Ven Balakrishnan joins Duff & Phelps as Managing Director

24 July 2020 3 min. read
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Ven Balakrishnan has joined Duff & Phelps as the firm’s new global leader for its strategy and commercial due diligence offering. The former EY and Grant Thornton Partner brings over 25 years of experience to the role.

Ray Newman, Managing Director and Global Leader of Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) at Duff & Phelps, said, “Ven is a recognised transaction leader with rich experience across a variety of sectors. As our TAS practice continues to grow, having someone of his calibre join our firm will enable us to forge new partnerships and find greater opportunities. I’m thrilled to welcome Ven to our team.”

Joining the firm as a Managing Director, Balakrishnan will lead Duff & Phelps’ Strategy and Commercial Diligence offering, and will be based in London. The industry stalwart commands over 25 years of experience, including 15 years as a Managing Director or Partner, providing strategic and financial advice to clients at the board level. His diverse experience spans across sectors such as data and media, software and technology, travel and leisure, business services and manufacturing.

Ven Balakrishnan, Managing Director, Duff & Phelps

Balakrishnan joins Duff & Phelps from Grant Thornton where he was Lead Partner of the firm’s Strategy Group, focusing on advising dynamic, fast-growing companies and mid-market PE investors. He led diligence on transactions with deal values ranging from €50-800 million. Before Grant Thornton, he was a partner in EY’s TAS group. In this role, he led commercial due diligence engagements across a variety of sectors and transaction sizes on the buy- and sell-side, as well as in restructuring/financial distress situations.

In a LinkedIn post announcing his arrival at Duff & Phelps, Balakrishnan said he was “delighted to be joining Duff & Phelps to lead the development of its Strategy and Commercial Diligence offering.” He added that the global economy is currently “in a period of exceptionally high uncertainty,” with demand having been impacted by the coronavirus, high levels of personal debt, and geo-political rifts such as Brexit. At the same time, supply has been impacted by trade frictions, and the impetus towards shortening and building redundancy into supply chains. These are issues he asserted Duff & Phelps can help clients with.

Balakrishnan concluded, “Uncertainty presents opportunity but also requires ‘intelligent’ – rather than ‘churn the handle’ – diligence. The Duff & Phelps model, based on senior experienced engagement and an instinct to collaborate (across function/sector/client/geography), provides a unique platform to provide our clients with intelligent, insightful diligence.”

Elsewhere in the firm in summer, former Deloitte and RSM expert Rob Armstrong joined Duff & Phelps as a Managing Director in the firm’s Global Restructuring Advisory practice. With expertise in insolvency litigation, misfeasance and asset recovery, Armstrong brings more than 15 years of experience to the role. Duff & Phelps also promoted Rebecca Fullerto Head of Fixed Asset Management and Insurance Solutions for the EMEA region. The division provides fixed asset inventory reconciliation management and property insurance appraisals.