Interview: Erick Rinner, Milestone Investisseurs

“I have known some of the Clearwater partners for many years and, in particular, have a close relationship with Philippe who is a trusted partner and someone I value considerably and whose judgement I trust. I also particularly like Clearwater’s values and what I would call its ‘human’ aspect. Ultimately we want a deep relationship with partners because this is how I can trust them with a mandate. It is not just about having that pure technical knowledge. It is about trusting someone to give you the very best advice.

“I also find Clearwater very useful if I need general market information and want, for instance, to discuss the state of the private equity market. The connections in the wider market that Clearwater has are very important to us, not just in France but across Europe. The combination of Clearwater’s very good market knowledge and the trust I have in the firm is a powerful one.

“Clearwater’s sector knowledge is important too and we have come across this in areas such as healthcare and consumer markets. I particularly like the fact that Clearwater works across a very broad range of sectors and still maintains that wider market knowledge. I don’t like it when advisers become too segmented and focus too much on just one or two specific sectors, because then they don’t have that broader knowledge that you need. I also use Clearwater’s services such as debt advisory. This is definitely something that we will look at more and more as we seek financing options on transactions.

The combination of Clearwater’s very good market knowledge and the trust we have in the firm is a powerful one.

“Clearwater’s international coverage is also very relevant for us when I am thinking about potential deals. The fact that Clearwater has very good international connections is very useful. Most businesses have a global view today and you need to be aware of the global trends.

“I have no problem with the fact that Clearwater works with so many different private equity houses. To me it shows that they know the market very well, and I know from experience that in France the firm has a very good network of trade buyers and companies.”

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