Adam Williams, Vice President of Private Equity at Symphony, has been in business leadership roles for over 20 years. Adam started his professional story as a school teacher and coach, and his love for sharing knowledge is what ultimately drove all of his roles in the future. From enhancing marketing and sales teams to discovering private equity, he has a long-standing career filled with valuable experiences that gave him a unique perspective on the latest enfoldings in the economy, business, and private equity and what the future will look like in this sector.
The Symphony chapter
Almost a year ago, Adam was introduced to Symphony. In his previous role, he got started working in private equity and made a lot of connections in the PE space that opened up a new path of development. His role at Symphony is primarily to expand more into the PE space and connect with PE firms that want to grow and position on the market through digitization but also invest in other companies and their growth as well. Adam’s network is constantly growing, giving us the opportunity to partner with firms that need help creating digital assets and new software to accelerate their business.
How is technology creating revolutionary private equity gateways?
A lot of times, what holds companies back is that they still have an old product that hasn’t been improved. It’s easier to build on the existing system than start over in an uncertain economic climate. On top of that, there is the issue of accumulated technical debt that is preventing them from progressing and opening up new revenue streams - this is where software automation and digitization come into play. “Symphony can help both ways - reducing technical debt and providing expert teams that can refine the old system or streamline their internal team to work on the technical debt while building new software. This is our unique positioning that can bring real value to these companies.”- Adam emphasized.
One way to look at automation is through the efficiency and optimization prism. We investigate the existing customer flow and see what needs improvements. Enhancing efficiency and process speed for one firm helps us reach new customers and firms that have similar problems and want to expedite their work and outputs. On average, PE firms lose hundreds of hours of productivity each year with employees, contractors, partners, and even clients doing the same manual tasks over and over again. Saving time and costs is the essence of software automation, and PE companies are starting to see the real value it brings.
Another important topic Adam dives into is value creation and how we can bring long-term value to PE companies. He shared some crucial action points - “We build the MVP customized for investment and identify what pain points exist. During due diligence, we help solve them as part of the investment package. Furthermore, attaching technical debt with off/near shore talent and automating as many processes and interactions as possible is a bulletproof way of generating value that lasts.
The future of private equity investment
In today’s market, differentiation is key. PE firms that have a growth mindset, a 100-day plan, and the willingness to adapt are on the right path. Just having a “growth” fund isn’t enough. PE firms have to find ways to offer something new to the market, and we help them on the path of creating digital assets, building a good footprint, and expanding their value.
In the past year, Symphony worked on building a much better understanding of customer outcomes. We take a step back and organize ideation workshops to understand what the client is trying to achieve. They might take a different path, and we dedicate ourselves to understanding their issue and finding the optimal, customized solution. Value can be savings, increased revenue, employee retention, and growth. The question to bare in mind is -what is the company’s goal?
Adam shared his final thoughts with us - “In times of disruption, there is always opportunity. The ones who win will be the ones who think creatively about value creation and optimize in order to retain talent. Ultimately, in order to thrive, you have to keep up with the latest technology and market trends.”