Natalia Nowak joining Proventus Capital Partners
PCP is a market leader within direct lending and credit solutions, providing tailored debt instruments and acting as a strategic financial partner to entrepreneurs and companies across Northern Europe.
Since PCP’s inception, the German-speaking (DACH) countries have been a core part of our investment focus and, over the past couple of years, we have completed a number of financing deals in the region, including most recently a EUR 95m facility to DvH Medien GmbH, a media brand owner (http://www.proventus.se/news/dvh-medien/).
To further strengthen PCP’s presence and capabilities across German-speaking Europe, Natalia Nowak is joining the investment team.
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background, e.g. where did you work and what did you do before joining PCP?
Prior to joining PCP, I was a managing director with CVC Credit Partners’ direct lending team, focusing on developing the DACH region. Before CVC, I was a managing director at ESO Capital, a special situations fund investing in self-originated, self-structured midmarket debt and equity opportunities.
Before moving to London in 2012, I worked in Cerberus Capital’s private equity team in Frankfurt. I began my career as an analyst in Goldman Sachs’ M&A group in 2002.
2. What is your view on the development of the direct lending market over the last few years, in particular in the German speaking countries?
The direct lending market in Europe has come a long way. Well-established in the US for decades, it has gained traction in Europe primarily due to the scarcity of bank lending following the 2008 financial crisis. Spearheaded by the UK market, direct lending has now become a standard source of funding.
After initially lagging the UK and other more active European markets, Germany has now firmly embraced the direct lending product, especially in the private equity space, where more than half of all leveraged buyouts now see some form of alternative funding. In the financing of privately owned and entrepreneurial businesses, however, there remains a lot of room to grow.
Mittelstand entrepreneurs are still not particularly aware of funding options other than standard bank debt or equity and, as such, it often takes time to build trust and awareness of the benefits private debt can bring to transformative situations such as large acquisitions, succession issues, or high growth undertakings.
3. In your view, what role can a firm like PCP play for privately and sponsored owned businesses, in particular in the DACH region?
PCP has a differentiated investment approach; allowing it to capitalize on both the increasing flow of funding private equity owned companies and more individual deals for privately, family or entrepreneur owned businesses.
With regards to the non-sponsored space, I previously mentioned the importance of trust. PCP’s unique heritage is set to appeal to the German mid-market entrepreneur, giving it a leg-up over many of its competitors in my view.
4. What are your main reasons for choosing to join PCP and what do you hope to accomplish while at PCP?
During my career as an investor, I have worked across the spectrum of debt, special situations and private equity, but always with a strong sense of looking to find unique, off-the-run opportunities with a superior risk-return profile.
I believe my background and personal investment philosophy fits very well with PCP’s DNA. Having built a deep sourcing network in the DACH region, I also hope to boost PCP’s pipeline of interesting investment opportunities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.