The Leaders Strategy

“Partnering with exceptional leaders gives GTCR a differentiated perspective on investment opportunities"

Craig Bondy

Managing Director


Identifying the Right Leader Is the Critical Difference in Building Market-Leading Companies

As a leading private equity firm, GTCR pioneered The Leaders Strategy™—finding and partnering with management leaders in core domains to identify, acquire and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and organic growth. This differentiated approach has stood at the core of GTCR’s investment strategy for more than 35 years.

Partnering with Leaders

Sourcing and creating partnerships with exceptional leaders is the foundation of The Leaders Strategy™. Frequently, these partnerships are started solely on the basis of a strong investment thesis, even before an initial platform acquisition is identified. In other instances, we partner with strong incumbent management teams to provide them capital to execute transformational opportunities, like acquiring a significant competitor.

Partnering with proven leaders can provide distinct and proprietary advantages in the investment process and can mitigate risk. Our Leaders Strategy™ teams are experienced, established leaders in their domains. We believe these leaders’ industry insights can provide informational advantages in the acquisition due-diligence process, and that their execution track record and reputation can facilitate improved acquisition financing execution. In addition, our Leaders Strategy™ teams can become preferred buyers within their domains, which can lead to attractive follow-on acquisition opportunities.

Importantly, our Leaders Strategy™ teams are positioned to recruit the most talented people in their industries. This creates the opportunity to drive strong sales effectiveness while optimizing costs, the combined effect of which can be significant improvements in operating profits. All of these elements can come together to create companies with strategic significance, which can result in attractive strategic or public exit opportunities.

Leveraging Domain Expertise

As a result of focused efforts over our 35-year history, GTCR’s highly resourceful, results-driven teams have developed deep domain expertise within Financial Services & Technology; Healthcare; Technology, Media & Telecommunications; and Growth Business Services. Because we’ve focused on these areas for multiple decades, we have developed critical industry knowledge, credibility and strong networks of relationships that can help us identify unique investment opportunities.

GTCR investment teams consistently leverage this experience and insight to develop specific, actionable investment ideas within these domains. At the same time, our history and reputation in these areas allow us to continually meet with and evaluate both seasoned and up-and-coming management leaders.

The essence of GTCR’s Leaders Strategy™ is to bring together these two activities—research-based investment thesis development and proactive executive networking. Through thesis development within our four areas of domain expertise, we find and develop actionable investment ideas. We seek to identify emerging inflection points and trends that can lead us to under-appreciated or under-performing businesses. At the same time, we seek to position ourselves to better evaluate both the risks and the potential in new investment opportunities. Through rigorous executive networking and recruiting in our domains, we strive to identify and partner with the very best leadership teams—the teams capable of driving the execution of the transformation opportunities that we identify through the thesis development process.

When these two efforts come together, we have an opportunity to execute truly transformational investments and build important, durable businesses that have long-term strategic value.

Executing Transformation

GTCR’s Leaders Strategy™ brings together proactive investment thesis development and proactive executive networking with the objective of identifying opportunities to execute transformational investments. The leadership teams we seek to partner with drive operational transformation in under-managed or under-optimized businesses by upgrading human capital and rigorously developing and focusing on sales execution and resource allocation through the use of key performance indicators. Through this process, successful Leaders Strategy™ teams are able to improve operating efficiency and, importantly, accelerate revenue growth.

The Leaders Strategy™ also helps position GTCR to invest in complex corporate carve-outs, which tend to be extremely management-intensive to execute. In these situations, Leaders Strategy™ teams need to recreate critical functions for the acquired company on a standalone basis. We believe creating a company with a singular strategy and focus helps to accelerate financial performance and enhance value.

Our leadership teams are skilled at identifying, executing and integrating acquisitions. Acquisitions can help drive transformation by increasing both the scale and scope of a company. They can also accelerate geographic, customer and product expansion while facilitating fixed-cost leverage. And critically, acquisitions can often be executed at accretive valuations. The increased scope and scale that acquisitions can accelerate facilitate more efficient capital structures and, ultimately, value creation.