Meet Philippe Treacy, who recently joined Claret to focus on sourcing new investment opportunities and performing fundamental research and company analysis.
You recently joined the team this year – why did you choose Claret? And what’s your experience been like so far?
I was impressed by the calibre of people on the Claret team. As I got to know the team throughout the process, I became more and more convinced it was a culture I wanted to be part of and a true entrepreneurial growth story matched only by some of the best start-ups in the portfolio.
I arrived from a smaller competitor more focused on sponsorless venture debt, oftentimes investing as the sole institutional investor. Part of my learning curve has been to grasp a better understanding of the wider venture ecosystem and the motives of what is now a wider table of investors.
It’s a privilege to work in an industry where I meet some of the finest entrepreneurs of our age, to quiz them on their story and learn more about how they put together such exciting businesses.
As a seller of venture debt, I benefit from a tremendous amount of goodwill built up over an extensive 20+ year track record of supporting entrepreneurs across every stage of the market cycle.
As we head in to deal season I’m excited about the supportive role we stand ready to play during a period where the drop in public market valuations is slowly filtering through to the less liquid private markets. Venture debt can act as a shield, protecting the high valuations of innovative businesses from external forces outside of their control.
Which sector currently excites you the most and what do you think are the tailwinds driving growth in that sector?
I get excited whenever I see a B2B software-as-a-service company with a compelling offering that helps their customers achieve more revenues. These companies benefit from being able to partner, develop and upsell to their existing clients which is a far more efficient growth strategy than spending on marketing and what’s more the clients will often fund the R&D. These businesses fast become a critical supplier which is great for credit risk.
The greatest tailwind these guys have is investors and customers in today’s market value efficiency above all else and will continue to pay a premium for it.
What makes a great portfolio company?
An honest management team who sets themselves achievable targets and approaches their investors with bad news early and often. As my mentor would say ‘we don’t mind bad news but we hate surprises’.
What do you enjoy to do in your free time?
I enjoy investing my own money in stocks and getting into passionate debates with friends about why my pick is better than theirs. I enjoy following the financial markets in general and geopolitical events.
I love watching and playing sport. Football, Rugby and Golf in particular. As an Arsenal fan I finally have something to cheer about! Hopefully next year Ireland can face their demons and finally get beyond the World Cup QF. Having grown up in Sweden I took up skiing early and enjoy winter sports too.