With more investors, like ECI, having dedicated individuals covering value-add project streams, there is more capacity than ever to offer hands-on support to management. Different firms deliver this in different ways, for example, Duncan comments that at ECI there is no playbook, but there is “expertise as needed.” A good example of how this can help Boards add value would be on M&A, where ECI have a dedicated team working alongside management teams to help them define strategy, map and prioritise opportunities, and execute on the deal.
However, Duncan comments, that it’s less about who is to hand and more about alignment. He states: “[Operations teams are] being more widely used. but whether you are working with an operational team or not, it’s all about aligning objectives and working collaboratively to address areas of improvement. We join the deal team right at the start of the process to make sure that alignment is in place from the beginning. Increasingly you are seeing management teams express a desire for additional support in certain areas, so our aim is to adapt our approach and provide the right help based on the specific needs and preferences of each management team.
A good example of this is technology, where having an ex-CTO to hand like ECI Growth Specialist, Badr Khan, can offer valuable insight and help navigate complex projects.