Tom Wrenn and Michael Butler have featured in Real Deals’ 2022 list of Future 40 Dealmakers, highlighting the dealmakers who were able to navigate and deliver outstanding value, strong exits and record returns in 2021.
Here is what Real Deals said about Tom and Michael’s investment strategies and stellar results from the last 12 months:
“Joining the list for a second year running, ECI’s Tom Wrenn makes this years’ list for leading the firm’s investment in Content+Cloud. Having first backed the business in 2016, Wrenn worked with management to strategically reposition the business as a Microsoft Partner for three cloud environments, targeting the enterprise, mid-market and public sectors. Tom was instrumental in leading the business’ aggressive M&A strategy, making six add-on acquisitions following a process whereby the team identified over 600 potential opportunities. Wrenn supported the CEO and chair in making a number of senior hires, and ensured that the management team had full access to the variety of ECI’s teams to support their growth throughout the holding period. The trade sale to Nordic IT services provider, Advania, in December 2021, generated an impressive return of 4.1x and an IRR of 32.1% for its investors.”
“Michael Butler led ECI Partners’ initial investment in professional services firm KB Associates. During the fund’s two-and-a-half-year holding period, Butler worked closely with the CEO to introduce a chair and CFO, alongside recruiting a sales and marketing and tech team. These hires, in turn, led to an improved ERP system, as well as improved systems and data reporting across the business. A milestone in KB’s growth was its organic entry strategy in Malta, whereby the business opened a MiFID investment firm in the jurisdiction. This contributed to the sixfold increase of the business’ AuM. The partner also built upon its employee engagement improvement programme, that allowed for improvements in staff recruitment and retention. Butler was instrumental in the exit process negotiations, which led to the trade sale to Waystone Group in January 2021 for 3.7x.”