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Operating Partner

Business case

Operating Partner

Private Equity Credit & Special Situations


A specialized Investor focused on mid-market opportunities in the Italian PE – Credit & Special Situations, was addressing its attention to a potential investment, in the Tobacco space. This required the identification of a Senior Operating Partner who would be involved in 1) the evaluation of the deal and 2) the management of the potential transformation and relaunch of the target company, subject to the investment taking place.


Identify and engage a Senior Professional with specific knowledge of Tobacco, a strong C-level track record, and direct on-the-ground experience providing: 360-degree visibility of the business and business model, strategic challenges, competitors, and overall dynamics and critical issues. The ability to deliver impact and value were the core of the Operating Partner DNA.

The criticality of the role was rooted both on: 1) PRE-DEAL ACTIVITY – supporting the Investment Team in the analysis of the target company and in the evaluation of the specific business potential, as well as in the definition of the business plan (post-acquisition); and 2) POST-DEAL ACTIVITY – taking a leadership role in the company, acting as a “person of trust” of the Investor, with direct involvement and responsibility in the execution of the business plan, i.e. consolidating the situation and (re)launching the business.


Our research had to be carried out with the utmost speed and therefore had to be more concerned with the goal than with the perfection of the details.

It was focused on Italian speaker Executives, either in Italy or abroad, with consolidated experience in the Tabacco sector, and strong track of C-levels roles, with 360-degree visibility of the business and business model. We also considered lateral candidates from related sectors, yet with specific skills and vertical spikes, able to bring unexpected value to the table.

The comparison of candidates was driven by several factors and ‘must-haves’, of which both the ambition to join a PE-led initiative and the opportunity to engage with an entrepreneurial mindset and sense of urgency were definitely key.


The search and sourcing activities were addressed with utmost velocity, given the due dates the Client had to face.

From a very focused shortlist, we presented two senior operating partners, each with the track record and potential to act immediately as an OP and to take on a potential leadership role in a second phase; given their complementarity resulting from their different professional evolution, together they could bring a specific cutting-edge value to the target asset.

Therefore, the investor decided to engage both of them: an unusual decision, but one aimed at creating a senior team to tackle the diligence and extract maximum value from the target.

The investment was ultimately not finalised, therefore the two OPs could not be involved in the deal execution and post-deal activities.