QSA was originally established as the value-creation team for the New York-based asset manager Arena Investors.
Quaestor Strategic Advisors
As a team of experienced middle-market equity operations specialists, and as part of the Arena group of firms, we had only one overriding goal, and it wasn’t to bill for a lot of hours or charge for a lot of services—it was, simply put, to determine what’s needed to create value in Arena’s portfolio companies, and do those things. And we did. And then we said, “We can do that for companies owned by other investment firms, too!”
That’s why we have opened the door to a very select group of investment firms to serve their portfolio-company operations needs.
And that’s why we have a distinctly different business model from the typical consulting firm: Our compensation is determined largely by a performance-based success fee. In other words, we are aligned like partners versus hired hands. We have skin in the game. And because of that, we do what’s needed to create value.
Every member of our team has run alternative investor-owned businesses or worked full-time at an alternative investment firm. We are insiders in that landscape who understand your business model and how you make money.
If you are weighing outside portfolio operations support, consider…
Quaestor Strategic Advisors
Duration, Commitment, Mandate. What is the true focus needed for those who might help you?
Expertise & Backgrounds. Are skills broad, deep and flexible?
Measure of Success. Are outcome goals 100% aligned?
Economic Model. Is your cost-effectiveness maximized?
The QSA business model offers many advantages over traditional consultants and in-house portfolio operations
In-House Portfolio Operations
The QSA Approach
Duration, Commitment, Mandate
3- to 6-month rifle-shot projects
Focus on selling follow-on engagements
Paid full-time team regardless of current demand
Team can range from underutilized to over-stretched
Longer-term partnership with intensity varying by current needs
Focused exclusively on highest-priority value creation levers (could be talent, organic, M&A, digital, etc.)
Measure of Success
Was the consultant’s project successful?
Quality of final presentation to the
Was the investment successful?
Did we grow EBITDA over a multi-year period?
Did we tangibly contribute to equity value creation at exit?
Same metrics as an in-house portfolio operations team, but with better margins to the company owners
Expertise & Backgrounds
Engagement sold by partner but often executed by junior staff
Seasoned, senior team with specialized skillsets
Small team can have critical capability gaps, e.g., HR or growth
Full team of seasoned professionals encompassing critical finance, operations, HR and growth functions
Deep PE experience and/or C-level operators of PE-backed companies who think like owners/investors
Fee for service
High fixed overhead cost to management fee including associated carry
Cost-effective variable cost model with performance-based success fee
The QSA business model offers many advantages over traditional consultants and in-house portfolio operations...
More closely-aligned partnership than with traditional consultants, with the measures of success exactly the same as with in-house operations.
More flexible and efficient use of resources than with a high-fixed-cost in-house operations team. Any capability gap can be quickly filled by QSA.
No junior staff involved—all QSA team members are seasoned professionals who think like owners/investors.
Performance-based cost model keeps goals well aligned.