Ardian
The vision of the company
About Ardian

Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$71bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base.
Through its commitment to shared outcomes for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities fuel individual, corporate and economic growth around the world.

Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 500 employees working from fourteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco, Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo). It manages funds on behalf of c.700 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.

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Key info
Founded in:
1996
Headquarters:
Paris
Size:
201-500
employees
Parity:
42% employees
58% employees
Dominique Senequier
President

Dominique Senequier joined the AXA group in 1996 when she founded AXA Private Equity, which became Ardian in 2013. Today, the company manages and advises US$50 billion of assets, with a team of more than 340 employees based in 10 offices across the world. Dominique began her career as an insurance commissioner at the French Ministry of Economy before joining GAN Group, where she was in charge of private equity investments. Dominique later became “Directeur Général de GAN Participations”.

She was awarded the prestigious Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French state in 2012 and is also vice-president of the supervisory board of Hermes.

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Investor Relations

You will be working with more than 30 professionals who are dedicated to investor relations, ensuring personal needs and requirements are continually met. Among them, regional professionals maintain an ongoing dialogue with investors, while others are fully dedicated to client servicing and continuously strive to provide clients with the most timely, reliable information possible.

The Investor Relations team is also responsible for creating new funds’ marketing materials and answering all investor’s due diligence questions about our funds. In order to do so, the team is positioned at the heart of all different business units within the company.

Through an online reporting platform, Ardian offers investors a secure and comprehensive set of marketing materials, investment results and historic record. Detailed accurate data of investment activity and product lines are published at regular intervals. Today, Ardian is able to provide a tailor-made service to each of its investors.

Mid Cap Buyout

Through its fundraising and investment successes, Ardian has established a leading Mid Cap position in Europe. With its latest fund of €2.8bn (400 million co-investment) raised in 2013, the team seeks to acquire and develop companies valued between €150M and €1.5bn.

Capitalize on a stringent investment discipline and a unique "sourcing". Established in 1997, the Mid Cap Buyout activity aims to buy and develop leading companies on their markets, often already very internationalized, with potential untapped development. Ardian’s Mid Cap Buyout activity incorporates a disciplined investment approach. Our expertise covers various relevant scenarios, from asset succession, to companies' delisting or large groups' spin-off. Our approach is very selective and we are getting involved early on in the sales process. We are constantly looking for growth sectors and attractive companies and are commited to identifying a value creation strategy prior to making an investment. With a very selective approach and a high level of due diligence, the team focuses on majority transactions while retaining the flexibility to act on attractive minority stake deals with strong governance rights.

Take advantage from international network. With a presence across key markets in continental Europe (France, Germany and Italy), the team’s 29 investment professionals employ both their local expertise and Ardian’s international network to support the growth of portfolio companies.

Supporting transformational strategies. The team focuses on companies with both internal and external growth ambitions and is deeply involved in the implementation of transformational strategies, including buy-and-build and international greenfield expansion.

A long-term investment. As a long-term partner for the companies in which we invest, our Mid Cap team aims to create value for the company, for its employees, for its wider environment and for all shareholders, involving managers and employees at every stage.

Business Supports

Human Resources
The Human Resources team are responsible for managing the recruitment process for all positions within the company including scheduling interviews, ability and psyschometric testing, issuing contracts of employment and conducting pre-employment checks on potential hires.
For existing employee’s they have responsibility for sourcing training courses, and arranging appropriate training and development, managing the annual performance and compensation reviews, plus all elements of reward - managing the employee benefit programmes and ensuring all staff are paid correctly each month.

Administrative:
The administrative and secretarial team provides both clerical and administrative support to all members of the company.
Their role plays a vital part in the administration and smooth-running of the office.
They are often responsible for the co-ordination and implementation of office procedures, travel arrangements, scheduling meetings, diary management, arranging in-house and external events and dealing with telephone and email enquiries.

Finance:
The Finance team are responsible for the corporate and fund finance and reporting for Ardian.
This team assist in minimising interest rate and currency risks, and monitor bank deposit counterparty risk on an ongoing basis by reviewing the information for all portfolio businesses on an aggregated basis.
This team produce the quarterly investor reports for each Fund/investment and are involved in the annual valuation process.
This team consists of qualified accountants with various levels of experience.

Growth

The Ardian Growth team supports small to medium sized businesses with a turnover between €5m and €100m. The team focuses on companies that have the potential for strong, sustained growth in their core markets, are visible domestically and are looking to expand internationally.

Consolidating and driving growth. The team uses its 17 years of experience across 120 companies to provide businesses with the local support they need at key milestones in their development. This can be through facilitating timely acquisitions or by aiding with international expansion.

A locally-based partner. Ardian uses its market expertise and network of contacts to strengthen the human capital of the companies in which it invests. This entrepreneurial spirit, along with the firm’s global presence, helps to give companies greater international exposure.

Broad capital deployment. The team acquires both minor and major stakes in companies, investing between €2m and €10m through capital increases, repurchases, or transmission leveraged buyouts.

As part of this commitment to dynamic and fast-growing sectors, the Ardian Growth Team founded the Digital Entrepreneurs Club, partnering with the French Association for Software Publishers and the Association for Digital Economy.

