Martin Drummond joins Alvarez & Marsal from Grant Thornton

15 April 2019

Global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal, has strengthened its Valuation Services offering in the UK with the appointment of Martin Drummond, who joins as a Managing Director. Drummond arrives from Grant Thornton, and previously spent time at EY and KPMG earlier in his career.

With over 3,000 people across four continents, Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) is one of the world’s leading professional services firms. A&M’s diverse offering includes debt restructuring solutions, insolvency, and creditor advisory offerings for clients, as well as complex valuation and modelling services. Utilising the company’s diverse industry knowledge, asset class expertise, and overall agility, A&M’s Valuation Services wing helps clients address valuation challenges from critical investment, regulatory and strategic perspectives to assess value at the fund, portfolio and investment level.

As the firm continues to strengthen its UK team on the back of a number of senior hires last year, A&M has appointed Martin Drummond as a new Managing Director in its London office. Reflecting A&M’s continued growth at a time when business leaders are increasingly keen to tap independent advice, amid increased regulatory scrutiny, market volatility and complexity, the hire sees Drummond take up the role to work alongside Richard Bibby, who heads A&M Valuation Services in Europe. 

Martin Drummond joins Alvarez & Marsal from Grant Thornton

Arriving with A&M in the latest chapter of a two-decade-long career, Drummond brings with him significant expertise in providing strategic valuation and M&A advice to the boards of blue-chip multinationals, private equity firms, high net worth individuals and owner-managed businesses. His expertise ranges from commercial and tax valuations and business modelling through to M&A pricing analyses for transactions and corporate restructurings.

Prior to joining A&M, Drummond spent the last year as a Partner at Grant Thornton. Before that, he spent more than 20 years within the Big Four, having initially been stationed with KPMG in a Corporate Finance function. He became an Associate Director at the firm, before leaving for EY, where he was latterly an Executive Director in the Valuation and Business Modelling team, working with clients such as Unilever, RB, Anheuser In-Bev and Diageo.

Commenting on his arrival, Richard Bibby, Managing Director, A&M Valuation Services, remarked, “We are very pleased to welcome Martin to A&M. Our clients are increasingly turning to advisors with deep commercial expertise and the ability to understand the dynamics of global companies from an investor perspective. Martin’s depth of experience and wide sector knowledge will be invaluable as we grow our practice here in the U.K.”

Mark McMahon, Global Practice Leader, A&M Valuation Services, said of Drummond, “At a time of increasing macro and micro uncertainty for businesses, regulatory change and the consequent impact on valuations, we are thrilled to add an accomplished professional like Martin and bring his diverse skillset to A&M. I look forward to collaborating with Martin and Richard to strengthen and build both new and existing client relationships.”


Private equity firms ramp up sustainability focus

19 April 2019

In line with business leaders across the industrial gamut, private equity firms are increasingly on board with sustainability projects. According to a new study, the investment arms for major funds are implementing a number of strategies aimed at supporting sustainable economic development in line with global goals.

While the business world has finally begun to acknowledge the danger of climate change, effective action plans remain difficult to achieve. The Paris Agreement has stipulated a clear target for the decades leading up to 2100, although massively reducing emissions while not crashing the economy could be a tall order.

Businesses that are able to acquire capital can use it to boost productivity and output, thereby creating a virtuous cycle of development. However, some businesses are better able to utilise resources than others, both in terms of their relative productivity, as well as the value of the respective outcomes relative to costs (including environmental harms). Financing can therefore provide an avenue to select businesses that are aligned with various global sustainability goals, while shunning those that drive little or unsustainable social value creation.

Top moves made by investment arms towards responsible investment

Profit has for the longest time been the central criterion for investment decisions. Yet profit at any cost is increasingly seen as creating considerable social harms, while often delivering only marginal value. As a result, the private equity sector, which was initially sluggish to change its ways with regards to sustainability, has started to see the topic as an opportunity as much as a challenge.

A new study from PwC has explored how far sustainability goals have become part of the wider investment strategy for private equity (PE) firms. The report is based on analysis of a survey of 162 firms and includes responses from 145 general partners and 38 limited partners.

Maturing sustainability

Top-line results show that responsible investment has become an issue for 91% of respondents. For 81% of respondents, ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) was a board matter at least once a year, while 60% said that they already have implemented measures to address human rights issues. Two-thirds have identified and prioritised Sustainable Development goals that are relevant to their investment segments.

Change in concern and action on climate-related topics over time

While there is increasing concern around key issues, from human rights protections to environmental and biodiversity protection, the study finds there are mismatches between concern and action. For instance, concern among investment vehicles around climate change has increased since 2016.

In terms of risks to the PE firm itself, concern has increased from 46% of respondents in 2016 to 58% in the latest survey. However, the number who have taken action remains far below those concerned, at 9% in 2016 and 20% in 2019. Given the relatively broader scope of investment opportunities, portfolio companies face higher risks – and more concern – from PE professionals, at 83% in the latest survey. However, action is less than half of those concerned, at 31%.

Changing climate

In terms of the climate footprint of the portfolio companies, 77% of respondents state concern in the latest survey. 28% of respondents are taking action through the implementation of measures to mitigate their concerns.

Concern and action taken on ESG issues

In terms of the more pressing issues for emerging responsible investment or ESG issues, governance concern of portfolio companies comes in at number one (92% of respondents), while 60% have taken action on it. Firms have focused on improving awareness – setting up policies and a range of training modules for their professionals around responsible investment decision making. Cybersecurity takes the number two spot, with 89% concerned and 41% implementing strategies to mitigate risks.

Climate risks take the number three spot in terms of concern for portfolio companies (83%), but falls behind in terms of action (31%). Health and safety track records are a key concern at 80% of businesses, with 49% implementing action. Gender imbalance within PE firms themselves ranks at 78%, which is being dealt with by 31%. A recent survey from Oliver Wyman showed that there is gender balance at 13% of GP teams in developed countries.

Biodiversity is also an increasingly pertinent topic, with risks from pollution and chemical use increasingly driving wider systematic risks around environmental outcomes. It featured at number eight on the ranking of most likely global risks for the coming decade, with its impact at number six. As it stands, biodiversity is noted as an issue at 57% of firms, with 15% implementing action.