Follow on Investment and an Interim Leader

The Role of Interim Leaders and Follow-on Investment


The follow-on funding dilemma in private equity puts fund managers in a tough spot – between a rock and a hard place. The risk of failure looms if the much-needed additional capital doesn’t come through. Conversely, pressure to kickstart growth and make changes is a delicate balancing act.  Could an Interim leader be part of the answer?

Deciding to allocate follow-on funds isn’t just a financial move; it’s a strategic decision requiring foresight. Despite the challenges, this situation offers a chance for the fund manager to shape the investment’s future.

Bringing in experienced interim leadership to work with the existing management team can drive much-needed change, ensuring that the capital injection aligns with a solid plan for success. It’s a critical decision-making juncture, with the fund manager playing the dual role of decision-maker and strategist, moulding the investment’s future amid the uncertainties of follow-on funding.

The Role of an Interim Leader

Private equity portfolio managers often grapple with the challenge of improving portfolio companies’ performance while ensuring efficient resource allocation. This is where interim leaders, skilled professionals with substantial industry experience, become indispensable. They are specifically brought in to fill transitional leadership gaps and drive strategic transformation. Interim leaders offer a fresh perspective, expert insights, and an objective approach, making them invaluable assets for private equity firms.

Optimising Operational Impact

In private equity, investments’ success hinges on portfolio companies’ operational efficiency. Interim leaders can significantly contribute to this by:

  1. Conducting Comprehensive Assessments: Interim leaders meticulously evaluate the operations of portfolio companies, identifying areas that require improvement. This includes scrutinising processes, resource allocation, and performance metrics.
  2. Implementing Strategic Initiatives: Armed with an in-depth understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of portfolio companies, interim leaders craft and execute strategic initiatives that boost efficiency and drive growth. They work closely with the existing management teams to ensure alignment with the overarching investment objectives.
  3. Streamlining Operations: Interim leaders streamline operations by eliminating redundancy, reducing waste, and enhancing productivity. This leads to faster results and improves profitability, aligning with the objectives of private equity investments.

Proper Allocation of Funds

Effective allocation of funds in private equity portfolios is a critical concern. Interim leaders can ensure that funds are utilised judiciously to maximise the value of portfolio companies. They achieve this through:

  1. Budgetary Oversight: Collaborating with financial teams, interim leaders create and manage budgets that align with the strategic goals of the portfolio company. This process entails prioritising expenditures in areas that have the most significant impact on the company’s performance.
  2. Cost Control: To ensure efficient allocation of resources, interim leaders implement cost control measures. They identify and eliminate unnecessary expenses, redirecting funds towards initiatives that accelerate growth and profitability.
  3. Monitoring Progress: Interim leaders continuously monitor the progress of initiatives funded by private equity investments, ensuring that the expected results are being achieved. They make necessary adjustments to keep the portfolio companies on track.

Collaboration with an Interim leader for Portfolio Enhancement

The synergy between interim leaders and follow-on investments presents a strategic opportunity for private equity portfolio managers to maximise their investments’ operational efficiency and financial performance. Interim leaders step in at pivotal moments, working with the investment team to ensure funds are allocated effectively and the operational impact is optimised. This collaboration often results in accelerated and enhanced returns, offering several advantages:

  1. Swift Decision-Making: Interim leadership can expedite decision-making by providing expert insights and taking decisive action. This agility is vital in the fast-paced world of private equity.
  2. Increased Confidence: Follow-on investors gain confidence in the portfolio’s potential when they observe their funds being managed judiciously and productively. This often leads to further investment and support for portfolio companies.
  3. Leadership Development: The collaboration enables existing leadership within portfolio companies to learn from the interim’s expertise, nurturing internal talent and enhancing the organisation’s long-term prospects.
  4. Portfolio Growth: By optimising operations and strategically allocating funds, private equity portfolios are better positioned for growth, yielding more significant returns.


The synergy between interim leadership and follow-on investments is a powerful strategy that can significantly impact private equity portfolios’ performance and value creation. Interim leaders bring their expertise to assess, optimise, and streamline operations while responsibly allocating follow-on investment funds. This collaborative approach has been instrumental in expediting and elevating the success of private equity portfolios. It is an invaluable strategy for portfolio managers aiming to navigate the complexities of the private equity landscape and enhance their investment outcomes.

About the Author

Trevor is a member of the Institute of Interim Management. As a C-Suite leader and professional Interim Leader, Trevor has provided interim leadership solutions to private equity, venture capital, and asset-backed firms for over a decade. Whether to fill a temporary skills gap or support a management team in challenging situations, Trevor brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of delivering value creation and retention plans.

As an interim CEO, CRO, CEO Coach, or Chairman, Trevor partners with investors and stakeholders to identify and execute strategic initiatives, operational improvements, and turnaround plans. Trevor has led multiple engagements across various sectors and geographies, achieving significant growth, profitability, and sustainability outcomes. Trevor thrives on solving complex problems, driving innovation, and empowering teams to reach their full potential.

You can see his testimonials here if you want to read what others say about Trevor.

About the Author

Trevor is a fellow of the Institute of the Motor Industry and a member of the Institute of Interim Management, is a respected C-Suite leader and professional Interim Leader. For over a decade, he has provided interim leadership solutions to private equity, venture capital, and asset-backed firms. Whether it’s to stabilise a business during a turbulent trading period, fill a temporary skills gap or support a management team to navigate challenging situations, Trevor’s wealth of experience and proven track record in delivering value creation and retention plans demonstrate his ability to lead and support operational management teams effectively. Explore his LinkedIn profile and read what others say about Trevor.



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