Co-Investment

A high performing business model. The formation of strategic partnerships between investment funds is often required when completing large buyout transactions. Ardian began its co-investment activity in 2005. Since then, the firm has invested in 50 companies, across a wide range of geographic locations and sectors. The Co-Investment team operates on a global scale, which allows them to capitalize on a sustained and high-quality deal flow. The team also operates a selective investment policy and only selects opportunities where a small number of co-investors are involved.

Two distinct strategies. Ardian’s Co-Investment team operates two distinct investment strategies that enable its investors to access a wide range of attractive investment opportunities in markets around the world, with a particular focus on the US and Europe.

- Co-Investments: The first of these strategies involves traditional co-investment activity, where Ardian invests alongside another investment fund without being involved in the governance of the company that general partners wish to syndicate. Typically, the team joins a small group of investors, committing between €20m and €50m to each transaction.

- Active minority investments: In Europe, Ardian participates as a minority investor in large transactions, in which Ardian plays an active role in structuring and then in the governance and development of the company. Ardian can invest in partnership with another private equity fund, but also alongside an entrepreneur, an industrial group or a family. Ardian can mobilize several hundred million euros for this type of transactions.

Infrastructure

Since 2005, Ardian has invested in private companies running infrastructure projects, alongside industrial and financial partners, who can contribute their technical expertise or financial resources.

Current yield return and protection against inflation and economic cycles. Infrastructure has a relatively low correlation with other asset classes and offers protection against inflation and economic cyclicality. More importantly, yields are also steady and have good long-term visibility. Ardian invests in the full range of regulated and unregulated core infrastructure assets. These include gas and electricity grids, transport infrastructures such as toll roads, railways, airports and renewable energy assets.

Key partnerships. The Infrastructure team works closely with a network of large industrial, energy, construction and utility companies and infrastructure operators. This network allows the team to access deals on a bilateral basis or through a limited auction, without incurring the time and expense of a formal sale process. The team also has strong working relationships with public service regulators. As a result, the teams are able to understand how the regulator’s evolving strategy might affect the fund’s assets and future investment decisions.

At the heart of the European Infrastructure sector: By taking a long term investment approach, often holding investments for a 10-15 year period, the Infrastructure team can invest up to €400M per transaction, even more with co-investor support. The investments are focused on the European market, diversified between 80% in Brownfield and 20% in Greenfield.

Expansion

With two generations of funds successfully invested since 2002 and a third closed in 2014, Ardian’s small cap activity has established a leading position across Europe with France, Germany and Italy-based investment professionals. The Expansion team focuses on companies valued at less than €150M.

“Buy-and-build” policy. Ardian’s team has extensive experience in structuring external growth operations, integrating companies and building close relationships with the banks involved in financing. These relationships enable Ardian to assist in the long-term development of small and medium-sized companies.

A grass roots approach. The team focuses on the sectors it knows best, where it can contribute significant added value. Effective governance is key and the team spends a large amount of time working closely with company executives. After an investment has been completed, a 100-day program is launched to review reporting, audit, risk management and communication processes, all geared towards accelerating the company’s growth.

An integrated European team. Ardian’s 18-strong team includes a mix of nationalities working out of offices in Paris, Frankfurt and Milan, with a constant focus on assessing investment opportunities and working closely to monitor the portfolio. The team combines its talents and resources to assist in the development of portfolio companies, especially on external growth and international commercial opportunities.

Private Debt

Ardian entered the private debt market in 2005 with the launch of its first mezzanine fund, and adapted its strategy over time, which has seen it pioneer unitranche lending.

Financing all types of mezzanine transactions. With $4bn managed or advised, the 11-strong team based in Paris and London arranges financings of between €40M and more than €300M under LBO, OBO, management shareholding restructuring, recapitalization or financing build-up.

Solutions tailored to a range of situations. Ardian has developed a full range of innovative transactions:
- Unitranche financing: a combination of senior and subordinated debt in a single instrument with bullet maturity
- Mezzanine financing: loans subordinated to bank debt with equity priority

Focus on unitranche. Ardian is a pioneer of unitranche financing in Europe. This innovative form of financing allows companies to concentrate their investments on external growth. Particularly useful for companies with dynamic growth strategies, this financing is increasingly used by companies and funds.

A key partner. Created in 2005, the Private Debt team has built close relationship with investment funds notably via its team network and through the Fund of Funds activity of the company.

Funds of Funds

Led from London and New York, Ardian’s global network manages and/or advises $30bn of assets. Seizing the best opportunities, Ardian’s Fund of Funds activity cultivates excellence. In 2013, Ardian deployed more than $3bn in secondary transactions and primary commitments. In April 2014, Ardian has announced the successful fundraising of a $10bn investment platform for its Fund of Funds activity.

The Funds of Funds team at Ardian is a leading international player in the sector which offers its global client base a range of investment options, including:
- Primary Fund of Funds – investments in new funds
- Secondary Fund of Funds – the purchase of direct stakes in mature private equity funds and portfolios of stakes in unlisted companies
- Early Secondary Fund of Funds – the purchase of stakes in immature funds – of which less than 50% are invested

Comprising 50 investment professionals, the Fund of Funds team is spread across our offices and work coordinately from Asia, Europe and North America.

The team is able to access a vast amount of information via a database of 900 funds and 10,000 underlying companies, which provides unparalleled accuracy and expertise within the assets and teams in the private equity sector.

Headquarters
20, Place Vendôme, Paris, 75001, France