Freshstream is a young private equity firm, operating out of London and Amsterdam. They are hiring a Portfolio Associate who will own strategy development and day-to-day implementation and work closely with their portfolio companies’ management teams. This is an exciting opportunity for a consultant who wants to build longterm relationships with promising companies, while developing their leadership skills.
Freshstream was founded in 2015, and raised its first 600 million euro fund from one investor. By 2020, they had fully invested this fund and recently, Freshstream started investing through a second, fully independent fund. Their focus is on founder-led and family-owned businesses; typically young companies that haven’t been previously owned or managed by an investment firm. The firm’s strength is in working with the existing management of portfolio companies and helping them bring their strategy and operations to the next level. They achieve this through collaborative problem-solving and implementing the necessary professional systems and processes.
The Freshstream team is made up of about twenty-five colleagues; the majority of which work in London and the rest are located in Amsterdam. The company has a broad perspective on sectors, with a preference for proven sectors with strong macro-economic tailwinds. To achieve their desired level of impact, Freshstream’s key focus is on majority investments in portfolio companies.
Their hybrid set-up allows associates to be involved with the deal-making and the related initial trajectory, as well as with longterm portfolio management and support after the deal. Looking ahead, Freshstream will keep moving towards a higher degree of specialization in its people. This role is pioneering as it will mainly focus on portfolio work instead of due diligence and deal origination. It will have dual reporting lines; internally into the portfolio principal / partner and externally to the CEO/CFOs of assigned portfolio companies. They will enjoy a combination of Amsterdam- and London-based activities, although the focus will largely be on the country of residence.
Vacancy: Portfolio Associate
The Portfolio Associate will take on two to three portfolio companies in parallel at any given time that can last from twelve to twenty-four months. This usually starts at the acquisition stage, which allows this role to build deep and lasting relationships with the companies’ management teams. And this means they will work ‘on the ground’ at the company sites for three to four days a week, and spend the rest of the week at the Freshstream office. This way they can build rapport with internal colleagues and immerse themselves in the business culture while working on other aspects of private equity (PE) work, which could include collaborating on an occasional due diligence or deal making process.
The three main responsibilities of the Portfolio Associate are:
- Be the single point of contact between Freshstream and the portfolio company: Coordinate reporting streams (financial, operational, ESG), and maintain clear and productive communications between Freshstream and the portfolio company’s senior management. This includes embedding structured analysis and data-driven decision making in the company’s way of working and ensuring timely and accurate fund reporting.
- Act as a guardian of the Value Creation Plan (VCP): support with strategy creation from the get-go, and continue to monitor the plan through an online project management system. The Portfolio Associate should continually leverage business knowledge and access to data to identify tactical, tangible levers to create value.
- Provide hands-on and superior support on a subset of the most crucial initiatives of the VCP: This will be especially relevant on topics where the company’s in-house knowledge or bandwidth is insufficient, and they need to be supported either by Freshstream directly or by a third party, e.g. a consulting team. The Portfolio Associate ensures smooth coordination and contributes through frequent problem solving, ideation, and managing others as needed.
“This role requires a strong strategy toolkit, but the difference from classic consulting is in building longterm relationships with senior management of portfolio companies and getting to see the impact of your work over the course of time from an owner’s perspective. At an early stage in your career, you become a sparring partner to CEOs and entrepreneurs, helping them create longterm success for their business.” – Lodewijk de Graauw, Partner and Head of Portfolio Operations
The ideal candidate for this role is a high-caliber strategy consultant with at least four years’ experience at a leading or boutique consulting firm. In addition to solid analytical skills, the Portfolio Associate also needs exceptionally strong people skills. Respecting and maintaining company culture while streamlining the companies’ operations and implementing new strategies may need diplomatic skills, but is a vital element for success.
This role requires someone who is energized by frequent stakeholder interaction at the senior level and can offer the right tone and contribute to a collaborative atmosphere at all times. Balancing this trait is the ability to listen, influence and assert themselves, which is vital for this role’s success. Naturally, the Portfolio Associate will have the chance to further develop their career with Freshstream. And the successful candidate will thrive on working very independently and proactively drive assigned workstreams to completion, as well as initiate new ideas for shareholder value creation.
Freshstream is working with Top of Minds to fill this vacancy.
To express your interest, please contact Imke Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org.