Published September 8, 2022

Diary of an intern – Tyler Stanley-Owusu goes through his experience of working at GCP and what he has learnt from the PE industry

I am extremely grateful to have had a chance to be a member of the 2022 Future VC cohort and to be given the opportunity to intern at Growth Capital Partners – a company whose culture is deserved of much praise.

From the beginning they got me involved, with my first introduction to the team being at their  Monday morning meeting, where they review business introductions and discuss the work they are proactively doing with the portfolio. It was a great start and a real indication of how much I was going to learn.

Naturally, over time, the gap between my understanding of GCP’s PE style and PE as an investment strategy closed. Starting with me having the pleasure of joining Origination Director, Michael at the Deloitte Entrepreneur Summit. This was a great insight into beginnings of their deal souring process and highlighted the time and effort that goes into sourcing a deal. This is not just a case of structuring a deal but understanding a shareholder’s rationale for considering investment and the broader market opportunity. This also gave me a good understanding of the profile of a potential GCP investee, which was advanced further by a few deal origination research assignments. At a high-level, a company needs a strong: P&L, ambitious founder led team and of course the potential for sustainable growth over the next 3+ years. I quickly learnt that this was easier said than done.

I then had the opportunity to see the opposite end of the spectrum, where I sat in two Investment Committee discussions. It was fascinating to see the result of months of work across detailed business planning, client referencing, management team relationship building, FDD, CDD…the list goes on culminating into one final meeting at which a comprehensive and conclusive decision was to be made. I was sat contemplating the outcome were someone to object! How would a decision be reached if their opinions were polarised? However, I learnt that GCP avoids such a scenario by keeping the entire team up to date by having everyone present at the weekly meeting. Issues are discussed and resolved as they arise.

Once a deal has been done, from an investor’s perspective this is only the beginning of the partnership journey. To experience what type of conversations happen during the course of a GCP investment, I had the pleasure of joining Investment Director, Ravi at a Bridewell Board meeting. This was certainly a great opportunity to meet one of the portfolio companies they partner with and the way the management team discussed the business’s activities and performance against a pre-agreed set of ambitious business goals is something I will take into consideration in both my own business and when engaging with my clients in the future

During my time at GCP, the team were always available to help with the many questions I had. Especially concerning the investment committee meetings, the endless terminology, and acronyms, and how the investment offers were determined. This led to my excursion into the world of short-form models and deal structuring. With the guidance and patience of Investment Manager Liam, I leave with a new and inevitably valuable ability to financially model. It was through this that a lot of my understanding came full circle, from the DD to the discussions with management to the impact of the economy – the financial model encompasses it all. I was able to put my understanding of financial modelling to the test with the assignment of completing a one pager. The one-pager is a document the team puts together to present to the rest of the business an exciting investment opportunity that they want to pursue.

How did it go? Well…you would have to ask Ravi, Liam, and Dom!

I would like to thank the entire team at GCP for being so welcoming and being so willing to answer my never-ending questions. It was fantastic to be part of such a tight-knit, ambitious and diligent team culture. I would love to see more students and graduates get a chance to intern at GCP in the future.

‘We thoroughly enjoyed welcoming Tyler into the team over his internship period. Getting him involved in a range of activities which I hope he enjoyed and learned from.  He was great to work with and made a valuable contribution whilst he was here.  We look forward to hearing about his future successes.’
John Marsh, Finance Partner