Leading Private Equity Firm

Past performance does not guarantee future results, but as Winthrop demonstrated, it can be a powerful guide

A leading private equity firm engaged Winthrop to study its entire 20-year history of investments. Founded as a close association of investors with shared deal-making experience, the firm had grown enormously in size, complexity, reputation, and ambition. Its senior partners recognized the need to interpret and communicate this body of knowledge to a younger generation of professionals and a growing circle of investors.

Through extensive archival research as well as interviews with firm principals and company executives, Winthrop analyzed the financial and structural parameters of more than 40 acquisitions over a 20-year period, including post-transaction decisions, management, operations, and strategy. We combined quantitative measures of success, such as leverage and financial performance, against more qualitative ones like business judgment, behavioral incentives, and the nuances of personal and professional relationships, to reveal key success factors for the firm’s pioneering financial techniques. With these insights, the firm was able to structure better, more effective deals going forward.