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EQUISTONE NEWS | October 2021

Mastering the previous months with our usual confidence and optimism was not an easy task for us as a team – with great sadness, we had to announce the passing of our German DACH/NL Country Head Dirk Schekerka in April. After a long and tireless battle against a serious illness, our colleague and friend Dirk passed away on the 30th of April, 2021, at the age of 58. Dirk has not only shaped me personally, but the entire Equistone team in many ways. With his unwavering engagement towards working with our portfolio companies and his uniquely positive style of leadership, he was a crucial part of Equistone’s success over the years. However, first and foremost he has been an example of kindness, generosity and fighting spirit for us. Myself, I have learned a great deal from Dirk over the past 15 years of working with him, both on a professional and personal level. Now, having been elected as the new Country Head for the DACH/NL region, I am following in his rather big footsteps and it is my goal to continue Equistone’s success together with our outstanding team, but I also want to continue the culture Dirk has shaped in a lasting and positive way, just like he did: In the middle, but not in the foreground.

That is why we will do everything we can to continue supporting our portfolio companies in the future with our usual commitment and dedication to help them with their development and with achieving their growth targets – including such issues as climate protection and sustainability, which are becoming increasingly important to society as a whole. As a responsible investor, we have always been aware of the importance of approaching current and future challenges with the necessary attention and respect. Therefore, together with our portfolio companies, we want to increasingly push ESG strategies in the coming months. Another key challenge for companies in the future continues to be digital transformation. In this regard as well, we will continue to work with our portfolio companies in digitalizing their business models and processes, therefore positioning them ideally for the future.

In this current issue of Equistone News, we once again would like to inform you about the latest news from our company in terms of investments and team development.

I wish you an informative read and a sunny start into the autumn season!

Your

Dr. Marc Arens
Dr. Marc Arens

 

 

 

In Memoriam: Dirk Schekerka (1962 - 2021)

Dirk Schekerka personified the best attributes of the quintessential “Hamburg Merchant”: Fairness, transparency, entrepreneurial spirit, ambition and negotiation skill. Together with his unwavering joy for life, his optimism and his openness, with these qualities he not only shaped the DACH/NL team of Equistone as a whole, but also every one of us in a lasting and positive way.

After studying economics and completing an apprenticeship at Hamburger Sparkasse, Haspa, Dirk gained his first experiences in the M&A sector at HFG Angermann and Steffens Alvano & Partner. In 1998, he started his private equity career in the German team of Granville Baird, where he was responsible for a highly successful investment in Mobile.de. After that, he worked for Auctus Capital Partners before joining Barclays Private Equity – Equistone’s predecessor organization – in 2002.

At Equistone, Dirk was not only responsible for several of our most successful transactions – among them TUJA in 2006, Sunrise Medical in 2012 and Omnicare in 2019 – and also oversaw as Country Head for the DACH region and the Netherlands the growth and development of Equistone on the European market. Privately, Dirk enjoyed the finer things in life – especially if he could share them with the people important to him.

With his expertise, his eye for talent and potential, and his unwaveringly optimistic and supportive nature, he was instrumental in establishing a top-class team of experts at Equistone, along with a positive and collaborative company culture, which hopefully will continue to guide us as the fundament of our success for many years to come. For that, we want to thank Dirk and will continue to remember him forever.

Portfolio Update

Portfolio growth: Digitalization expert TIMETOACT GROUP strengthens Equistone’s focus on high-growth technology businesses

Digital workplace, business intelligence and customer experience: An emergency situation that lasted 18 months due to a global pandemic have further accelerated the digitalization boom of all kinds of businesses once more. In this fast-growing and highly fragmented market environment, TIMETOACT GROUP has specialized in supporting businesses with their digital development.

With a total of nine subsidiary brands at 16 locations (ARS, CLOUDPILOTS; edcom, IPG, novaCapta, synaigy, TIMETOACT and X-INTEGRATE), TIMETOACT GROUP has established itself as an internationally active and leading digitalization specialist. With a broadly diversified product range and a focus on software and consulting services for the fields of digital workplace, process automation & optimization, business intelligence, identity & access management as well as customer experience, TIMETOACT GROUP advised and supports mid-sized businesses, large enterprises and public institutions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland during their digitalization efforts.

The acquisition of TIMETOACT GROUP in June 2021 marks an important step in a new investment era for Equistone and will be an essential foundation for increasingly expanding our portfolio in the DACH and Benelux region with high-growth technology companies in a market environment characterized by exciting business models and excellent perspectives for future growth. The focus of this partnership will therefore be the further expansion of a successful buy-&-build strategy, which had already been initiated in previous years, as well as purposefully leveraging the potential for future growth.

Inside Equistone

Anniversaries at Equistone

For our portfolio companies we aim to be a strong, experienced and – most importantly – reliable partner. To continue being that, we rely on our strong and experienced team. We are therefore all the happier to present you some of the anniversaries in our Munich and Zurich offices and with that honor our longstanding colleagues for their commitment, support and excellent work. Our current anniversaries are:

Dr. Marc Arens, who has been with Equistone for 15 years now and has recently been elected our new Country Head for the DACH/NL markets, as well as Stephanie Thurner, Executive Assistant and additionally responsible for marketing in our Munich office, also with Equistone for 15 years.

Roman E. Hegglin and Tanja Berg, Investment Directors in the Zurich and Munich offices respectively, who have been part of our team for five years each.

Putting people first has been an important keystone of Equistone’s company culture since our founding. We succeed as a team, in which everyone takes over an essential role. That is why I want to thank those colleagues in particular, who have been supporting us with their commitment and expertise for many years now. Happy Equistone anniversary! I’m already looking forward to more years to come together with you.