.

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We deliver results

Our track record speaks for itself. It shows that the value we create translates into a strategic premium at exit delivering well above average returns.

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We work in partnership

So our portfolio companies benefit from support and guidance at all times.
As non-executive partners who’ve ‘been there’ ourselves, we can help on all strategic, managerial and financial decisions.

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We are personally invested

A small and committed team, we’ve invested significant personal capital in our funds. So we’re fully focused on making every deal deliver – not just the overall portfolio.

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Our In-house expertise

The breadth and depth of Piper support makes for a unique management-investor partnership. And it’s all made possible thanks to the in-house expert team we’ve nurtured so that we’re always there for brands – at no extra cost – when needed. We can support you by providing...

Customer research and insight

Our in-house systems enable you to profile your customers, evaluate your market potential and geographical reach. We can help you better understand your customers using online surveys, running customer focus groups as well as undertaking brand and competitor audits to review how your market is changing.

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Strategic marketing expertise

We share our marketing knowledge with our portfolio brands – whether it involves helping to identify key marketing issues, recommending branding agencies, or making available our extensive network of individual or agency experts.

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e-commerce and systems support

In this fast-changing digital era we know that re-inventing the wheel isn’t the answer. Drawing on our experience of working across diverse companies and sectors, our in-house specialists can help develop digital and social media strategies, review systems, benchmark your business against a range of other businesses and provide a network of screened external providers.

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Financial PR

We’re proud of the brands we invest in – so we make sure that customers and potential buyers of the business are all aware of them. We do it by providing our brands with a dedicated resource to help build their credentials and profile in the key broadsheet newspapers and trade press.

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Talent scouting

Building an outstanding management team and succession planning are critical factors for the successful growth of a branded business, but can also be time consuming and difficult. Our Head of Talent provides the support and knowledge to help investee teams to think about the team and how it needs to change, drawing on a wealth of experience to help create the right brief for the role and identify the right recruitment methodology.

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Our partnership approach

Our decision to work with a brand naturally starts with a conversation. It’s one that then continues and evolves as we get to know the business, initiate the due diligence process and background analysis, identify opportunities and challenges and agree the final investment plan.

Building the relationship

Inviting a partner into your business is not unlike marriage – you need to be 100% sure you’re committing to the right person. That’s why we like to meet businesses as soon as they start thinking about finding investment, so from the outset we can build a relationship based on mutual trust and understanding.

We like to walk the walk, see the stores, hear the story, and listen to customers – immersing ourselves both in the brand and its owners or managers. By doing this, both sides can feel confident they’ve found the right partner, then agree the right bespoke deal so maximising the chances of success.

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Making the deal worthwhile

Once a deal is agreed, due diligence begins. We nevertheless recognise that most businesses see this as a major distraction from the essential activities of day-to-day management, that’s why we work hard to make the process as time efficient (typically 8-10 weeks) and worthwhile as possible.

During this time Piper undertakes extensive market, customer and brand insight work, a review of the e-commerce/digital strategy, an assessment of systems, and a review of the management team – as well as helping to shape and refine a three-year business plan. All of this work enables the brand’s management team to benefit and learn from the insights generated. Alongside this, the necessary financial and legal diligence work will also take place.

Undertaking this work and sharing along the way, ensures the diligence process provides insight through the process and informs both parties to develop a shared view of the way forward.

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Support at all investment stages

Unusually, the Piper team is a deliberate mix of people with strategic brand marketing and financial skills. So, typically, we appoint two Piper Non Executive Directors (NEDs) to the Board. This enables us to deliver rounded support to the team both through our in-house experts, as well as via the broader Piper network.

We also focus on providing partnership support beyond board meetings, by ensuring a dynamic and iterative dialogue involving the NEDs and the CEO and Chairman of the brand.

Impero Lounge - Portishead